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Muskegon Commissioners vote yes | People

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Muskegon Commissioners vote yes
People, Politics
Muskegon Commissioners vote yes

PLEASE NOTE: This article is the opinion of the author and in no way reflects the opinions of WZZM13 and its affiliates.

Muskegon County has added 5 new county commissioners. They have been on the job for less than 30 days and already new commissioner Alan Jager has earned the reputation as a NO man. What I wonder is WHY he is the only one?

Why did no one else at the January 13, 2011 meeting vote NO to authorize the county to apply for funds under the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (CFDA #16.745). Did anyone except Commissioner Jager realize that “grant made under this program may not cover more than 80 percent of the total costs of the project being funded during the first two years of the grant, or that the grant can cover no more than 60 percent of the total costs of the project during the third year.” Did no one except Jager know or care that the plan has listed under Program Accomplishments, “No Current Data Available”. WHY did no one else see a program with no available accomplishments as waste of tax dollars? Why did no one else question what the cost of the program would be to the taxpayers over and above the percent the grant paid for?

Why did no one else except Jager vote NO to accepting a Project Safe Neighborhoods grant in the amount of $21,000.00 for purchase of a ‘gang activity’ software program. The grant warns “Because future funding amounts and the basis for allocating future funding is undetermined, it is highly recommended that all districts place priority consideration on using funds to sustain current efforts in a manner that is not dependent on future PSN funding”. The grant also requires “applicants who receive funding under this solicitation must provide data that measures the results of their work”. No provision was included in the motion to renew the software every year, or to fund past the grant funding, or maintain and report the data the grant requires. Why did no one else vote NO?

Why did no one besides Jager vote NO on ignoring the ’hiring freeze’ and allow Muskegon County to create and fill one new full-time Community Nutrition Specialist position. The new specialist will be part of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, a federal initiative that provides nutritious foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to eligible pregnant, postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5. Currently WIC provides access to local Breastfeeding Resources at the Muskegon County MSU Extension, Mercy Health Partners Classes & Support Groups and the La Leche League of Muskegon Area, these are free resources to breast feeding mothers and exist now without the newly approved governmental employee position. Commissioner Jager who supports the WIC program, is opposed to the expansion of government, and the creation of a position that will add additional tax burdens to Muskegon taxpayers if grant funding becomes unavailable.

Commissioner Jager may be gaining the tag of a NO Commissioner, but he is fulfilling his campaign promises of fiscal responsibility, and limited government. I hope Jager’s NO votes are challenging the rest of the Muskegon County Commissioners to take another look at the whole picture and remember where the money they are spending came from, before they cast their next vote.

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