Facilities: The Jail (again)

To the Antrim County Board of Commissioners: DO YOUR JOB.

Antrim County needs a new jail. Full stop.

The Sheriff has told the Board that a new jail is needed. The people that work there know how bad it is. Anybody who has ever been in there is well aware that it is not a good situation.

The building is 70 years old.

The building is unsafe for the officers that work there. There are door locks that don’t work correctly. That is a BIG problem in a freaking jail. There are blind spots that are potential hazards for officers. There are places that inmates cannot be observed by officers, which is nuts.

The building is unsafe for inmates. The roof leaks so bad that parts of the jail flood on a regular basis. The plumbing is a complete mess. Toilets back up and flood areas with sewage all the time. Blind spots are not unsafe for only officers. They are also unsafe for the inmates. A large portion of inmates are dealing with substance abuse issues. There is a potential for a medical emergency in an unobserved area.

So, why not just fix the plumbing? Because the plumbing is built into the concrete that the building rests on. It would basically require tearing the jail down.

The Board knows all about this. They have heard it for years. At an October 20th meeting, the Board of Commissioners once again discussed these problems. This time, they heard about it from the employees that work in the law enforcement facilities. Public comment was offered by patrol deputies, corrections officers, and dispatch personnel. They all told stories of losing employees due to the dilapidated facilities, working in a sewage-filled area, and other significant safety concerns.

One deputy told a story about returning to the annex facility to find it filled with smoke due to an electrical fire. The annex building is really terrible. It looks like a wonderful place to buy meth. The deputy requested the fire department to come and deal with the electrical fire. ARRRG would recommend that any future fires at the annex be left alone to do their work. Burn that place to the ground. The county would be better off.

The Board heard from these public safety heroes, and then promptly let them know that they didn’t care one lick.

Karen Bargy proposed a resolution to set aside $2 million dollars to start the process for jail improvements. This was not a proposal to build a new jail. This was a proposal to just set aside funding for future planning and facilities projects requires for a solution to the jail problem.

Let’s go through all the stupid responses to this reasonable proposal.

Politician Jarris Rubingh castigated the Sheriff for not bringing this matter to his township board meetings. He told the Sheriff that he has to take this “to the people” for approval. Apparently he thinks that “the people” go to township board meetings.

Rubingh then threatened a hiring freeze if this proposal was approved, which is completely unfounded. The County is financially able to maintain staffing and take care of facilities. He then looked at the assembled officers and threatened that they might not get a pay increase next year. He is, of course, completely clueless how wages are governed. Each law enforcement union agreed to a contract this year that lasts three years and has pay increases stipulated in the contract.

Politician Jarris Rubingh literally does not know how contracts work!

He then stated that every tax payer deserves to have a say in this matter. He claimed that this proposal would require an additional mill in property taxes. No it wouldn’t. The County already has the money. This guy is ignorant.

Politician Jarris Rubingh literally does not know how budgets work!

Rubingh’s claim that such a large expenditure required a vote of the people was answered by Bargy. She pointed out that when the County building needed a facelift, the Board approved $3 Million in a ten minute meeting!

Several commissioners parroted eachother in saying the same thing over and over: where’s the plan? They refused to move forward at all, unless there is a plan. We need a plan. Where’s the plan?

Yo, dummies: THAT IS YOUR JOB.

DO

YOUR

JOB

Jason Helwig told the officers that they made a good sales pitch, but this has to be voted on by “the people”. A reminder that this is the same Jason Helwig that voted to spend $3 Million to fix the county building, and never once mentioned taking it to the people.

Rubingh: Where’s the plan?

Helwig: We need a plan.

Watrous: What’s the plan?

VanAlstine: We have no plan.

THAT IS YOUR JOB

DO

YOUR

JOB

These knuckleheads are so uneducated about all this. The county has already developed several plans. This happened with a lot of public input a decade ago. You can find it here. This plan was redeveloped by Byce and associates in 2019.

Watrous wanted to know where we would even put a new jail.

We have already been over this many times. The Board determined to keep the new jail in the same spot years ago. This was due to the proximity to the Courthouse. How do we know this and Watrous does not?

In a back and forth, Bargy explained to Watrous that this was an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is. Either we are taking this problem seriously or we are not. Watrous informed Bargy that she sounded like Nancy Pelosi. Helpful.

