Contract with Ottawa—A promise to The People
Published March 14, 2023
Written by Madison
Photography by Simply American
Eight of the newly sworn in Ottawa County Commissioners signed the Contract with Ottawa. These include: Gretchen Cosby, Lucy Ebel, Jacob Bonnema, Joe Moss, Rebekah Curran, Sylvia Rhodea, Roger Belknap, and Allison Miedema.
Several citizens of Ottawa County have raised the question, “If these commissioners signed a contract, are they obligated to serve Ottawa Impact or The People of Ottawa County?”
If you haven’t read the Contract with Ottawa, you should. It’s clear, concise, and completely in-line with the United States Constitution. Had it been written in 12-point font, it would have been less than two pages.
The role of government is to protect the rights of The People. Our country’s Constitution and its amendments spell out many of our natural rights:
- Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly
- Right to bear arms
- Free from quartering soldiers
- Free from unreasonable search and seizures
- Right to due process, no double jeopardy, free from being a witness against oneself
- Right to a speedy trial, right to counsel
- Right to a jury trial
- Free from excessive bail, fines, and cruel and unusual punishment
- The Constitution cannot be used to deny rights
- Rights not spelled out are reserved for the states and The People
Contract with Ottawa—Not Ottawa Impact
The contract signed by the newly elected commissioners was not between each commissioner candidate and Ottawa Impact founder, Joe Moss. Nor was it a contract between the candidate and the organization, Ottawa Impact. It was a contract between the candidate and Ottawa, meaning The People of Ottawa County. The contract was a pledge to The People of Ottawa County that, should these candidates be elected, they would uphold the rights of The People.
According to Ottawa Impact’s website:
“In the spirit of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America, the Contract with Ottawa is a promise to The People of what candidates will stand for, and an invitation to The People to hold them accountable to specific actions in fulfilling their campaign promises.
The candidate’s word is glued to the document as evidence that they are not speaking empty promises.”
The contract spelled out “Governing Principles” which the candidates promised to restore:
- Limited government
- Individual responsibility
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of association
- Religious liberty
- Sanctity of life and conscience
- Due process
- Justice governed by grace, mercy, love, and compassion
- The right of parents to direct the care and upbringing of their children
Furthermore, the candidates promised to promote and protect liberty, honor all people equally, and use common sense.
Lastly, the contract addressed seven primary areas of concern which would be part of their public policy agenda should they be elected. This policy agenda included civil liberties, parental rights, transparency, removing GARE membership and divisive teachings, removing Planned Parenthood-aligned resources, changing the scheduled time for board meetings, and changing the rules of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.
With the establishment of this contract, the voters of Ottawa County had a clear understanding of what they could expect should these commissioner candidates be elected. By signing the Contract with Ottawa, the candidates plainly stated their governing principles, values, and the initial changes they intended to make to county policies. The contract resonated loudly with The People of Ottawa County and they responded by electing eight out of the nine contract signatories.
The Contract with Ottawa clearly aligns these candidates with the principles of freedom safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States of America. The newly elected Ottawa County Commissioners must be held accountable by their voters to prioritize personal liberty and limited government while serving the needs of the community.