Contentious issues bring out the voters in Ferrysburg

Becky Vargo • Nov 7, 2017 at 10:53 AM

Voters were lined up at the door when the polls opened at 7 a.m. Monday at Ferrysburg City Hall.

“There were at least 10 people in line at 7 a.m.,” said precinct worker Julie Miller. “By 7:07 a.m., we had 21 people vote.”

By 10:40 a.m., more than 200 residents had walked in the door to cast their vote, according to Ferrysburg City Clerk Debbie Wierenga. More than 250 absentee ballots were also being counted.

“That is high for a non-presidential year,” Wierenga said. “It’s been steady. There hasn’t been a time when someone wasn’t here.”

Ferrysburg resident Mark Palmiter stopped in shortly before 8 a.m. on his way to work.

He took just a few minutes to cast his vote for mayor, council, parks and the bridge millage.

“I voted for more transparency and the candidate I thought was going to bring it about,” he said, noting that he voted for Regina Sjoberg for mayor. “I don’t like how present issues have been handled.”

Palmiter said he also voted for citizens to have more control. He responded yes, when asked if he voted in favor in favor of the parks proposal.

Ferrysburg voters today are choosing between mayoral candidates Sjoberg and Rebecca Hopp, both current City Council members.

The city also has three 4-year council seats up for grabs. Running for those seats are incumbent Michael DeWitt, along with Dan Matteson, Scott Blease, Richard Carlson and Ivy Barnes.

Two ballot proposals are also up for vote.

One proposal asks voters if they want to amend the City Charter so that residents have more say in the sale, lease or disposal of parks and cemeteries.

The other proposal asks for up to 3 mills for 20 years to replace the Smith’s Bayou bridge on West Spring Lake Road.

The polls remain open until 8 p.m.

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