Lavanway informed the officers how much she appreciates them, and she guaranteed them that this would be taken care of in her time on the board. She then proceeded to vote against the proposal.

Lavanway is on the Capital Improvement Planning Committee. That is the same committee that refused to put the jail on their long term facilities plan. So, this little promise is (to use the technical term) bullshit.

There is only one thing that is keeping the County from addressing this problem: the Board of Commissioners. The Board has been purposefully avoiding this issue.

But, where is the plan?

The County has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on developing plans. Architects, consultants, and expensive attorneys have already been paid and they have submitted plans. The Board has just avoided looking at the plans and avoided selecting a path forward.

In the end Helwig, Bargy, and Marcus were the only members to vote for the measure. The Board voted the proposal down because the plan that they are responsible for developing was never developed. Good lord!

The incompetence of this Board is offensive. What a farce!

Dumb Intersections

Not a whole lot going on right now. So, how about a list? The internet loves lists. The ultimate click bait!

“Top ten ghost towns in Michigan.”

“5 things about Miley Cyrus you need to know right now.”

“Four signs that your son is pregnant.”

Clickbait!

So, here we go with our own list. Top 3 dumbest intersections in Antrim County:

3. Marion Center / Atwood Rd

This intersection is so dumb. First of all, why is it a three-way stop? Why not give Marion Center Rd a dedicated turn lane both eastbound and westbound?

There are hundreds of cars that use Atwood Rd to get between Ellsworth and US 31, and there are hundreds of cars that use Marion Center Rd to get between Ellsworth and Charlevoix. There are very few cars that use that intersection to turn on to Eaton Rd.

That’s right; there is a third road name at this intersection – Eaton Rd. Eaton Rd is the road that runs south of the intersection. Why does that road have a different name? Why isn’t that road called the same thing on both sides? Dumb.

Speaking of dumb names, what is a Marion Center? Is that road named after the abdominal area of a person named Marion? Perhaps there is an institution headquartered in the Ellsworth/Charlevoix area named Marion? As in: The Marion Center for Breezeway Awareness.

What the hell is the “Breezeway”? There is a series of roads between Atwood and Boyne Falls with signs reminding drivers that they are on “The Breezeway”. The Breezeway even has a website:

What is it?

Reading through the website, we still have no clue what the Breezeway is. But, whatever it is, you probably don’t want a dumb, stupid stop interrupting it for no reason. A better intersection would be, um… breezier?

2. Alba Hwy / US 131

This intersection was clearly designed for one purpose: to kill as many people as possible.

If traveling North or South on US 131, hanging a left hand turn at that intersection is a scary thing. But, it is nowhere near as frightening as attempting to Continue on Alba Hwy East or West bound, across 131.

The intersection is a strange angle. US 131 actually is not running South to North; it is oriented SW to NE. So, Alba Hwy intersects with 131 at an acute angle.

The Eastbound traffic, for example, has to pull up to the intersection facing almost south, in order to proceed east. It is hairbrained!

There is so much traffic in multiple lanes, that it is difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. And, since it is Alba, there are always wacky wild cards!

  • A group of 20 leather-shod bikers pulling out of the Green Lantern.
  • Drunk snowmobilers trying to make it to their fifth bar of the day.
  • Locals riding their lawn mowers side by side down the road (we’ve seen it).

Clearly many drivers just decide to gun it across the intersection -Frogger style. This is clear due to the number of bad accidents at this intersection.

It’s a death trap! And dumb.

1. Cayuga / Bridge St

Are tourists trying to normalize unnecessary yielding? This intersection is so awful that it is a source of entertainment.

For those not familiar with street names, this intersection is in downtown Bellaire where M-88 turns to the North. The Corner Bistro sits at this turn.

M-88 traffic has the right of way. If you are on N Bridge St turning on to E Cayuga, you don’t have to stop. If you are on E Cayuga turning on to N Bridge St, you don’t have to stop. Yet, all Summer long, we watch the tourists at this intersection, sitting at a stand still pondering what to do. This, while multiple locals are honking horns or yelling at the poor, confused idiots.

