BOC offers VA verdict, awaits info on bank building

Dave Lein, Editor

Photo by Dave Lein

Antrim County Commissioners heard a presentation last week from Grass River Natural Area Executive Director Jen Wright regarding plans to help celebrate the GRNA’s 50th anniversary this year. She also presented the board with a large informational poster to be placed in the administrative building. The poster was duplicated in error by the printer and given to the county at no cost.


BELLAIRE – Hoping to put some harsh criticism behind them, the Antrim County Board of Commissioners voted last Thursday, April 4, to accept a request from the county’s Veteran’s Affair Committee to add another member to its ranks.

The request was made to county board chair Ed Boettcher (District 4), who shared it with fellow commissioners, along with his two recommendations for committee member appointments – Calvin Shooks, of Central Lake, and Libby Hiser of Bellaire.

Boettcher’s recommendations and a separate vote on each appointment were necessary on April 4 due to a reported procedural error that came up in his absence during the commissioners’ March 7 meeting.

At that meeting, a motion to appoint Hiser – the candidate recommended by the VA committee – failed 2-3, while a motion to appoint Shooks was approved 3-2. Besides Boettcher, other commissioners missing from that meeting included: Joshua Watrous (District 2), Jason Helwig (District 8) and Brenda Ricksgers (District 6), who had to leave at 11 a.m., prior to the discussion and vote on this topic.

Additionally, due to reviewing the procedural error, commissioners failed to support a motion to confirm that appointment during its evening meeting on Thursday, March 21.

At last Thursday’s meeting, Boettcher’s recommendation to appoint Shooks – a Vietnam veteran – was confirmed through a motion by Dave Heeres (District 1), supported by vice-chair Karen Bargy (District 3) and 8-0 vote (Helwig was absent). His other recommendation to appoint Hiser – a Gulf War veteran – was also confirmed through a 7-1 vote, with Dawn LaVanway (District 7) voting against the appointment.

LaVanway said her opposition was based on the fact that she thought the appointment process was done correctly on March 7. She also questioned whether or not an added committee member would result in an unnecessary added cost to the county (via per diems).

Boettcher and Antrim County Administrator Peter Garwood agreed in their response that the additional funds were available in the budget. Boettcher also addressed a question regarding the possibility of a tie vote on the committee (which now has six members).

“I addressed this with the committee chair prior to offering my recommendation,” Boettcher said. “He didn’t think it would be an issue, and couldn’t recall when the committee hadn’t been in full agreement over an issue. If it becomes an issue, we can always go back down in the number of its members.”

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