As we spoke a couple weeks ago, the people at the Muskegon County offices asked if we'd be interested in helping them get the word out about the workings of the government. What we do here at The Muskegon Channel and our sister page Positively Muskegon is really about giving people a chance to sit down and talk about what's happening in the community and our focus has generally been on smaller organizations and individuals who make an impact with what they do. However, as we've grown and are working to fill the voids of news and information here in town, it's become more and more apparent that the people of our community and their contact with our local governments has led to way too much speculation, armchair quarterbacking, "he said she said" situations and question marks all over the place.
I understand that it's always important to question government. It's our civic duty to do just that, but...I also don't think that anyone in our local governments is up to any intentional trickery, that there is any slight of hand going on or that there is some hidden agenda happening. I have been wrong before, but I just don't see it here. I also understand that to the average guy on the street, how governmental budgets, bonds, millage's and everything works...it's pretty confusing. It's remarkably complicated so in an effort to help explain it in plain English, I grabbed Mark Eisenbarth, The Muskegon County Administrator and Beth Dick who is the Director of Finance and the Assistant County Administrator and asked them to put it all in layman's terms for us so we can better understand the workings.
It begins with a Standards and Poor's global rating that the County just received. We got a Double A Rating which is considered "stable". For the panic you hear on social media and the street, it's probably just best that as Mark and Beth take a few minutes to explain and YES...I even take the time to ask them about the jail and all the stir it seems to keep causing about how and when it's going to be paid for. Take a listen to our talk and learn a little more just like I am.
It's as simple as a contacting Beth. CLICK HERE to find her contact info. It's as simple as finding the time to head to a County Commissioners meeting. You're not being a pain in the butt for wanting to know more and a simple direct question to those who are responsible for how our government works, and works for us is a lot better than going with what you hear and see on social media. My thanks to Mark and Beth for taking the time out today to explain more. If you'd like to visit the Muskegon County Website, go to http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/