Grand Traverse County Commission Continues to Overthink It

The Grand Traverse County Commission can’t even agree on whether they get along. They’re a turkey and some mashed potatoes away from the typical social dynamic at extended family Thanksgiving dinner. On the one hand, we have Hentschel, Clous, La Pointe and Jewett. On the other, mostly, we have Coffia, Hundley, and Wheelock Jr.

Grand Traverse County Commission Chair Robert Hentschel attributes the discord to Democratic politics. He says that the Democrats feel threatened, so they’re engaging in their propaganda machine in order to stir up discontent when they lose votes.

Propaganda machine? Aren’t we overthinking it just a smidge? This is a local county board and not the U.S. Appropriations¬†Committee. The points of contention are the invocation policy, the meeting times, controversial appointments to the TADL Board, how many animal control trucks to buy and chairperson issues. Not exactly the stuff CNN split screen argument segments are made of.

The big decisions matter a great deal to those in the crossfire – the pension, the jail, the pool. Ultimately, all of our taxes could be impacted. But the drama doesn’t seem to be about any of that. Maybe we just haven’t gotten to it yet.¬†I don’t really have a point, just that those of us with no dog in the fight will continue to watch with amusement.

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2 thoughts on “Grand Traverse County Commission Continues to Overthink It”

  1. It certainly is politics. Why do we have political party affiliations for this office in the first place? Why are they even entertaining ridiculous proposals and resolutions? Well the answer for some at least may be training for a career in politics. If not then it is just a waste of resources, time and effort. Make it a non-paid position and maybe that will help attract people who care and have to be efficient with their time to hold down a real job.

    1. Anyone who has followed the board knows that it WAS made into a non-paid position just a few years ago.

      No pay is fine for people who are wealthy. It is sometimes seen as a way to exclude common folk from positions. That is one of the big problems with that.

      Done right, those board positions do require a lot of time. Though some members don’t seem to put much effort into the position. That is obvious from their lack of questions and meaningful comments.

      Now, with the 8AM start, board members who work for a living must take time off from work just to attend the meetings. That can be enough to make a full time job, with benefits, into a part time job.

      Maybe a better question is why many of the township board positions pay so much money? And why do they continue to use other townships as a justification to keep increasing pay? And why are those increases not clearly disclosed on meeting agendas?

      And why is it, when one of the area townships of similar size has lower pay, they are not included in the so-called “salary survey” data that is used to justify increases?

      The answer to this various whys? It is because the citizens don’t care enough to bother.

      Like the county board, some township board members put a lot of time and energy into the position. They do earn their pay. Others do not.

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