2018-08-09 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I had to purchase two copies of The Pioneer Tribune last week, containing the article “County action leads to conflict”, I thought that the first paper I read must have been a misprint because Schoolcraft County citizens couldn’t possibly have voted commissioners this incompetent into office. As I read, my second paper, I realized that three Schoolcraft County commissioners do not understand how economic development is achieved. Mr. Reiter and Mr. Ott are members of the Economic Development Corporation, They are the only paid members of the EDC board, no one else is paid by the EDC, including Alan Barr, the director. Commissioners don’t show up at township or city meetings for free. They receive $30 for every meeting they attend, taxpayers are paying $60 for these two commissioners to attend EDC meetings.

Commissioner Reiter, the article stated, FOIA’s the records of the EDC. The same group he and Commissioner Ott are board members. Commissioner, you are a board member, remember! You had the records. Are you next going to contact the IRS to have them audit your return for mistakes?

Then a downstate law firm was contacted, did you feel that there was not one in the UP, capable enough to handle this situation? Remember, we are trying to help the local economy.

The downstate law firm declares that board members cannot sit on both the EDC and Schoolcraft Commerce and Tourism board and sends them a letter. County Commissioners, Reiter, Ott and Mersnick approve the letter. Commissioner Hoholik, votes no. Someone understands that economic development is important and that we need government and business to work together. All of the EDC board members resign, except the two paid members, Commissioners Reiter and Ott. Why imperil their personal economies?

Who resigns? Bob Crumb, in Mr. Crumb’s address to the commissioners he states, “This is probably the most difficult market interaction between business and government of any place I’ve ever worked or lived”. Jennifer Watson, in her address to the commissioners states: “we work for the people.” Kevin Knaffla, adds, “I am really confused why the county doesn’t want to work with the economic group and the STC group.” Dave Muxlow, Maryann Boddy, Eric Sherbinow, Don Erickson, Eric and Don put on the free drive-in events, which raise money for local non-profit groups. Amy Braun, Magan Peterson, Paul Stoll Jr., Bonnie Garvin, Renae Kennedy and Scott Chartier. This list includes leaders in business, healthcare, education and industry in Schoolcraft County. They have given free countless hours and expertise to the community. These people have been the driving force behind Schoolcraft’s economic development. How have our three commissioners fared in economic development? The only thing I remember is that they all voted to pass the unpopular short term rental law.

To all three commissioners, learn something from this group of professionals, put your community first, instead of your personal agenda. In the mean time, don’t wait for your Mensa cards in the mail!

Bill Vandagriff

Doyle Township

Dear Editor,

I recently wrote a letter to the board of Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility. I also sent a copy of the letter to each of the County Board of Commissioners.

I have some concerns about the care provided to the residents and I feel that something needs to be done. There is an unacceptable rate of staff turnover at the MCF. The residents dislike a lot of change. They feel much more happy and secure when they have continuity.

A stable workforce is necessary if our loved ones are to receive the best care.

The staff at the facility work many 16-hour shifts, vacations are cancelled, they are exhausted, and feel totally unappreciated by the administration. In my opinion, they have every reason to feel unappreciated by the administration. There is every indication that they are not appreciated. A cake and luncheon every year during National Nursing Home week won’t cut it.

Chronic problems include, but are not limited to: long waits for call lights to be answered; high cost of overtime; high cost of hiring contractual out-of-town agencies to staff the facility; medication errors; treatment plans are not being carried out.

The current staff is too frightened to voice their concerns out of a valid fear of retaliation. Staff members who have resigned due to their inability to work multiple 16 hour shifts, etc. have offered to work as call-in employees. They have been told they were not needed!

Yet somehow it is acceptable for outside contractors to come in at a much higher cost! Some good employees are also not even allowed to work out their final two weeks, but are told to leave immediately.

My parents both received excellent care at our local medical care facility. I never dreamed I would be writing such a letter, but here I am. Every department staff from the office crew to the maintenance crew do a good job. Activities, nursing, and dietary staff are all wonderful hardworking professionals.

I am asking the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners and the Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility Board to carefully read over the letter I am sending to you personally. There are things I needed to say that aren’t appropriate for this venue.

Please contact the board members who are responsible for overseeing our medical care facility. They meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the conference room of the facility.

Voice your concerns in writing ahead of time so that it will become part of the meeting’s public record.

As I said in my letter to them, the current toxic work environment must be addressed. This is my mother’s home. Someday it may be home to any one of us.

Board members names and addresses can be obtained by calling the Schoolcraft County clerk. Please help us provide the best possible care to our residents, and the best possible working conditions to our fellow community members who care for them.

Carol Dixson


Dear Editor,

I think the Commissioners of our County are overlooking a major thing in the new jail ... the old armory is over 30 years old.

If we are going to be paying that much money, then build new.


Pete Thelander


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