HIGHLIGHTS + OTTAWA COUNTY
Meeting highlights—Zylstra adds to the agenda, special meeting request moves Health Director hearing, Nate Kelly’s paperwork has been submitted
Published October 11, 2023
Written by Adams
Photography by Simply American
Commissioner Doug Zylstra motioned for a special meeting to remove Interim Health Director Adeline Hambley, then voted no on the special meeting.
Ottawa County Board of Commissioners
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Before the agenda could be approved by the Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Doug Zylstra moved to add to the agenda.
• Zylstra made a “request for a special meeting for the purposes of potential removal of the current Administrative Health Officer”
• Zylstra referenced MCL 46.10 for his motion, stating that a request for a special meeting needed to come from at least one third of the commissioners
• Corporate Counsel Jack Jordan reminded Zylstra that the Board rules have not changed. Zylstra admitted they [the previous Board] may have made mistakes in the past with special meetings.
• According to Board Rule 4.4, the Chair can call a special meeting
• The Board took a recess to ensure that the proper process was being followed
• Upon return from the recess, Jordan thanked Zylstra for his diligence, adding that he recommended the Board follow MCL 46.10
• With no proof to support his claim, Commissioner Roger Bergman implied that his fellow commissioners broke the Open Meetings Act during the break, but Commissioners Allison Miedema and Rebekah Curran confirmed they were never part of a quorum during the recess
• Zylstra’s motion to add a “special meeting request” to the agenda passed unanimously
The original Board packet had no agenda items until Zylstra added a “special meeting request.” When the Board passed Zylstra’s motion—making the request into an agenda action item—Vice Chair Sylvia Rhodea made a motion for a “special meeting.”
• Rhodea moved to “request a special meeting on Monday, October 23, 2023, at 8:00am to hold a hearing to consider the removal of the Health Officer”
• Rhodea’s request would move the previous hearing that was to be held on October 19, 2023, at 8:00am to October 23, 2023, at 8:00am
• By following MCL 46.10, there must be 10 days from the call of a special meeting to the actual time of the meeting
• Zylstra stated that after adding the special meeting to the agenda, he was “not in support of a special meeting”
• The motion passed 7–3, with Commissioners Roger Bergman, Jacob Bonnema and Zylstra opposed to the special meeting. Commissioner Gretchen Cosby was absent from the meeting.
During Administrator John Gibbs’ update, Zylstra questioned whether it was true that Nate Kelly’s credential paperwork had been submitted to MDHHS.
• Gibbs confirmed that the paperwork had been submitted to the State
• Zystra feigned confusion with Gibbs’ reply and asked if the Board will need to vote again on whether to hire Mr. Kelly
• Gibbs reminded Zylstra that that is the process. The Board must vote on the matter after the State of Michigan has approved the paperwork—a step that was neglected when the prior Board attempted to appoint Adeline Hambley.
The Ottawa County Board took the matter seriously by double checking the laws and following them to the letter.