“What price is acceptable to the trade-offs that can come with grants and funding?”
Meeting date July 25, 2023
Public comment by Christi M.
Photography by Simply American
Ottawa County Board of Commissioners Meeting
I’m here to voice my continuing support for the Ottawa Impact commissioners who stepped forward to provide new leadership after they saw the need created by actions of the prior board.
The media, along with some groups and individuals, continue to try to create a perception that the old board members were working for the benefit of the community and the children, while stating that the new board members are failing to do so. This is a very false narrative with a limited view of the facts and the truth.
During the pandemic, the prior board rushed to the finish line to spend millions and millions of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds. In addition, shortly after the primary election, when some of the old board members were voted out and it was evident that the balance of power was being threatened, they voted to give every single Ottawa County employee a lump sum inflationary impact payout, with $5.000 for full time employees and $1,000 for part time employees.
This was regardless of how long each employee worked for the county and certainly wasn’t consistent with what the general public was experiencing in the community. Even the prior commissioners themselves were able to obtain a payout. These payouts had a total price tag of over $5 million. The ARPA funds that were spent totaled over $56 million.
Were these funds used for the best [interest] of the people of Ottawa County? What strings were attached to these funds? What negative impacts are still being uncovered as time goes on?
Pivot to recent arguments by antagonizers and media that the new commissioners don’t care about children, and that they recently hurt the parents of disabled children by turning down a grant of $10,000 to make the public health building more accessible with sensory friendly clinical care.
These funds were tied to a contract with Wayne State University and the commissioners realized that buried way in the back of a very large packet of grant details were data collection requirements.
How would that info be used? Who would be using the information and why would Wayne State need it? How would that protect the best interest of any child when data mining is a treasure trove for those who use those details to monitor and track children in a word full of evil intent?
Furthermore, what funds were available in the budget of that department to cover $10,000 in improvements or, if not any, what other sources were researched that didn’t have such strings attached prior to submitting the Wayne State grant request?
What price is acceptable to the trade-offs that can come with grants and funding if the leadership is not thorough and taking account of potential ramifications in their decision-making?
I’m thankful for the insight of the Ottawa Impact leaders in weighing long-term implications over short-term gains. I’m thankful to have them leading the way in Ottawa County where the protection of children is a key component of decision-making, and they also stand for constitutional rights.
I stand with them, and I stand with Lucy who is being attached with a partisan recall petition.
Continue to stand courageously for what is right and remember that Jesus is Lord over Ottawa County!
The opinions expressed within this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the positions and beliefs of Simply American or its affiliates.