CAN YOU HEAR YOURSELVES EDITION
Okay, this meeting ended up going on for 7 hours! SEVEN Hours!
Here in part 2 the Board actually attempted to get some business completed.
Of all the stupid things the Board comes up with, their solution to a trashy problem is one of the most stupid. Enjoy this.
The Board spent 15 minutes discussing whether or not to buy trash cans for Antrim Creek Natural Area. The beautiful park on the big lake has an issue with trash laying around and no cans to put it in. Arguing and micromanaging ensued. There was a motion to purchase bear-proof trash cans for the natural area. 4-4 tie vote. The motion failed.
So, then the Board attempted to purchase trash cans that allow the bears to treat the cans like a messy buffet. It is the Commissioners favorite thing – cheaper. Who cares if the bears tear it too pieces mere hours after we purchase it? Cheaper is better! Doesn’t matter, they once again voted it down. The Board bravely stood in the face of common sense and declared themselves to be anti-trash can. They would buy neither can.
This was a pretty simple request from the Parks Director for a small impact on the budget. This is what I was referring to earlier. The Board throws a fit whenever anybody asks to spend money, even though the departments have budgets. But, they never let them spend the money! Then they complain that the departments have too much money.
Next item. Should we hire somebody to pick up all the trash at the Antrim Creek Natural Area? I kid you not. It passed unanimously. Are you KIDDING me?
They hired a part time staff member to pick up trash. But, they will not actually buy a trash can that budgeted funds are available. That is just amazing. My mind is blown by such stupidity.
Can you imagine what it is like to be a staff member who has to sit and listen to 7 hours of this:
Business Stuff (You know, their actual responsibilities)
Grievance Time – The Board went into a closed session with their labor attorney to deal with a few union grievances.
COVID Leave – There has been some confusion among county employees regarding COVID exposures and quarantines. Some employees have been ordered to stay home from work until a test came back negative. This time off is considered paid leave. However, some other employees have been forced to use paid time off banks. The Board voted to approve yet another change in policy to once again offer paid leave for ordered quarentines.
Biden Bucks – The Board discussed what to do with all the money the federal government is forking out for COVID relief. The guidance sent out by the federal government is vague and opened ended. The Commissioners seemed inclined to spend it with other municipalities on infrastructure improvement.
There is a rumor going around that the County has been granted $4.5 Million by the federal government. There is, as yet, no plan on what to do with this money.
The Old Bank
Remember the old Citizens Bank building in town? The Board really liked that building. Back in 2017, the County purchased the old Citizens Bank building. They paid $495,000 for the wonderful building and then tore the damned thing down.
Originally, the Board planned on using the building to house the Sheriff’s Office. The problem was that the building was a terrible mess, and they never bothered to actually ask the Sheriff about it.
Since razing the building, the residents of Bellaire have not appreciated the eye sore left from the destruction. Last year, Commissioners refused to do anything about it, because: no money. So, this year, the Chairman kindly offered to deal with it himself. He gathered volunteers, donations, and reseeded the plot at zero cost to the county. Isn’t that nice?
So, for those of you keeping score, the Board spent a half a million dollars on a dilapidated building, tore it down, and then refused to clean up the mess until they could figure out how to do it for free.
Now, I know that many of these Board members were not a part of the original purchase of the building. But, you still have to take care of the County’s property. How could it have been so difficult to gather bids and pay a local contractor to complete the work?
So, there you have it. The Board has gone out of their way to prove how frugal they are. They stifle spending money even to the point of personal sacrifice. If that means that trash is laying all over the shoreline of Lake Michigan, well we will just have to hire someone to pick it up. WHAT???
This is the same Board that had previously complained about County departments having too much money in the bank. If you don’t let departments actually use their budgets, then of course they will have funds leftover!
I think I may know what the issue is. Maybe these Board members are unable to hear themselves. Surely, if they could hear themselves, they would realize how ridiculous they sound. I have found a solution!
There is a toy that is specially made to help children with speech problems to hear themselves speak.
The child can speak into the “reciever” and the sound travels back up into their ear, so that they can hear themselves and self correct any issues. Cool!
These devices are available here – https://www.lakeshorelearning.com/products/language/oral-language-storytelling/hear-myself-sound-phone/p/EE538/ But, there is a problem. They cost money *gasp* $5.99
Well, look on the bright side: it is cheaper than a garbage can.