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BAD AXE – State Rep. Kurt E. Damrow has declined an invitation to meet with the Huron County Board of Commissioners.
The board issued the invitation after Damrow wrote a column criticizing commissioners for a proposed resolution that would impose a moratorium on any new wind overlay districts. He said the resolution “is shortsighted and unfounded.”
“What is also unsubstantiated is Commissioner Ron Wruble’s claim that Lansing is not listening to Huron County,” Damrow added in regard to concerns the board chairman has expressed regarding the elimination of the personal property tax, which is the only tax wind developers pay for wind farms.
The column ran in the Sept. 17 edition of the Huron Daily Tribune.
During the Sept. 22 Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner David Peruski asked whether the board should respond to Damrow’s column.
Wruble said he would rather have had a face-to-face conversation with Damrow instead of reading about his concerns in the newspaper.
Peruski suggested the board invite Damrow to a meeting to get relations between the board and the state representative back on track.
“I believe the situations deteriorated – that’s what I see,” Peruski said.
Because the House of Representatives is in session Tuesday through Thursday, Commissioner Steve Vaughan suggested the board move its October meeting of the whole to Monday, Oct. 17 or Friday, Oct. 21.
Commissioner John Bodis, who chairs the Legislative Committee, drafted a letter asking Damrow to meet with the board on Oct. 17.
“We are requesting this opportunity for a direct positive exchange of information,” the letter states.
Damrow declined the invitation in an e-mail to Board Secretary Jodi Essenmacher.
“I’m unable to make it. I am booked just about every hour for the next two months,” Damrow stated. “Let them know though that if they could e-mail me their questions, I would be able to work on that during the evenings.”
Damrow’s e-mail stated he has “four or so major projects that need to be completed and presented before December.”
The projects are in regard to the personal property tax, state family court, restructuring the Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Benefits ($3 billion), and creating a four-year plan for the 84th District.
“This is really taking off, and I have several companies in discussions about opening business in the district. Looking at least 500 jobs, deepwater port, and funding for roads and rail,” Damrow’s e-mail states. “All of these, and everything else on my desk, have to be complete and to the Governor’s office or Chair office by December. I will be having town hall meetings throughout the district and the commissioners are welcome to attend and ask questions there. I believe several of them were at the meetings I recently held in the Thumb with the Lt. Gov and Governor.”
Following Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Wruble said the board isn’t going to press the representative to meet with the board.
“If he’s as busy as he indicated he is in his e-mail, there’s no sense in us trying to coax him up here,” Wruble told the Tribune on Wednesday.
Wruble acknowledged he was disappointed the invitation was declined.
“I think he has a lot of questions that need to be answered to a lot of people,” he said.
Damrow’s response was released to local media after Tuesday’s regular board meeting.
In other business during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners:
• Awarded a bid to pave areas of the Huron County Health Department’s parking lot to Pyramid Paving, of Bay City, for $42,935, providing Pyramid Bay City meets all of the county’s specifications.
• Approved purchasing recording equipment for the 73B District Court from Business Information Systems, Inc. for $3,247.50.
• Amended sections of the health department fee schedule based on the 2011 Detroit Consumer Price Index (4.2 percent).
• Voted to employ Rebecca Neal as a part-time employee in the Huron County Clerk’s Office at the rate of $12 per hour. Neal currently is a casual employee in the Huron County Public Guardian Office. In the clerk’s office, she will be filling in for recent staff changes and a pending maternity leave.
• Appointed Fran Pechette to a three-year term on the Nature Center Board of Directors.
The board’s next meeting is a meeting of the whole at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Room 305 in the Huron County Building.
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