Good Morning Indivisibles,
Lots to pass on to you today. First a reminder of our regular meeting this Saturday, November 13 at 10:00 on Zoom. It should be a very interesting program on ACES, Adverse Childhood Experience Study and why early childhood programs are so important. Apropos to this meeting, I must share a TED talk given by an amazing 7-year old explaining the importance of the first few years of a child’s life. It’s called “How every child can thrive by Five.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aISXCw0Pi94It is well worth your time to watch. Here is the link to register for Saturday’s meeting. If you aren’t able to attend on Saturday, we will be recording the meeting and I will provide you with the link to the recording when I send out the notes.
Register in advance for this meeting: Nov 13 at 10:00
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
As many of you may know, the hearing for Chairman Bunek’s appeal on the recall petition has been scheduled for this Friday, November 12 at 9:30 with Judge Elsenheimer on Zoom. I went to the 13th District Court website https://www.gtcountymi.gov/2209/13th-Circuit-Court. and scrolled down to “watch court live.”Judge Elsenheimer’s name is there and I assume you can click on his name and watch the hearing. When I looked yesterday, I was able to see a proceeding from another courtroom so I’m hoping to watch tomorrow. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing this.
I spent a lot of Tuesday listening to the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners meeting. I will provide just a few short observations. The good news is that they unanimously approved a new recycling site in Suttons Bay on Eckerle Road across from the Road Commission. It needs to have a few modifications, so isn’t up and running yet. They also followed the recommendation of the Solid Waste Council and approved a new site at the Government Center. This was a bit more controversial passing 4-3 with Commissioner Robbins joining the three Democrats voting for it. They also approved the contract with the District Health Department to manage the Early Childhood Program for another year. Michelle Klein, from the Health Department presented the 2022 budget for Early Childhood and there was a great deal of discussion and questions from Commissioners Lautner, Rushton and Bunek. Lautner was concerned that one of the last programs had people attending that didn’t live in Leelanau County and was upset that taxpayers were covering those costs. Chairman Bunek questioned if using the name Parenting Communities was legal since the millage used the term Early Childhood. He will seek a legal opinion on that issue. Commissioner Rushton’s issue was that the program offered some support to pregnant mothers, especially in families they were already serving with young children, and since the millage said it would be serving children from 0-6 years, this was not using the millage money as voted. Commissioner Wessell said he was tired of these commissioners always beating up on the Health Department. A rather heated discussion followed and Commissioner Robbins finally spoke up and said he was tired of all this fighting. He thought that they had agreed at an earlier meeting to support the program in 2022 and they should give the program a chance to prove itself. The Commission also approved supporting a 2% request from a non profit set up by some tribal members to promote cultural awareness and understanding between the native and non-native community. The vote was 4-3 with Robbins again voting with the three Democrats. If you are more interested in learning about this program you can read their application athttps://www.leelanau.gov/downloads/11092021_executive_board_pkt_amended_opt.pdf. pages 97-103. There were long discussions about the job descriptions for the two new director positions, Human Resources and Finance. There were some contentious exchanges between Chairman Bunek and Commissioner Wessell about the authority of the Chairman to remove agenda items and the appropriateness of a commissioner discussing issues with a county contractor without prior approval from the Board or Administrator. The Chairman also chastised the administrator for putting the Indigenous People’s Day proclamation in the newspaper without prior approval from the Board. Mr. Janik apologized but said he was only doing what had been done in previous years. The meeting lasted over six hours. Hope the regular one on Tuesday evening is shorter, or we will have to bring our sleeping bags.
I would also like to pass on some information on what Voters Not Politicians are doing to counteract the SecureMI petition that is being circulated and how you can be involved. Barbara Faller, one of our Indivisible members, is helping to coordinate their effort locally. As most of you know this petition would make voting more difficult, under the guise of making it more “secure.” If the circulators get enough signatures it can be enacted by the legislature and does not need the signature of the governor to become law. VNP has an aggressive program established to spot the petitioners, report them to VNP and hopefully get people to those places to inform potential signers of the petition how it will harm our voting in Michigan. Here is a link to their spotter training. Spotter Training and a link to reporting the location of any petitions you might see when you are out and about. Spotter reporting link: https://chats.landbot.io/v3/H-929294-7MZ5I3EXPWWIOTK2/index.htmlThey are also having phone banks on Tuesday nights from 6-8 and you can sign up for that at https://www.mobilize.us/vnp/event/374957/. Even if you aren’t actively doing a spotting route you can report any petitions that you see and if you are in one of the big box stores in Traverse City and see anyone gathering signatures outside, you can complain to the manager of the store. These large stores do not allow this kind of solicitation in their parking lots and will ask them to leave. If you have any questions or want to help Barb in her efforts you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, the Citizens Climate Lobby is having an online conference this weekend, November 13-14 . For more information or to register you can go to their website at Conference Website.
Hope you made it to the end of all this. So much happening that we need to keep up with. See you on Saturday.