One of our shipmates witnessed a Sheriff’s deputy actually get out of his cruiser, and order a car to proceed through the intersection. It was like the opposite of a traffic stop. A cop had to tell this person to go. If the deputy had not done this, who knows how long the moron would have sat there perplexed?

Locals use this intersection to discern time. We can tell the time of year, not by weather, or calendars. Instead, we use the flow of traffic through this intersection. If it is all jammed up, it is July. If it is flowing smoothly, it is either November or April.

The next time you are in Bellaire looking for entertainment, grab a bite at the Corner Bistro patio. There, you can watch us honk and yell at the dimwit from Illinois who can’t follow basic traffic laws.


Do you have a nominee for a terrible intersection? Do you know what a “Breezeway” is? Comment below!

Barnes Park

The Parks Department has been busy developing plans to expand and improve Barnes Park. Anyone who has ever been to the park knows that it is a beautiful lakeshore, with wonderful walking trails. The only blemish on the park is the people that camp there.

All summer, the park is packed with downstaters. They drive 90 miles per hour everywhere. They drink White Claws like they are going out of style. They are loud, they create tons of trash, and they all play the same stupid Kid Rock song over and over. You know the one. It sounds like “Werewolves of London,” but the lyrics are about getting stoned and drunk, and having sex by a lake.

Kid Rock embodies the people that camp at Barnes Park. Here are the actual names of some of his other masterpieces:

Song Titles by RJ Ritchie:

Drinkin Beer with Dad

Wax the Booty

Killing Brain Cells

Pimp of the Nation

Krack Rocks

Born 2 B a Hick

That last one is awesome. The lyrics are about how he hunted squirrels, toted a shotgun, and drove around John Deere tractors. In the song, his mom abandoned him, and trucker dad took him out on the lonely roads.

It is all bullshit.

Kid rock grew up wealthy in Romeo. Dad owned a bunch of car dealerships. He grew up in this house –

Anyway, we hate that song. Playing it loud in your Duramax pick up truck, pulling an RV into Barnes, does not make anyone like that song more.

A crowd of people gathered at the last Board meeting to protest park expansion. They were all residents that live around Barnes Park. The last thing any of them want is MORE Barnes Park. A half hour of opposition to park expansion made up the entirety of public comment. One of the commenters actually called on the Board to fire the Parks Director, who was there in the room!

If it were us, we would have brought in a sound system, and played that stupid song for a half hour on loop. Then, simply plead with the Board members, “Please don’t make us listen to MORE of this.”

The first thing that the Parks Department asked for was money to purchase new playground equipment for the park.

Politician Jarris Rubingh objected for a very good reason – himself.

“When I take my kids to Barnes Park,” he said “it is not for the playground.” He went on to say that he and his kids walk the beach at skip stones. They do not go to the playground. If the Politician’s kids want to play on a nice playground, they go into Ellsworth and play there.

Obviously, if Jarris and his kids don’t use the playground equipment, then nobody should. Duh.

Bargy pointed out that this was already a part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). She stated that they have been planning on replacing the playground for years, and have budgeted for it.

Lavanway always plays to the crowd that shows up for meetings. She stated that they should not be replacing park equipment due to budget shortfalls in other areas. She said this despite the fact that she is on the same CIP committee that pushed for replacing the equipment. This was a part of her plan.

Ridiculous.

Dawn Lavanway’s decision making is summed up like this: any way the wind blows.

Before the crowd attempted to tar and feather the hated Parks Director, he explained that there are pieces of equipment that are over 20 years old and some may have safety issues. Safety, he explained, is a no-brainer. People from the crowd actively called out objections to playground expansion, and were generally hostile to slides, swings, and fun of any kind.

The Board approved the playground renovation. Rubingh and Lavanway were the only anti-fun votes. The yet to be fired Parks Director thanked them and boogied out of the room fully intact.

When it came to an overall expansion of the park, the Chairman postponed the agenda item until zoning issues with the township can be taken care of.

The Park is full most of the Summer. There is a market adding campsites, which would generate more revenue for the Parks department. That revenue can be reinvested for even better recreational improvements. Some of the camp sites do not meet state standards. They need to be improved. The Board previously approved this. So, now that a crowd shows up, it is all of a sudden a problem?

