SPOKES VOL. LXVII NO. 38                                                                              April 20, 2021
President Thompson began our virtual meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by an invocation focused on getting through difficult times by Art Ayers.
We received word that Bob Stickland has been admitted to the hospital.  Keep him in your prayers.
Our guests this morning included prospective members Emily Gruber and Griffin Graham and Yolanda Blunt and speakers Kevin Dee and Nancy Nelson.

  • Thanks to the folks who volunteered at the Thursday night supper last week.
  • The Bronson Sneak Peak tour has been postponed as they deal with the latest COVID-19 surge.
  • Bill Roberts has been compiling a “White Paper” of all of the tribal knowledge of our pancake breakfasts and it is now ready for review.  That review will take place after our meeting today..
  • We are still looking for a Vice President and Public Affairs Director.
  • Nominations are open for Rotarian of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.
  • Education Donations   Since we are not holding our Educational fundraiser this year, members are encouraged to donate, through the club, to either or both the South Haven Public Schools Foundation or our own scholarship fund.
  • Thanks to those who helped at our annual tree planting ceremony on Monday
  • The South Haven weather buoy was placed in the lake last week.  We contribute to this project. President Dan presented a check to Richard Chapman of the Steelheaders. Check out the buoy --  https://glbuoys.glos.us/45168
  • President Dan Represented us at a Project CURB dedication ceremony at the high school on Monday.
  • We have donated $500 to the Art Center for a youth program.
  • We have committed $2500 to the relocation and renovation efforts of Lory’s Place and hope to secure a District matching grant.
  • We received word that the 4th of July Parade has been canceled this year.

    A Touch of Humor
    Bob Copping had a little trouble getting vocal this morning.  Bob likes to wake up each morning, full of life, and kiss the person next to him.  Unfortunately United Airlines frowns on that kind of friendliness.
Member Spotlight
Tom Rummel was our spotlight this morning.  Tom was born in Saginaw and was raised in the thumb area of Michigan with brother Tim and sister Margaret.  His father was a commercial photographer and his mother a teacher.
Tom attended Western Michigan University where he met his wife, Donna and received a degree in business.  He worked for Old Kent Bank for a few years before moving into the insurance business.  After working for a couple of different firms, he joined Doug Leins at the Hardt Agency in town in 2007.  He and Donna have two sons, Alex and Joel who both excelled in Tennis, band and robotics while attending South Haven Public Schools.  They are both in college (U of M and Cincinnati) studying Computer Science and communication.  Tom and his family have many hobbies, including kayaking, but cannot seem to find enough time to do them.
50/50 and Fines
Kevin Dee rewarded Jim Davis with the big prize and guest Jean Stein won the $2 prize again.
Fines were charged to:
  • Korky’s youngest daughter has a birthday this week.
  • Dene Hadden’s granddaughter Chloe turns 15 on Wednesday.
  • Steve Miles’ Sister has a birthday this week.
  • Nick Tuit will be celebrating the birthday of his lovely wife Nancy this week.
  • Tom Rummel’s son Joel turns 21 this week.
  • Tom Renner thanked Paul Hix for his contributions and leadership in providing the sculpture in front of Clementine’s and others downtown.
  • Larry Wittkop provided a birthday song in celebration of all of the festivities.  We had to do it Ludington style but everyone remained muted so it sounded pretty good!
Our lead speaker this morning was member and Superintendent of South Haven Public Schools Kevin Schooley assisted by Director of Non-Instructional Services Kevin Dee and Director of Finances Nancy Nelson.
Keven spoke to us about the upcoming South Haven Public School’s Bond Issue which we will be voting on May 4th.
Kevin Dee outlined the major parts of much of the bond, indicating that each school will receive replacement, repair or upgrades in a number of critical areas.  He pointed out that certain areas of health and safety, like air filtration and door locks, areas of infrastructure, educational upgrades for a number of programs, including for special needs students are included and energy upgrades.
In addition, Baseline School, which is now 30 years old will get a number of replacements and upgrades including space for orchestra and robotics.
The high school will get improvements in health and safety equipment and the auditorium will get upgrades as it is now fifteen years old.  Also the athletics areas at the high school and at Ratcliffe Field will get some long needed improvements including ADA compliant restrooms, field improvements, fencing and track resurfacing.  The youth soccer fields will be upgraded and the fieldhouse at Ben Suhr Field updated.  New restrooms to serve the entire athletic area at the high school will be added and the tennis courts replaced.
A number of parking lot improvements at several locations are included.
The biggest visible change in the school facilities will be in the administration and transportation area.  Here, the long owned but little used armory property will be transformed into the administration offices and transportation hub of the district.  Once completed, this project will allow the green Street property to be remediated as needed and sold for development into tax paying property.
Nancy Nelson then explained that with the retirement of the Baseline bond issue, the passage of this bond will actually lower our bond issue tax rate from 4.8 mills to 4.5 mills.  Kevin was careful to explain that the rate would drop even more should this issue fail and that the new millage would last a few years longer, but that the board, his team and the community groups he has worked with thought that this was an outstanding opportunity to provide our community with needed improvements at a great financial deal.
This plan will complement the previous bond issues, completing many of the plans put forward earlier but postponed to fix more urgent issues.
The election will take place on May 4th.
President Thompson thanked Kevin for his informative presentation and wished him luck.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test

  • NEXT WEEK:   Patty Montgomery Reinert will talk to us about plans to transform the Michigan Maritime Museum.
  • Editarian:  Dene Hadden