Ottawa County Democrats call out Board of Commissioners' hiring of John Gibbs
Call moves made Tuesday "very disappointing"
The Ottawa County Democratic Party is condemning several sweeping changes that the Board of Commissioners made to its local government on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the newly elected Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, comprised of mostly members who have been endorsed by the far-right Republican PAC group, Impact Ottawa, voted in their first meeting to fire the County’s top public health officer, completely eliminate its Diversity Equity and Inclusion Department, and hire former Congressional Candidate John Gibbs as its new County Administrator, moments after firing current Administrator John Shay.
In a statement, Ottawa Democratic Party Chair called the hiring of Gibbs "terribly disappointing.”
“That is s a travesty,” Smith said. “Smith lost 42% of the vote in Ottawa County when he ran for the 3rd Congressional District, and here is running the county. Unbelievable.”
What is the party’s official response to the elimination of the DEI?
“When the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was created, I saw it as a beacon of hope for Ottawa County,” Smith said. “To see it eliminated in one meeting, it set the county back decades,” Smith said.
Meanwhile, Board member Sylvia Rhodea defended the hiring of Gibbs at Tuesday’s meeting, and said, Our voters spoke very clearly about wanting a change in direction in our county, which is why….we believe it’s important to appoint John Gibbs.”
Board commissioners also voted to adopt a new slogan for Ottawa County Tuesday, replacing “where you belong,” to “Where freedom rings.”