Election results: Reppart and Jones win; Spring Lake Village residents vote 'no' on disincorporation

Aug 8, 2017

Grand Rapids 1st ward has a new city commissioner. Kurt Reppart, the executive director of The Other Way Ministries won the election Tuesday night with unofficially 52 percent of the vote, beating out former city attorney Catherine Mish and Christine Mullan, a social worker. Reppart, who had the support of the City Commission and Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, is taking the seat vacated by Commissioner Dave Shaffer, who could not seek re-election due to term limits.

Commissioner Joe Jones won a second term in the city’s 2nd Ward. Jones, who unofficially received 52 percent of the beat out Tami Vandenberg, the Director of the Well House and Michael Farage, the President of the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association. Since both candidates received over 50 percent of the vote, they won their respective seats outright, and a run-off election will not take place.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss congratulated both Jones and Reppart on twitter, saying she was “looking forward to working with Reppart next year.” Reppart will join the commission in 2018.

Spring Lake Village residents voted against the disincorporation of the village. 63 percent of residents turned down the measure which would allow the village the legal ability to start the process of disincorporation. The idea was championed by village President Joyce Hatton, who argued that Village residents are doubly taxed by both the Village as well as Spring Lake Township.

However, Village manager Christine Burns argued that the 10 mills residents pay go towards services like 24 hour police protection and lighted bike paths. Burns told WGVU fighting the measure has been exhausting for village officials.

Meanwhile Hatton announced this week that no matter how voters decided on Tuesday, she was resigning as Village President.