Michael Estes v. Dan Lathrop

When I wrote this article, I didn’t realize that Michael Estes was running against Dan Lathrop for the District One Grand Traverse County Commission seat.

Lathrop’s platform is fixing the pension, while Estes wants consensus-based decisions (which usually means no decisions at all). Lathrop is going to have his work cut out for him, with newly coronated Grand Traverse County Commissioner Nate Alger not seeming like he’s on board to acknowledge and prioritize the pension, and there’s also crowd that wants to pay employees more now rather than meet their obligations. Still, it’s a laudable goal and Lathrop is at least saying the right things.

I have to hand it to Lathrop for having the right perspective on the whole Carol Stocking special employee arrangement thing. Basically, the judges said that if the commission didn’t allow them to give Carol Stocking special treatment, they weren’t good partners and didn’t respect the courts (Judge Phillips lays it on thick starting around 9:30 — I’m paraphrasing slightly here — How dare you not rubber stamp this weird thing we want to do! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!). Lathrop pushed back with, “It’s been implied that if we don’t do what you ask, that we don’t respect you. And nothing could be further from the truth judge.” (It’s at this link starting at 58:09). That’s a whole other story. My point is I admire Lathrop’s gumption.

The voters decide on Estes vs. Lathrop in the primary on August 7.

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