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Ottawa State of the County address highlighted change

Ottawa County seal
Ottawa County seal

In 2022, eight members of the conservative advocacy group, Ottawa Impact were voted onto the 11-member county board of commissioners. Joe Moss is chair. In his State of the County address, he said 2023 was a year for learning and prioritizing freedom and Constitutional rights. The board changing the county vision statement motto from “Where you belong” to “Where Freedom Rings.”

“As stated in the resolution that changed the motto, ‘Where Freedom Rings, where individual freedoms, parental rights and freedom of religion and conscience are protected, all people belong.’”

One of the board’s first actions was closing the Department of Equity and Inclusion resulting in an annual savings of $286,000.

“Returning county operations to an emphasis on character, excellence and merit.”

In 2023, the board appointed a new county administrator and corporate council. It increased Veterans support, prioritized Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and Sheriff’s Department funding needs including vehicle and body cameras. Also, signing off on countywide open access internet service.

Proposals to cut Health Department funding was addressed by Moss who said from the county’s $264 million dollar budget, it yielded the second highest budget for the health department.

Ottawa County is the fastest growing county with the state’s lowest unemployment rate.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.