Barnes Park is great. Its occupants are not great. However, the down-state visitors bring more than their RVs, endless White Claws, and bad music. They bring money. That money is good for area businesses that depend on tourism.

Just think: the Eastport Market could sell even more White Claws!

The Politician was right about one thing. Barnes Park is a great place to walk the beach and skip stones. This time of year is not too bad for tourists. So, check it out. On your way out, let the kids go down the slide a few times, or swing through an underdog. The playground is not great, but it works for the kiddos.

Let’s maintain the park. Let’s spend the money. And, let’s get used to the terrible compositions of one R.J. Ritchie.

Commissioner Meeting September 22

Politician Jarris Rubingh got to hold the gavel at the September 1st meeting. Chairman VanAlstine was gone and Rubingh filled in as Chairman.

JAIL FOOD

Richard Friske gave public comment. He complained about the county trying to hire a full time person to serve food to the jail birds. Friske objected to the out of control expansion of government. “We have to find ways to shrink the government,” Friske intoned.

Who does he expect to feed the people who are in jail?

Friske wanted to know what sort of gourmet food is being fed to the jail birds. How much does this cost the hard working tax payers?

The Sheriff explained that it is currently impossible in the employment environment, to fill the position as part time. He explained that the current food service manager has to feed the jail birds three meals a day, seven days a week, because he can’t find help. He doesn’t get a day off, and he is getting burned out.

Jail birds have to eat, and the Sheriff’s office has to feed them. The Sheriff explained that the jail has to be Safe Serve certified, it has to meet standards, and offer specialty meals for jail birds with special needs. The jail is able to do this for about $2.80 per meal.

A two dollar jail meal? That sounds worse than the slop we get in the galley of the SS ARRRG.

These arguments about shrinking government are so dumb. How do you get cheaper than two bucks a meal?

Dawn Lavanway piped up. She stated that the jail’s food expenses are too much. She also claims that her constituents are coming to her complaining about how good the food is at the jail.

Did she not hear that the average meal costs two bucks? Do her constituents want to eat a $2 jail meal?

You know what? They might.

Fake Chairman Politician Jarris Rubingh told the Sheriff that he should ask around to other law enforcement agencies and see what they do. The Sheriff retorted “I think I have the intelligence to do that.” This was followed by an awkward silence.

LOL!

Rubingh and Lavanway opposed the motion and voted against it. Everybody else approved, and it passed. They apparently believe that the food service person in the jail should never have a day off, and that $2 a meal is too much. Either that or they think that inmates don’t need to eat. But, it was approved.

Great! Now watch what will happen. People all over Lavanway’s district will be committing crimes in a desperate attempt to get into jail, and enjoy the delicious jail food.

DAWN DEMANDS A PLAN

A letter supporting a company’s effort to lay fiber in the area was discussed. Dawn Lavanway objected to it. She objected because she felt that the County did not have an actual plan for providing broadband.

Now, she wants a plan?

This is the same person that opposed planning for facilities. This is the same person that presented a ridiculous, short sighted Capital Improvement Plan. Now, she is insisting on an exhaustive plan for broadband provision?

She also accused the Deputy Administrator of broadband mapping that excludes parts of her area. The Deputy tried to explain to her that the areas that she references are served by TrueStream and already have access to broadband, or there was some other reason for exclusion. It was not an attempt to keep her people off the interwebz. She didn’t listen, and burst through to her next silly talking point.

Christian Marcus tried to get a word in edgewise, but Lavanway (who had been going on and on for ten minutes) appealed to the Fake Chairman that she was not done.

Lavanway then proclaimed that she had spoken to two of the people listed on the letter, and they are unaware of anything to do with this. ARRRG read the proposed letter. There is only one person from Antrim County listed on the letter and that was Terry VanAlstine. Is she saying that she spoke to Terry about this? Why not just say that? What’s going on with these two?

BELLAIRE BLIND SPOT

Chairman Politician Rubingh showed further ignorance of Bellaire. Previously, Rubingh had objected to repairing the courthouse clock. Bellaire-area commissioners were aghast by his opposition. “It’s our clocktower!” exclaimed VanAlstine.
During the Sep. 1 meeting, Rubingh pronounced Richardi Park as “Rich Artee” Park. He definitely sounded like a tourist. He was corrected quickly as to the correct pronunciation (“Richard Eye”).

