April 07, 2010 Somewhat like spring in Michigan, Lapeer County Commissioners have been running hot and cold about what to do with the county's two water parks, MSU Extension cuts and other important budgeting issues.
In what was supposed to be a final decision based in economic realities, a majority of commissioners voted to move the parks to a "passive" status. The water feature at Dryden's Mill Race park would not be maintained or manned and would remain closed to the public. A majority agreed based on assertions that gate admissions weren't sufficient to fund the park's operations; that county taxpayers basically underwriting visitor's park passes and continuing to allow this drain on the budget does not demonstrate fiscal responsibility on the part of government.
In recent months, the water parks issue and others continue to be the subject of debate—to the point where it appears commissioners cannot move forward. A recent meeting went on for more than four hours and the problems at hand weren't resolved. No action taken.
Part of the problem seems to be the commission's decision not to vote on anything without a full meeting of the board. With rotating, and often expected advances, this "gentleman's agreement" delays action on important issues. In the case of the water parks, the delay closes the window on the possibility of residents using them this year. Period.
Unfortunately, the commission's inability to make and stick with a decision in a timely fashion is beginning to reflect problems with government at a state level as well. Progress is stalled by recesses and absences. Leadership means taking action, finding solutions, implementing a plan, taking responsibility.
Like at every level of government, we need leaders in Lapeer County now.