(Tuesday - January 26, 2021) - In a display of
raw politics, the Republican controlled Dickinson County Board of
Commissioners on Monday took on both Michigan's Democratic Governor and
President Joe Biden. The meeting almost immediately took on appearance
of a political rally, over the objections of the only Democrat on the
Board, Commissioner John P. Degenaer, Jr. (D-Dist 5).
adopted, along party lines, a resolution named "Dickinson County
Resolution in Support of Businesses and Organizations in Dickinson
County," a resolution which reads more like a political manifesto.
The resolution (a full copy is shown below), was adopted despite
concerns expressed by County Sheriff Scott Rutter, who told the Board he
was concerned that their action might be misinterpreted by some, as a
license to violate the State lockdown restrictions. He pointed out that
the Board has no control over the actions of the State Health Department
where enforcement is concerned, and that the cities may have their own
enforcement mechanisms, which are again, beyond the jurisdiction of the
Board of Commissioners.
Boad members argued in the resolution
that they are opposed to the "thwarting of personal freedoms without
sufficient regard for ongoing and potentially irreparable economic,
emotional, educational and other societal impacts."
resolution goes on to say, "Dickinson County Commission shall support no
endeavor financially or through ordinance that will in any way single
out, harm or discriminate against any business owner who operates their
establishment with proper sanitizing, PPE and social distancing measures
The resolution would appear to serve little if any
purpose, since it does not carry the power of law. The motion calls for
copies of the resolution to be sent to all 83 Michigan counties, and to
elected Senators and members of the State House and Congress.
another action, Commissioner Joe Stevens (R-Dist 1) asked the Board to
consider a letter to Michigan's two Senators, and other officials,
calling for the immediate reopening of the Keystone Pipeline. Since no
formal document was available, the matter was held over until Stevens
has an opportunity to draft the letter. It will likely be presented at
the Board's next meeting in February.
The Board did actually
conduct some real business at the meeting, approving the appointment of
Paul Bujold and Alyssa Hartwig to the Dickinson County Healthcare System
Board of Trustees. Bujold and Hartwig replace former trustees Jeff
Campbell and David Brisson, both of whom decided not to seek
reappointment to their expiring terms.