Come on, Politician Rubingh! You sound like you came up here from Chicago.

Jarris vs. Broadband

Politician Jarris Rubingh is notoriously bad with technology. He always needs help from staff in figuring out his ipad. He uses incorrect terminology, and is generally lost when it comes to using devices built in this current century. In July, he sent an allegedly illegal letter to constituents that appeared to be pecked out on a typewriter, and then mimeographed.

At the last Board meeting, Politician Jarris Rubingh made a tangential comment about ARPA fund usage. A commissioner had warned that if ARPA funds are used to repair the County Building, there would not be enough to use for a broadband expansion project.

That’s perfectly fine with Politician Jarris Rubingh!

He chimed in with a hot take: Antrim County should not have anything to do with getting people internet. He continued that he thought that it should all be left to private telecoms, and the county should stay out of it.

At that point, he claimed that he had spoken with many constituents who wanted Antrim to stay out of broadband expansion.

Who is he talking to? His cows? By the way, did you know that Politician Jarris Rubingh is a farmer? It’s not like he mentions it every five minutes.

What kind of a jerk would advocate for LESS access to the internet?

His statement that this should all be left to telecoms is ridiculous. Does he expect Frontier Communications to make a massive investment in fiberoptics? They went bankrupt for doubling down and investing in the old school telecom model. The other carrier is AT&T. They have shown no interest in offering expanded coverage.

On the other hand, Spectrum did receive a lot of grant money from the federal government to expand rural access to high speed internet. They have projects in other rural areas of the state. So, maybe?

In fact, the only company that has made a significant investment in this area is not a telecom at all. It is Great Lakes Energy. They have been investing heavily in providing service to current GLE customers. Their Truestream service offers up a lightning fast 1,000 megabites per second download speeds to some of the most rural areas of the county.

Wowee!

There are many parts of the County that need expanded high speed internet access. More people are working from home than ever. This is made possible by high speed internet allowing video conferences and instant communications across the globe. Businesses depend on fast connections and instant interactions to keep up with competition. Modern entertainment and social media interactions depend on high speed internet for streaming.

People in this county are sick of slow internet. Many people are forced to use their cell phone carrier to get any internet at all. Some use slow satellite service. We are not aware of anybody that would prefer to stick with 20 Mbps download speeds (standard speed for traditional carriers) when some county residents are rocking a full gig per second!

The county can help facilitate this. They can work with a vendor that will target areas needing coverage and find a way to make that financially viable for the vendor. We happen to think that is part of the County’s job. Politician Jarris Rubingh does not think so. In fact, he is adamantly opposed to the County doing anything of the sort.

He strides confidently forward in his crusade against decent internet. His confidence is bolstered by the knowledge that his cows are firmly behind him.

Festivals!

Bellaire is celebrating their annual Rubber Ducky Festival this weekend. For those that are not from the area, you may think that first sentence was a joke. It is not. Also, why are you reading this?

Yes, indeed. For 30 years Bellaire has been celebrating bathing toys. It is weird. But, hey; at least they bathe regularly. Not every part of the County does that… You know who we are talking about. Yeah, you know. Elmira.

Jokes!

Every year, Bellaire hosts music, flea markets, a parade, and awful karaoke. Last night a crew member was downtown Bellaire while some dude was trying (and failing) to sing Radiohead’s “Creep”. He said his ears had never been so poisoned. He returned to the boat, grabbed a knife, and stabbed himself to death. Rest in Peace.

The climactic event of the Festival is, of course, the Race. Hundreds of ducks are dumped into the river, off the bridge near Richardi Park. The mindless ducks float down the river and are collected at the next bridge near Riverside Marina.

Of course, the ducks have numbers that correspond with a donation made to the Chamber of Commerce. If a volunteer scoops your duck out of the water first, you win a prize. How fun!

In Northern Michigan, every town needs a festival for some reason. Ostensibly, these festivals are meant to attract tourists. As if we do not have enough tourists. That is why we appreciate Mancelona’s Bass Festival. That festival clearly repels tourists.

Jokes!

