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Time for Readers Choice, a job well done, CCTC cutbacks

Time to sharpen those pencils, put on your thinking cap, and vote for your favorite person, place or thing in the area. In other words it’s time to crown another set of winners in the Clare County REVIEW’s annual BEST OF THE BEST Readers Choice Awards.

All you gotta do is check out the ballot on Page 2, and vote as many categories as you like (if you are one of the first 30 to vote all categories you will receive a gift certificate). By voting you help us reward and honor businesses and individuals who make Clare County special.

So if you’ve got a special liking for a local musician or attentive waitress, here’s your opportunity to give the recognition they deserve. The ballot will appear in the next four issues of The REVIEW, so you’ve got plenty of time to make your choices.

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Sadly we must say goodbye to Jennifer Heinzman, the very capable executive director at the Clare Chamber of Commerce. Jennifer held the top spot for five years, but recently was named the new executive director of the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce.

Although somewhat reluctant to leave her many friends in Clare, Jennifer will be running a chamber that encompasses all of Mecosta County, including Big Rapids. Her pay and benefits are substantially greater than what she had in Clare.

No doubt she will be missed. The Clare Chamber, in my opinion, is one of the most active small town chamber of commerces I have ever had the pleasure of being affiliated with. The myriad of programs, events and activities they sponsor will be part of Jennifer’s great legacy.

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The Clare County Transit Corporation has announced, in this week’s REVIEW, several changes for2012, and some of their customers are not going to like them. The biggest change will be the increased countywide fare from $2 to $3.

I suppose this 50% increase might cause hardship for some, but when you compare the fee to what other transit companies are charging it really is a bargain. Then too, the fares for senior citizens and children are far less.

Other service cutbacks, in my opinion, are more alarming. The CCTC will not be running on Sunday, and they are requesting customers schedule their rides 24-48 hours in advance.

I’m not sure this is practical for a lot of people. I’m thinking some people will know that far in advance, but there are others that would only know an hour or two ahead of time. Maybe for those late bookers, the CCTC could add a surcharge.

Whether in the public or private sector, cutbacks are second nature these days. No one can fault the CCTC for addressing their economic shortcomings. Let’s hope the reduction in services will not be a burden to too many customers