This is the response to the Commissioners personal privilege by Commissioners Joe Stevens and Henry Wender at the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners regular Board meeting on December 10, 2012. (See approved minutes of 12-10-12).
He (Stevens) stated Gerald McCole had a voice of the people in The Daily News on December 3, 2012 and he would like to respond to what he said.
He stated McCole stated many times that the board has to have rules and by-laws and the research from MSU Legal, we do not have to have rules and by-laws.
Prosecutor Brule gave to the Board Act 156 of 1851 Sec 11 "The County Board may establish rules and regulations." He stated he talked about 911. Commissioner Stevens stated since 1999 we have spent $486,000 upgrading 911. He stated this is why we need the millage. Commissioner Stevens stated Mr. McCole is wondering why we are spending money on Crystal Lake and why it is Delta County.
He (Stevens) stated if we had not done that, he didn't know if the place would be open. He stated the core of the facility is the pool and it is very expensive. He stated when the YMCA said they wanted it; it was the best thing that could happen, because we did not have the money.
He stated they have done a fabulous job. He stated we did not kick out MSU, they actually are happy because they don't have the chlorine smell and the steps, and the YMCA is happy to have the space to expand their services and that is a win-win situation for both parties.
He stated he is speaking for himself, not for the board. He stated he respects Mr. McCole for stating his opinions and just wanted to explain some things.
Commissioner Wender stated the Road Commission is not a three member board it is a five member board and we do not tell them how to spend their money.
He stated they are on their own and do well without our help. He stated he is sick and tired of the letters and letters to the attorney general. He also stated (not in the minutes) that they should have heard from the attorney general by now.
First Commissioner Joe Stevens. Everything I have printed is based on the facts and law and is not my opinion. Daily News Editor Blaine Hyska refuses to print anything I ask to be printed unless it is backed up by known facts or law.
I have many letters he has refused to print because they were my opinion and didn't fit the law exactly. Much unnecessary millage probably would not have passed if Editor Hyska would have printed my letters.
As to the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners by-laws, rules, guidelines and all other necessary to operate a county government. I do not believe I stated many times that the board had to have rules and by-laws. I stated that the Board of Commissioners had to obey the laws of the state of Michigan the same as the County Boards of the other 82 counties in Michigan and all cities and townships in Dickinson County. One of those laws and the most important is Michigan Compiled Law 46.11 which covers government by-laws, rules, and guidelines.
As for MSU Legal and Prosecutor Brule giving their opinions, they apparently are representing the commissioners as legal counsel and not the citizens of Dickinson County.
As for the $486,000 upgrading 911, this is probably a low figure when talking about the 9-1-1 Central Dispatch and this and much more was probably wasted because the board did not have any plans in 1999 and still do not except tax and spend.
We don't need the millage. We need people with a vision for the future to straighten out this mess.
As for Crystal Lake and Delta County and the swimming pool; this pool was obsolete years ago and should have been filled in as most other pools this size this old were. This board's way of thinking would have us still patching up our old hospital. This board put thousands, if not millions of taxpayers dollars into this Crystal Lake Center.
It should have been made into rental units (and still can) like the rest of the building. The hundreds of thousands of rental income could be used for the Dickinson County parks and lakes so all of the Dickinson County citizens can use them. We have to stop our Board of Commissioners and State Senator Casperson and Representative McBroom from giving this valuable Dickinson County taxpayer property to Delta County.
The MSU situation is another problem the board will not face. Their solution for the future is to get rid of the 4H program. Again, no plans for the future.
Next Commissioner Henry Wender. You are wrong. The Road Commission was a three man board at the time I was referring to and you and the board appointed all of the three, including your nephew.
The letters to the attorney general will continue. As far as not hearing from the attorney general, Mr. Wender, you of all people should know the Michigan attorney general does not work fast.
We still have not heard from him as to the legal status of the election for the Bay College millage of one mill for 20 years. Nothing is changed. No guidelines. No rules. No by-laws. No plans for the future. Vote no on the E-911.