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  • Writer's pictureERG

Public Health Mob Goes After Ginop

On Monday night, the Emmet County Board of Commissioners voted to remove Commissioner Rich Ginop from his Board of Health of the Health Dept. of NW Michigan position and replace him with Commissioner Neil Ahrens. The vote was 5-1 in favor to remove, with four Republicans joining witch hunt ringleader Matt Koontz, the lone Democrat commissioner.

The centerpiece of the accusations, made by Commissioners Koontz, Ahrens, and Dave White was that on August 17th Ginop answered, "Yes, I do" when Koontz asked him the following question: "I guess we can assume that you plan to continue to operate in violation of the Board of Commissioners Code of Conduct?" This, even though it had not been determined that Ginop had violated that code. Unfortunate answer.

On Monday, 9/11, Koontz used that response to bolster his case. "Mr. Ginop acknowledges ... his awareness of having violated the Code of Ethics previously."To which Ginop replied: "I don't mean that, I will follow the Code of Ethics and Conduct, and I will follow the [Board of Health] resolution to the best of my ability." In short, Ginop apologized for his previous statement and recanted.

At no point was it ever actually established that Ginop violated any portion of the Code of Ethics by any of his actions on the Health Board. This was duly noted by Commissioner Charles Laughbaum when he voiced his "no" vote, but commissioners Don Mapes and Brian Gutowski stated that their "yes" votes were based on Ginop's nothing burger "Yes, I do" statement, which he recanted.

As public meetings go, it was a dramatic night of public discourse (with over 60 three-minute comments), fairly evenly divided between proponents and opponents of the motion to remove Ginop. Even State Rep. Neil Friske made it to the mic to advocate for keeping Ginop's POV on the Health Board. Missing, as usual, from the public hearing were many current Emmet County Republican Party leaders, who scheduled a meeting at the same time. The emotional Big Government Democrats, however, turned out to loudly air their approval of removing Ginop from his position.

In the end, the Resolution to Guide Representation on the Board of Health (passed on 6/5), which was put in place to thwart Ginop, proved to be the political cudgel for replacing Ginop with Ahrens, who has been deemed an 'excellent' choice by Koontz, if that tells you anti-maskers, anti-lockdowners anything.

A win for witch hunts, a loss for liberty. :(

P.S. An audio recording of the meeting is here.

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