Some festivals are practically nameless. For instance, Alden just has “Days”. Allegedly, Alba also has a festival called “Alba Days”. As far as we can surmise, Alba Days is just a bunch of people driving their lawnmowers and tractors on Alba Highway. So, pretty much like every other day in Alba.

Central Lake does not have an official festival, but they throw a big party around the 4th of July. There are parades and fireworks. Everybody has fun until the residents of Skinkle Rd. emerge from their swamp and scare everyone back into their homes.

Elk Rapids throws a festival for their harbor. People come from all over the state to recognize the fact that Elk Rapids has a harbor.

Ellsworth roasts a pig. Which is not a nice thing to do to your mom. Yikes. Jokes are getting worse. Wrap it up.

Antrim County is welcome to continue trying to attract tourists. But, don’t look for the SS ARRRG floating by in your boat parade. As ornery locals, we will not participate in attracting crowds of downstaters.

Does anybody think we need MORE golfers barfing behind the Bellaire Bar? How many more douchebags from Livonia do we want crashing their rented pontoons? The brown spots in Torch Lake are not all caused by fertilizers.

Using bathing toys to attract unwanted people seems like a terrible idea. But, have fun with your Chicago friends! If you need us, we will be hunkered in a swamp off of Skinkle Rd.

Facilities Again

The Board reconsidered the problems with the county building at their most recent meeting. At the previous meeting, Commissioners failed to approve a $3M proposed fix for the problems. Some Commissioners felt that it was foolish to spend so much money on a building that is 40 years old and has plenty of other problems. Why not develop a strategic plan to guide facility expenditures, and THEN figure out where the County Building fits into that plan?

Simple request: keep the cart behind the horse.

Politician Jarris Rubingh called on Josh Watrous to render his opinion. Watrous works in construction and could be considered an expert on such matters, but his political specialty is parroting Rubingh. So, when Politician Rubingh served him up, Watrous had the following to say:

“That’s a chunk of change.”

That’s really all he had to offer. Thanks, Josh.

Karen Bargy renewed her objection that the Board was barreling down the road, reacting to problems, and trying to make course corrections without any idea where they are actually going. There is no plan. There is no long term vision for the County’s buildings. Bargy objected to “throwing good money at bad”.

Christian Marcus pointed out that the stairwells of the County Building are a safety problem, but the biggest safety problem is still the jail. He notified the public that using ARPA funds to fix the County Building would use up most of the county’s ARPA funds.

Dawn Lavanway said that there “might” be issues in the jail, but the building is not falling down. She seemed to be advocating ignoring the jail for now. This shows that Lavanway has no idea what she is talking about when it comes to the jail issues. Bargy called her out on it, and asked why the jail was not a part of the Capital Improvement Plan that Lavanway helped create.

The fact is that there are acute safety concerns at the jail. Right now. Commissioners don’t see them because they don’t work there, and most of them don’t get arrested on a regular basis.

Bargy stated that she would vote no because there was no plan to deal with these issues and it would basically destroy any hope of utilizing ARPA funds to finance the long-awaited broadband project.

Marcus, Bargy, and Watrous opposed the expenditure. The rest of the Board approved it. This time, it went through. The basic political reason that it passed this time is because Politician Jarris Rubingh changed his mind.

So, the Board is off and running. They are about to drop a cool $3 Million + in Biden Bucks to fix the Old County Building. Thanks, Joe!

Still, the County is proceeding into the future completely in the dark. No plan. No direction.

Does the Board just hope that the Federal government prints off money and gives it to counties every once in a while? That is how they hope to deal with future building issues?

For a Board of all Republicans, they put a lot of hope on Ol’ Joe.

That’s How It Works

Dawn Lavanway had a question.

During a recent audit presentation, Lavanway was confused by a chart. On the chart, the auditor showed a drop in projected revenue. Lavanway asked about the steep drop on the revenue line.

The auditor awkwardly stopped and looked at Finance Manager Bradley Rizzo. Rizzo calmly explained to Lavanway that the drop is a result of the chump change tax cut that the Board approved. You know the one. It’s the one that saves average folks two bucks per month. It is also the one that costs the county millions in revenue. Remember that one?

Cut taxes = Cut Revenue

Yeah. That’s how it works.

