Adopt a meaningful ethical policy
Ethical and policy shortcomings regarding Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners have allowed for inappropriate behavior on taxpayers’ dime. This places our county at risk, especially financially, as does self governing to avoid accountability. The recent Resolution of Redress drafted to dismiss the behavior of Ron Clous and Rob Hentschel supports my concerns.
The seeming abuse of power by the BOC shows monetary favor to the current avenue for ethical accountability — County Administrator Nate Alger and Human Resource Director Donna Kinsey. While county employees faced potential layoffs and first responders were denied earmarked federal money due to pandemic-related budget concerns, the BOC gave Alger pay raises and bonuses.
Then, commissioners gave themselves a 72 percent raise. The county attorney sought to absolve county responsibility stating that the BOC were “not technically employees of the county” and county ethical accountability rules for employees shouldn’t apply.
Meanwhile, Brad Jewett proposed to receive employee benefits as a county commissioner. Employee benefits equals employee ethical accountability but the human resource director and the county administrator are in charge of this process.
Those responsible for self governing had previously sidelined ethical policy by which the BOC should abide. We must demand higher accountability before our community faces irreparable harm.