Following the resignation of Reed City manager Ron Marek, and with the November election results potentially changing the face of the municipality’s elected government, we hope voters think long and hard about the state of the city today and in the immediate future. All is not well in Reed City.

In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say the city has once again become something of a laughingstock in the county and throughout the region.

The divisiveness openly displayed in council meetings is disturbing. Pettiness and nitpicking has apparently become standard operating procedure. It shows that the standing council has become permanently dysfunctional.

Marek announced his decision to leave the city manager’s post in what could only be described as a pre-emptive strike. He could have potentially been canned following a vote on a motion suggested by councilperson Darlene Fuller.

Fuller claims there is nothing personal against Marek in her suggestion he be fired.

That is disingenuous at best.

Marek has had nary a day of quiet or relief under the “watchdog” eye of Fuller and her

supporters.

Virtually everything he has done while fulfilling the duties of his office has involved an uphill slog under a withering fire of criticism and castigation by Fuller, councilman Dave Scharlow, and surrogate “watchdog” Joanne Flinton who makes sure that if the city manager wasn’t being sniped at from within, he was being attacked from outside.

Not only has Marek been stomped on and stymied at every turn, but other members of the council - not in the Fuller camp - have been trampled on and shamed at the council table and in public.

In a letter to the editor published in the Herald Review on June 6, Fuller accused four other council members of breaking the law by authorizing the payment of a $4,333 bill noting, “This is indeed a 4/3 council; four who wish to break the law, three who wish not to and, instead, uphold the voters’ trust.”

In other words, if you agree with the interpretation of the law as offered by Fuller, you “uphold the voters’ trust.”

If, however, you read the situation differently, as did the Michigan State Police following a complaint brought about by the payment of a bill for improvements to the Department of Public Works garage, you become a villain.

The situation no longer borders on the ridiculous. It has crossed the border and now threatens city government and the fulfilling of standard services by city employees for municipal residents.

City council meetings have become forums for shouting and insulting behavior by boers, and no few tears are shed by those intimidated by the bullies.

It is well past time the people of Reed City wake up to the situation and take control.

Six candidates will vie for four seats on the Reed City Council on the Nov. 4 ballot. Sadly, Katelyn Scharlow passed away last week. Incumbents Marlene K. Fatum, David A. Scharlow and Darlene D. Fuller will be challenged by Roger W. Meinert, Karen Lea McKinney and Joanne Flinton. Incumbent councilman, James Anderlohr, will not seek re-election.

The candidates who receive the top three amounts of votes will be elected to four-year terms. The candidate receiving the fourth highest amount will earn a two-year term.

Frankly, Fuller and Scharlow have earned some well-deserved time at home on council meeting nights.

As for Ms. Flinton - the city survived her service once. Her antics are legend. Reed City would be hard-pressed to survive her presence at the council table again.

Voters need to consider this issue seriously.

And a final word.

Thank you to Ron Marek - a man who tried his best while being belittled at every turn and denigrated for everything he tried to do.

None of us are perfect. At the same time, nobody deserves to be treated like yesterday’s trash while simply trying to do their job.

Thanks, Mr. Marek, for what you managed to do. Thanks for what you tried to do. And thanks for what you might have done if you’d been given a fair shake.