(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).

The Board 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."

The 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 in place."

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.

In 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.

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