Kick the Can

Commissioners met August 4 and facilities were a big topic. An engineering firm presented a bid to fix the County Building’s facade. There were several options presented, but the Board settled on uninstalling the rickety death panels, and replacing them with modern metal-masonry hybrid panels.

The price for this option came in at $3.5 Million.

Karen Bargy objected to an expensive fix without having a long term plan. As this humble blog has pointed out several times, the County is barreling into the future without a clue about where it is going. This Board has actively avoided strategic planning for facilities.

Bargy called for a meeting dedicated to the long term direction of facilities. The Chairman continues to refuse to do any such thing. An attempt to table the item was voted down. So, the $3.5M project was off for a vote of approval.

Politician Jarris Rubingh joined Bargy, Ricksgers, and Marcus in voting against the motion. Watrous was absent, so this meant the vote failed in a 4-4 tie.

The Chairman was visibly perturbed. Ricksgers voiced that she was all for fixing the problem, we just need to plan for it. Bargy again called for a meeting before the next Board meeting. The Chairman refused and said it wasn’t happening.

Everybody wants to keep the County building from killing citizens. Everybody wants to get this fixed. All the rogue commissioners are asking for is a plan. That is more than a reasonable request. It is a responsible thing to do. The County’s leadership should be proactive in its approach to facilities. Instead, they choose to be reactive. Instead, the Board Chairman consciously chooses to slap band aids on big problems.

Kick the can down the road!

Why? Why not just agree on a plan? What are we avoiding?

Primary Results

The Elephant Party voters have spoken, and we are here to celebrate.

Gratitude

Melissa Zelenak ran a good, active campaign. She worked hard, raised money, and mounted a significant challenge. To be honest, we got a little nervous. If we do not have the nonsense that comes out of Politician Jarris Rubingh’s mouth, this blog would suffer greatly.

Luckily, the people voted overwhelmingly for Politician Jarris Rubingh! Thank god! Politician Rubingh still has a challenger in the General Election, but we remain confident that he and his stupidity will be returned for our entertainment.

We are also grateful for the election of Dawn Lavanway. She beat fellow commissioner Christian Marcus. With no general challenger, we look forward to Dawn’s continued wacko ideas.

Other Races

In the first district, Bill Heffernan narrowly beat Caleb Pero. There is no general challenge to Heffernan, so there is a good possibility of having at least one adult in the room.

In District Three, approximately 34% of voters cast a ballot for a guy who was not even running. Gary Lockwood snagged 390 votes without campaigning. He almost beat VanAlstine in the Helena Township precinct.

In the fourth district, Jason Helwig did not campaign, did not respond to questionnaires, and generally did not seem interested in the election. So, voters thought it was a great idea to send him back for another round of beatings at the hand of the Board. He will be back in 2023, Ricksgers will be gone.

Results Analysis

So, how did this go down?

In District 2, Politician Jarris Rubingh overwhelmed Zelenak in Banks township. That is not surprising. His Dad owns half the township. But he also clobbered Zelenak in Central Lake, despite being a well known asshole. Why?

We think there are two reasons. The first is tax cut propaganda. There were signs all over about Politician Jarris Rubingh’s amazing tax cut. Elephant people saw it, and thought “I hate taxes”. What they did not stop to ponder is the fact that this tax “cut” will save people the equivalent of a trip to the bottle return after a minor bender. It is minuscule.

The second thing that we can say for sure is that people are not paying attention to what he is Politician Jarris Rubingh. This is clear from the election results.

In District Two, the 911 millage easily passed. 86% of voters approved the millage. Most of these votes came from Elephant party people. So, most of the people that voted for Politician Jarris Rubingh, also voted for the 911 Millage. Politician Jarris Rubingh OPPOSED the 911 Millage. So, people voted for a guy that wants to gut the millage that they overwhelmingly approved.

Over in District Five, Dawn Lavanway campaigned hard. Christian Marcus, on the other hand, his campaign was a bit tepid. Marcus was able to beat her in three precincts. But, in those precincts, his wins were narrow. In the precincts that Lavanway won (East Jordan area precincts), she mopped the floor with Marcus. That was enough.


Moving on.

The Board had to reassemble two days after the election for a meeting. Because the business of the county keeps keeping on, and ARRRG will continue to follow along, and keep you in the know.

Also – Jokes!