Here my comments regarding the Board of Commissioners need to file an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals.
If the Circuit Court decision stands, it would make Macomb County the only Michigan municipal governing body that will not have the ability to approve contracts. Accountability and transparency only occur when decisions about how to spend public money are made at public meetings. Without public review, no one will know even some contracts exist, let alone the terms of those contracts. Providing a list of checks written by the county does not pass for accountability. A list of checks doesn’t explain what contracts they are based upon or the terms of those contracts. It also does not show the process used to approve the contracts. The Board of Commissioners needs to review “significant” contracts before they are binding.
We are laying the foundation for our new form of county government. If we tolerate a lack of accountability and transparency from an honest executive, the public we serve will suffer in future years should they elect an executive that won’t operate above board.
BoC to Appeal Recent Court Ruling
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. — The Board of Commissioners today voted unanimously to file an appeal to overturn Judge John Foster’s recent ruling in the lawsuit filed against the Board by the Office of the County Executive (OCE) in February. The vote was 11-0, with Commissioners Phil DiMaria and Marv Sauger absent from the meeting.
The suit filed by the Executive’s office challenged the Board’s authority to pass policy requesting review of county contracts in excess of $35,000 and all construction contracts above $100,000. As a result of his recent ruling in favor of the plantiff, Foster rendered Macomb County the only county government in Michigan without contract approval required from an elected governing body.
“The purchasing and contracting measures protected taxpayers and the future of Macomb County by bringing contracts and business dealings out from behind closed doors, and into public view.” BoC Chair Kathy D. Vosburg said. “This appeal is necessary to ensure fair and equitable contracting practices in Macomb County.” “This Board holds legislative powers and intends to provide the checks, balances and oversight authorized by the charter.”
Legal counsel for the Board, Clark Hill, PLC, is expected to file the appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals within one week.
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