In dark debate rooms, chilling council meetings and zippy zoning discussions, a group of five sit above the rest – papers shuffling, microphones abuzzing and something that knowingly or unknowingly has changed the feeling of the room, an issue has cast a looming shadow over the approaching November 5 election.
CHARACTER – First, you have Brugger – a man known for jeans, a dress shirt, slicked-back hair, and perhaps the ability to talk to anyone.
WHAT MAKES GRAND HAVEN GRAND HAVEN – “We need to embrace what is great about being a tourist town, but we have to make Grand Haven great for the locals who live here.”
THOUGHTS – “I want teenagers to see a Grand Haven that welcomes them back with opportunity. I mean jobs, a vibrant community, and the ability to call Grand Haven home.”
HOW – “I believe that we need to work to make housing more affordable in the City such that those who work here can live here.”
SUMMARY – Brugger is the more progressive of the two candidates in the mayoral election, offering solutions that would impact teenagers by easily accessible housing and jobs.
CHARACTER – On the other side of the aisle, you see Monetza, with gray hair, thick-brimmed glasses, a thing for science and usually wearing a dress shirt. The two are perhaps polar opposites – yet both will be seen on the ballot for mayor in November.
WHAT MAKES GRAND HAVEN GRAND HAVEN – “We have to make sure this is an inviting place and a dynamic place. So we’re polite to hang on to some things, some things that are really important little pieces. You know, maybe those few really historic artifact type buildings, like hanging onto some are natural areas, some of the places where you can go and be in an environment or natural environments.”
THOUGHTS – “There’s no such thing as status quo as time goes on. Things change. It’s inevitable.”
HOW – “What you need is a dynamic balance, you need a way to have things in the city that change and evolve.”
SUMMARY – While Monetza stands besides Brugger on most things in the city – like the future of the city – they seem to differ in perspective. Monetza, a man of science, views the purpose of city council entirely to do what the constituents ask.
This issue is about the heart and soul of Grand Haven itself, whether or not the city will expand further into a city to rival Holland or to continue the status quo of a tropical Grand Haven for tourists in the spring or summer.