downtownWhy We Are Running For Election.

We think it’s time for a change for the Village of Bear Lake.
We are new candidates running for Village Offices on
November 4, 2014

We believe we all need to pay it forward.
We are running for Village Office to give back to our home town.

We bring new ideas.

We have management and organization skills.

We know how to research, write and manage grants.

schoolWe care about the people who live here – where the median family household income is just $37,750 and where many retirees live on less than $18,000. (Source US Census)

We care about young families and the lack of opportunities for children and teenagers to have fun in a safe, constructive environment.

We care about our water system, preserving and protecting our most valuable asset: our drinking water and our Lake.

Provided by the Candidate Committees of Margaret Bass, Dendra Best and Janene and Rodney Gee


Watch the recording at

usDendra Best – new candidate 
Village Clerk

Married to ‘Corkey’ Vern Best & Village Resident for 33 years.

Employment: Executive Director (12 years)

Owner: Inc.

Internet & Graphic Design and Marketing.


* Grant writing. $170K+ for Bear Lake Twp. Fire Dept.

* Prior successful grants on behalf of the Village

* Organization Management

* Fund Accounting and Budget Preparation

* Community Consensus Building

Education: Honors Degree. University of Sheffield. UK

Why I am running for Village Clerk:

Because I’ve lived here all my married life and visited relatives here since 1972.

Far too many families here are struggling financially through lost jobs, health issues. Our family is no different. Many of us are living on a fixed income. We have no reserves to draw from. 

Decisions made by the Village Council need to be mindful of residents ability to pay more.
18% of our residents are at the poverty level of income. (US

I have seen the average age of residents increase without a corresponding increase in services to make the Village a great place to retire and stay in our own homes.

I have seen the number of young families with school age children struggle and the number of empty homes increase. We need to enact programs to fill our vacant homes.

Without a thriving population, those left will be unable to fund basic Village services such as the water system. We need to think smarter and be more open minded.

I see a persistent animosity toward young people. We need to actively encourage them to invest in making this a friendly, civil place to live, stay, find jobs, raise families.

The Village Clerk is in effect the Village Manager – the person who manages day to day business, knows State Law and regulations governing General Law Villages, and researches and submits additional funding opportunities. This may be a non voting position but it’s key to assisting the groups working to revitalize life in Bear Lake.

I believe passionately in open government and transparency, sharing all information with residents and actively seeking out their opinions. Elected officials serve on behalf of the Village residents who put them in office. Those who pay taxes should expect to hold local government accountable for the decisions made.

The Village Council’s responsibility is to make decisions which keep this a community-centered place to live, raise a family and care about all our neighbors.

[information provided by Dendra Best acting as her own Candidate Committee]

IMG_3601Margaret ‘Peggy’ Bass
New Candidate
2 Year Trustee Term

Why I am running for a Village Trustee position:


1963 Graduate of Bear Lake High School

I was born and raised in Bear Lake. I have lived in Michigan most of my life, except for 25 years when my husband John and I lived in California. We moved back to live in Michigan, and the Village, 24 years ago because this is where my family is and Bear Lake is home.

I retired from Manistee Benzie Community Mental Health in 2005— where I was Office Manager at the Counseling Center in Benzonia.

I love living in the Village because of the close knit community. We all need neighbors. We should all strive to be good neighbors.

I was asked: could I be fair and impartial? Could I make tough decisions? Could I look dispassionately at a wide range of information and choices, put aside my own feelings and do what was right for ALL our residents? I feel my background of working in the high pressure environment of Manistee Benzie Community Mental Health, where attention to detail and a calm presence were so necessary, means I can honestly answer that with a ‘yes’.

As a retiree I understand the needs of those who are living on a fixed income. I am thrilled to be running with Janene and Rodney Gee – a young couple who have such an obvious passion for the Village and who have chosen to live and work here. They have exactly the kind of vitality and new thinking we need on our Village Council.

And I have been a friend and neighbor of Corkey and Dendra Best since we moved back here from California in February 1990. When I think about what it means to care about your neighbors, those are two of the people who immediately come to mind. (Dendra Best is a candidate in November for the position of Village of Bear Lake Clerk)

[information provided by Margaret Bass acting as her own Candidate Committee]

IMG_3614New Candidates for Village of Bear Lake Trustee 4 year terms Janene & Rodney Gee,  are running for  2, 4 Year Trustee Terms

The Gees have been Village Residents for 3 years. Married since 2009 they are pictured here with their daughter, 2 year old, Emilia.


NW Michigan Community Action Agency, Preschool Teacher at Betsie Valley (Janene)

Manistee Post Office Rural Carrier (Rodney)

Education: Bachelor Degree Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Credits toward Master Degree Early Childhood Developmental Delay (Janene)

Bachelor Degree in Communications InDesign/Adobe programs – Graphic Design. Advertising(Rodney)

Combined Skills: Communication Management, Finding resources within the community/county.

