Dorr Trustee Tuinstra’s bad govt. gift keeps on giving

ACHTUNG: The following is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

“Next time, Hubert, ever the gentleman, offers his seat to a woman in a public lavatory… There is considerable misunderstanding.” — Vivian Stanshall, “Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.”

Though I’ve been accused by mine enemies of letting Dorr Township Trustee John Tuinstra live inside my head, I just can’t pass up yet another example of his manufacturing controversy where it doesn’t exist and promoting autocratic government. He is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes bad government and bad boardsmanship.

He was in fine form again Thursday night at an otherwise routine Township Board meeting. But just before the appointment of Lee Bernal to a vacant Parks Commission was confirmed, Tuinstra just had to grill the newcomer with nonsensical questions.

He asked Bernal whether he was a Democrat or a Republican for a post that does not require any party affiliation. Positions that are appointed rather than elected, such as Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Library Board, are supposed to be non-partisan. It’s hard for me believe Tuinstra was unaware.

Yet he oozed skepticism when Bernal told him he was neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He appeared to be disappointed, seeking governmental purity, a one-party township in every position, even when irrelevant.

But things went from bad to worse.

Tuinstra asked Bernal about the facility in South Park that likely will be torn down and questioned him if he favored gender neutral bathrooms as opposed separating them for males and females. He further asserted the City of Wayland has had headaches over installing “family” restrooms and caving in to the interests of LGBTQ and transgender interests.

John Tuinstra

Except for a brief stupid debate of the issue at a car show several years ago in the City Park, I know of no problems. In fact, as a frequent user of the Rabbit River Trail with my dog, I have welcomed the two family outhouse bathrooms when walking the trail with an old fishing buddy. When both of us had to use the facility, we didn’t have to wait for the other to finish. We each used one of the two bathrooms at the same time.

Therefore, instituting “family” restrooms for me is simply doubling their availability for public use.

One member of the Parks Commission told me that when she has to use a rest room at a gas station and the “women’s” facility is not only in use, but has a lineup, she simply enters the “men’s” bathroom and locks the door rather than wait and perhaps soil herself.

It’s common sense, not a political statement, that drives that choice.

But Tuinstra had to wax eloquent at a Township Board meeting about how he’s gravely worried about transgender people taking over the world.

And this same township government official has railed against appointing some people to local positions because of his steadfast defense of term limits while he is in the middle of his third four-year term on the board, at least 10 years.

Should he finally decide to term limit himself two years hence, I submit he’ll be doing Dorr Township a favor.

10 thoughts on “Dorr Trustee Tuinstra’s bad govt. gift keeps on giving”

  1. Editor Young:

    I, too, have taken it upon myself to use a men’s room when nature called too urgently and a men’s room was entirely vacant while women waited in line.
    It’s just plain ridiculous not to do so.
    When I have done this, women readily abandoned the line in favor of quicker bladder relief, followed me into no-woman’s land, and thanked me for taking the initiative they weren’t “brave enough” to do themselves. (What can I say? Age does have its privileges.)
    Some of us, it is true, have a greater sense of personal privacy where natural processes are concerned, and I don’t take issue with that. But gender-neutral restrooms make more sense in the greater scheme of things when nature comes a’callin’.

  2. Sadly, Tuinstra will never term limit himself.
    The huge question is… why did the rest of the board not put an end to the ridiculous grilling of the candidate? Is it possible they (the board) agreed with the questions, but were afraid to ask them? Has Tuinstra now become the Donald Trump of the Dorr Township Board… with his minions silently agreeing?
    How can the people we vote to lead our community be so ignorant, not knowing what a non-partisan position is? Do they not know the LGBTQ+ community has been and will continue to be an important part of the human race?
    As long as the public remains ignorant on worldly issues, they will continue to elect those with the same ignorance. Those with the mindset of Mr. Tuinstra will always be on some government body somewhere.

    1. Harry, I think some things are not well represented in this article. One, the Mayor or Supervisor is the chairman of a meeting such as this and thus can control the meeting. It does however require a leader to do so. Secondly, the parks position is a elected position with the candidate declaring a party or independent, I am guessing they had someone resign and the Board will appoint someone for the rest of the term. Take care.

      1. David
        Sorry, I do stand corrected on the Parks Commission.
        Yes, the Township Board is suppose to have a leader. It seems there is no one on the board that is willing to stop his foolishness.
        It will take a law suit against the township due to his inappropriate behavior to finally get things back to normal (whatever normal my be).

    2. Harry,

      IF……. Tuinstra is as Ignorant as you say………

      1- Vote him out……
      2- Run for office, I am sure you’re not ignorant……..

      Easy peasy…


      1. Mr.Wilkens
        Since Tuinstra has been on the ballot I never once voted for him.
        If I had the time and didn’t have a job I love working at, I would run for office. I missed the perfect opportunity this election. Ms (Rachelle) Smit is running and I could have saved some money on yard signs, since we know name recognition goes a long ways in an election.
        Mr Wilkens, you are correct I am not ignorant.
        I also know Mr. Tuinstra will never get voted out. Follow the numbers of the previous elections, you may discover he has a loyal following. No matter how absurd he may act in office by election time they all show up and vote for him.
        I may stand corrected… but I can not remember anything positive he has done for the township. He has wasted time, stalled township projects. This seems to be the type of representation many township residents want.
        Mr Wilkens, if you do a little research, you shall find nothing is “easy peasy” when it comes to local government.

  3. Really, more about him but nothing more about the criminal charges against the former Dorr Township elected offical. Boy, seems pretty damn one sided. I am guessing that must not fit the liberal agenda.

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