County Board holds organizational meeting
By Ken DeLaat
The Newaygo County Board of Commissioners began the second year of the current term for the seven elected officials who oversee our county government.
Wednesday, January 3rd they held their annual organizational meeting and the new year began with a bit of a kerfuffle when a change in the rules included commissioners being given 72 hour advance notice of any motion brought forth to the board meetings.
Commissioner Vern Willett expressed his displeasure with the change stating he felt the amendment was directed at him since he was generally the only one to make motions during board meetings.
Commissioner Chris Ortwein replied that though the change was not directed at Mr. Willett he was influenced by Mr. Willett’s tendency to make spontaneous motions while feeling he and other commissioners needed time to research and be prepared for such action.
Mr. Willett reiterated that he was being singled out by Mr. Ortwein and offered that without changing the rules motions brought forward can be sent to committee.
With no further discussion the by-laws including the change were passed 6-1 with Mr. Willett casting the lone dissenting vote.
There exists some discretion in the change as the Board Chair can waive the rule should a situation arise requiring a speedier decision.
Commissioner Jim Maike was unanimously elected to continue as Vice Chair the coming year while Pat Gardner will continue as Chair having been elected to a two year term last year.