A political banner and controversial posts on social media have the Kalkaska Village President under fire.
First president Jeff Sieting’s Sign reading “For New Birth of Freedom Please Pray 4 Trump” touched off a wave of complaints.
Locals felt it violated village ordinance, but police confirm that it doesn’t.
The controversy only grew when Sieting’s Facebook feed was called into question.
9&10’s Megan Woods looked into the developing situation and has more details in this report.
“Everyone has a right to put up signs during election but I’m surprised that the sign is still out there,” says community member David Nichols.
During election season village president Sieting’s hotel property full of election signs.
Knowing and even helping write the sign ordinance years ago, he kept one in particular.
Sieting says, “It doesn’t have anything to do with the election it’s simply stating my Christian values which is pray for our president for a new birth of freedom, pray for Trump. No matter which side you’re on you can’t deny the fact this man is under attack on all sides.”
But that’s not all people are talking about. It’s what some are referring to as hateful posts on his personal Facebook page.
President Sieting says, “It’s kind of dangerous for a person in a political position to toy around even on your personal which is sad that’s the reality, being an elected official doesn’t negate my rights as a citizen as well I took this position standing firmly on my beliefs and people embraced that.”
Many locals and people across the state are concerned that this represents Kalkaska and that locals and tourists can’t feel safe in the town.
David Nichols says it’s not the tourists he’s so much concerned about but the welfare of the town. “I’m concerned about good governance in Kalkaska and I think that’s where the mayor should be focused and not on divisive issues such as whether Muslims are a threat to us here in Kalkaska.”
Instead of taking back words posted it’s the future of Sieting’s time in office many are focused on.
Nichols says, “I think that people ought to realize and maybe they will realize through this that there are issues that really concern the town and their own lives rather than these idealized issues that the mayor seems to want to stir up.”
President Sieting says, “I’ve been village president for seven years now I’ll have another year beyond this one and the election time comes around again if people think I’ve failed vote me out that’s their right.”
There will be a protest Friday calling for Sieting’s resignation, for more information click .