May 25, 2009
Just one more example of Republicans giving lip service to supporting the troops
HOWELL -- Like many people on Memorial Day, I took in a Memorial Day parade, and I watched the parade in downtown Howell with some of my grandchildren.
It was uplifting to see people cheering the veterans groups and the color guard. We can only hope that same support materializes Tuesday when the Human Resources Committee of the all-Republican Livingston County Board of Commissioners meets at 7 p.m. May 26 in the commissioners chambers at the courthouse annex, 304 E. Grand River in downtown Howell.
The Livingston County Veterans Committee sent out a mass email to all veterans in the county urging them to attend the meeting, and the plan to ask the committee to meet its obligations and properly fund the depleted Veterans Relief fund.
The committee consists of five members appointed by the Board of Commissioners to oversee operations of the Veterans Affairs Department. The committee says Public Act 214 provides that a county must levy a millage to fund Veterans Relief, but Livingston County has not been levying the required millage like the surrounding counties of Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Ingham do.
The committee is asking the County Commissioners to approve a 1/20th of a mill levy, but so far the County Commission has refused to take a vote on authorizing a Veterans Relief Fund millage.
Veterans Committee Chair John Colone is asking all of the more than 13,000 veterans who live in Livingston County to show up at the meeting and show their support. The Veterans Committee met several weeks ago, and the committee declared an "Emergency" because Veterans Relief Funds have been exhausted for 2009. The downturn in the economy and the war in two countries has increased demand on the fund and for help.
Republicans have a long history of doing little but waving the flag and saying they support the troops, but they refuse to support them where it really counts.
Last January the same Board of Commissioners declined to replace the director and the administrative assistant at the Livingston County Veterans Affairs Department when they retired at the end of February.
For Republicans, support the troops is just a campaign slogan. If the Board of Commissioners fund the Veterans Relief like they are required to, the Livingston County Republican Party may not be able to put billboards up along I-96 that brag the county has the lowest county tax rate among Michigan's 83 counties. Of course, as this illustrates, the county has the least amount of services.
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the commissioners chambers at the courthouse annex, 304 E. Grand River in downtown Howell next to the Historic County Courthouse.