We're trying something new. Normally, The Muskegon Channel is more about the people and places in and around our area that are doing great things and making a positive impact on the community. We have certainly talked about things that are not "flowery" in the past, but we also believe that when something of importance comes up, it should be discussed with a solution based approach and both sides of the argument should get a chance to state their case in a fashion that isn't all sound bytes and shortened clips for a 30 second clip on the news.
Today, we're bringing you "Both Sides" of an important issue going on in Muskegon County. There is a group of people who have formed to recall County Drain Commissioner Brenda Moore. It's become a heated battle at times and it's understandable from both points of view.
The Drain Commissioner has pretty broad powers given by the State. The job in Michigan is to plan, maintain and develop surface water drainage systems. This includes the ability to levy fees associated with these duties. In Muskegon, we have plenty to protect when it comes to what gets drained and where. We are the access point to Lake Michigan, our rivers and lakes are for the most part all tied into it and we've fought so hard for so long to clean up and protect our beautiful natural resources.
As you can imagine, "levy fees", is the trigger in the last paragraph. In Muskegon, some drain work is underway or has been proposed that area residents have been hit with. Some to the degree of $12,000-$20,000. It's a lot of money. It's enough to cause those effected by it to start looking for answers from independent engineers, reaching out to their County Commissioners, State Representatives and more!
I spent a couple days talking to the involved parties. I met with Brenda Moore and heard from her about the job and how it came to be for her. Then I met with Jeremy Hooker and Tammy Barnhard of the Kuis Drain Neighbors in Fruitport Township. We're offering you the chance to hear both sides of the story. To pretend that we have any understanding of the intricacies of Brenda's office is the last thing we're trying to do likewise the independent engineers that have been brought in and the angry people involved....we're not trying to fan the flames. We're not traditional investigative reporters and we're not trying to sensationalize anything. Take a few minutes and listen to the conversation as we present "Both Sides of the Story".