“Why we are both running for 2 Village Trustee vacancies:

We have seen too many  young people struggle to find positive outlets in which to entertain themselves-especially during the summer months.

The Village Council representatives should know how to prioritize.

The water needs of the Village and the blighted buildings should be a priority.

Bear Lake is a beautiful area, full of potential.

We should take advantage of all this area has to offer.

We are new to the area, but we have chosen to raise our family here – and we have great ideas.

We would strive:

To improve our community and village through Grants/donations in order to attract visitors and rejuvenate village residents (reduce blight by demolishing decrepit infrastructure and rebuilding outdated buildings)

To increase financially viable, and positive, activities for the villagers of Bear Lake (ice rink, youth recreation center, enhanced playground equipment, improved beaches, leisure trails, etc)

[information provided by the Gees acting as their own Candidate Committee]



Manistee—Save the Date! Thursday, October 23, 2014, 7pm, the League of Women Voters (LWV) Manistee County will host a Candidates Forum at the Manistee High School Auditorium, 525 Twelfth Street, Manistee. The League has invited the following candidates to participate in this forum:

  • Senator Darwin Booher and Glenn Lottie in the 35th District State Senate race;
  • Representative Ray Franz and Thomas Stobie in the 101st District House of Representatives race;
  • George Saylor and David Thompson in the race for the 19th Circuit Court Judge.

The League of Women Voters is a citizens’ organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives.
Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans.
We do this at all three levels of government, engaging in both broad educational efforts as well as advocacy. Our issues are grounded in our respected history of making democracy work for all citizens.
The League encourages all citizens to attend this Candidates Forum to see, hear and ask questions of these candidates. Increase your knowledge so you can make an informed decision in the voting booth on November 4th.
For additional information about LWV or this forum: or contact: Nancy Behring, 231.889.5402.

If you haven’t registered to vote in the November 2014 Election – October 6 is the deadline!!

©JupiterImagesYou can download a registration form from the Secretary of State’s web site at:

Or you can pick up, fill in and return the form to your local Township Clerk.

The right to vote is our most precious freedom. In the recent referendum vote in Scotland – a staggering 85% DID!!

For more information about elections in Michigan go to:,4670,7-127-1633—,00.html

And to see what and who’s on the Ballot in our area go to

In the Village of Bear Lake there are 4 new candidates for office – Click here to meet them webversion


A while back we posted photos about how NOT to leave garbage and recycling at the Bear Lake station (located next to the Township Hall)

Here is a reminder about what you can recycle. Feel free to download and print for your future reference? And please remember this is a public service – let’s all do our part to keep it clean and make this work for everyone!


The new film is part of the AT&T’s It Can Wait® campaign to help drive awareness of the dangers of texting while driving, encourage people to pledge not to text and drive, and enable those who have made a personal commitment to influence others.

Every story in the film is punctuated by a narrator pointing out that the shattering losses could have been avoided by simply never picking up the phone.

“I have learned that to be a valuable member of society you have to give back more than you take,” says one driver whose texting resulted in two deaths. “I will never be able to give back more than the lives I took by texting and driving.”

IMG_0168Recently we posted a photo of abuse of the Bear Lake Township Recycling service.

You can find the full story listed here.

But the question is often asked – why bother to recycle anyway?

Take a look at this video – wouldn’t you rather see this than the floating acres of debris currently circling the middle of our oceans?

Originally posted on Michigan in Pictures:

Summer ... bye bye

Summer … bye bye, photo by Ken Scott

Probably the best thing I’ve heard about “Summer 2014″ being over is that it really wasn’t much of one anyway.

I hope everyone enjoys their last weekend of summer, and that we have a warm & long fall!

View Ken’s photo bigger, see more in his massive Sleeping Bear Dunes slideshow and definitely follow him on Facebook.

View original

It may be a blustery day but the Bear Lake Community Wide Yard Sales are off and running!

All proceeds donated to the Local Bear Lake Township Fire Department

EVENT CONTACT: Christa Lutz 231-233-7478

Race Location:   Bear Lake Softball Fields

Entry Donation: Click here to Download  2014 Registration for Nancy’s Walk-Run  Pre-Registration (by August 11, 2014) $15.00 includes a T-Shirt.

Race Day Registration $20.00 includes a T-Shirt while supplies last. Registration is 8:45-9:30 am. Send registrations to: Christa Lutz 8328 Eight Mile Rd Kaleva, MI 49645

Awards:  Have fun and enjoy the event!!!

Course Description:  5k part dirt road & part school forest trail. The 1 mile is school forest trail.

Amenities:   Water station at ½ way point during the 5k and after the race refreshments and small snack. Bake sale and Silent Auction!!!

Parking:   On the road, by the softball and baseball fields.

Walk:   The walk will start at 10 am and following will be the 5k around 10:15.

And remember last year?

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