September 20, 2014

EDITORIAL: County on the right track, acting responsibly if it drops out of MAC

Posted 11/10/09

Arenac County’s discussions about possibly dropping its membership in the Michigan Association of Counties is fiscally responsible and could actually benefit the county in lobbying efforts.

County Commissioners at any time can send a letter, make a phone call, pass a resolution to support and oppose anything going on in Lansing, or make a trip personally after setting up a meeting. A county board shouldn’t need a third party, which currently supports 81 other counties in the state, to voice the concerns of its residents to Lansing. The concerns and issues in Arenac County are drastically different than those in Wayne County, Kent County and Gogebic County, all members of MAC at this time.

Instead, county boards should take the issues to Lansing themselves, or find people from the county to voluntarily testify at committee and subcommittee hearings, or on the floor of the Capitol.

Plus, to continue to spend $7,000 yearly on a membership for MAC when you need to cut out $200,000 in spending in two years just doesn’t make sense.

Why spend $7,000 to belong to a lobbying group when a meeting in Lansing costs less than $100 in gas? In fact, 70 trips to Lansing, if someone spends $100 per trip, could be made every year at the same price of a MAC membership.

Everybody wants responsible government, and in this instance, the commissioners were responsible when they found an easy, layoff-free way to save $7,000. And in the mean time, the move offers the county the opportunity to personalize its messages to Lansing through letters, resolutions of support and opposition, phone calls and trips to the Capitol.

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