“We need to put the village first, our personal beliefs have to be separate,” said a community member.
Mixed opinions remain the story in Kalkaska.
Controversy surrounding a local leader, once again came to a head at a Village Council meeting.
A “Pray 4 Trump” sign, hanging on a hotel owned by Kalkaska Village President Jeff Sieting started the ball rolling.
And a string of Facebook posts, widely seen as hateful against Muslims.
People took to the streets last Friday to protest and call for Sieting’s resignation.
While his supporters rallied only feet away.
9&10’s Whitney Amann has our top story on what was said at Monday’s meeting and the president’s thoughts on it all.
“It’s the typical bully tactics,” said Sieting. “Listen, we have a constitution for a reason; we have a first amendment right, we have a second amendment right, so forth and so on and nothing is excluded from that.”
Kalkaska Village President Jeff Sieting says he isn’t afraid to speak his peace and kept his Facebook posts public for a reason.
“I’m not asking everybody to agree with me and I can understand that it would be quite offensive to people, I understand that, I find the beliefs of some segments of our population to be extremely offensive to me but I don’t go perusing their Facebook pages looking for more,” said Sieting.
First with protestors on the streets, now during a village council meeting, the people spoke their peace.
“You represent our town, your image projects the face of Kalkaska, you are the voice for your constituents, and for that you have a larger sense of responsibility for the words you speak and the image you portray,” said a community member.
“What he’s done on his personal Facebook page has absolutely nothing to do with this village and the residents in Kalkaska and actually having him and asking him to resign is absurd; if you don’t like him in place, then run against him,” said another community member.
Supporters insist Sieting has done nothing wrong.
For his opponent, a mix of anger, sadness and disappointment.
“There is certainly no argument here, they were hateful and racist,” said a community member.
“I should be praying for you and all of our leaders, I’d like to leave this meeting with a sense of unity for the good of our community,” said a community member.
At this time, the village president does not intend to resign or take the banner and Facebook posts down.