Baldwin trustee Steven Smith steps down

BALDWIN — Steven Smith, one of the village trustees of Baldwin, has announced he will step down from his position following a heart attack and the need to begin dialysis treatment.

He said he is leaving the Baldwin Village Council immediately and thanked all of Baldwin for the opportunity to serve his community.

"Since I was elected, I have had the pleasure of working with the other council members and I feel we have made real progress towards getting the village of Baldwin moving toward a brighter future," said Smith. "It has been my pleasure to serve you as a council member these past two years. I am a lifelong resident of this town and I believe its best years are yet to come."

Smith said he is able to look back on his time on the council with pride, having made positive changes such as reducing the cost of trash pickup and reducing most users' cost for water service. He credits both current village president Len Todd and former village president Jim Truxton with making sure the community is moving in the right direction.

As Smith steps down from his position, he leaves behind some words of advice for the community. He suggests Baldwin should be an incorporated city to cut down on property taxes and make Baldwin eligible for state and federal grant money. He also hopes more cooperation between the village council and the Downtown Development Authority will bring new businesses to the area.

"We need to create a vibrant downtown, park areas and industrial park, taking advantage of the privately owned and active Pere Marquette Railroad line. We also should make use of the Department of Natural Resources' managed recreation trail along the former railroad corridor which brings winter and summer visitors into the heart of our town," explained Smith. "We also need to show pride in what we have. Keeping our streets, sidewalks, parks and yards looking their best at all times is an easy way to show visitors we welcome them and hope they return."

Todd said Smith will be missed on the council.

"He was very valuable on the council," Todd said. "He was around here for a long time and knows the history of the community well. He was never afraid to state his opinion, which is something we need on the council. His stepping down is a great loss."

Smith said the best way to secure a bright future for the town is to encourage younger members of the community to become involved. Smith hopes whoever replaces him will be young, energetic and full of new ideas.

"Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will Baldwin change overnight, but by planning properly now and building on the strengths we have, we can take steps to avoid the steady decline which has hit small towns around us," remarked Smith. "The key to succeeding is everyone working together, from homeowners, renters, business people and other property owners, to the administration, staff and students of Baldwin Community Schools."