Cassopolis names Bass ParkPublished 5:18pm Sunday, April 15, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — At a special noon meeting Friday, Cassopolis Village Council voted 6-0 to name the park at 118 West State St. “Ronald Bass Memorial Park.”
Bass, 50, died suddenly of natural causes after the April 9 council meeting.
Bass provided 21 years of service to Cassopolis, most recently as Department of Public Works superintendent.
According to the dedication resolution council adopted, “on behalf of the Village of Cassopolis, (we) recognize the dedication, devotion and fortitude Ron showed in providing service to the village, community and school system … we embrace Ronald’s family to show our support and love. In the loss of our beloved DPW superintendent, we will forever have a memory that will be with us for the rest of our lives. Though we cannot replace Ron, we will continue to show our love and respect for him” by naming the park at the northeast corner of Disbrow and State streets a block west of the 1899 courthouse where Virginia Hardy’s Oven bakery had been.
“Ronald Bass Memorial Park will be a place of peace and serenity and a place of solace for healing of our community due to our great loss of such a wonderful human being. Further, in a show of continued support, respect and mourning that the village will display a prominent photo of Ronald in the rear of the council chambers for 60 days to remember our fallen DPW superintendent.”
Some sort of bench and memorial marker will be placed in the park. The rest of the meeting clarified how his void will be filled.
Village Manager Meg Cluckey said Cassopolis Code Sec. 2-83, subsection three, gives her authority to oversee operations, supervision and direction of staff in all departments, including the police department, DPW and fire department.
The police chief, street commissioner and fire chief “shall be subject to the direction of the village manager,” it states.
“I will be spending time in the field with” DPW employees, Cluckey said, “and reassigning my time to take up the various responsibilities Ron was doing. The guys know what needs to be done and when. I respect that. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need oversight, direction or a central point of contact with authority. One advantage I have that you probably don’t all know is that coming from the engineering department in Grand Rapids, I’ve been in holes with broken water mains 18 feet down in January. This isn’t a control move, this is me letting them know this could be a bumpy road, but we’re going to get through this together.”
Cluckey also said the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) allowed a few weeks “grace” to obtain quotes from Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Bass’s predecessor, Dan Bates, for licensed testing and to find an OIC (officer in charge) to check wells twice a week and is on call 24/seven. “As long as they know that’s the direction we’re moving, they’re fine with that,” she said.