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Three Barry County Commissioners were complimented Tuesday by citizen Bob Vanderboegh for their demeanor at a Barry Eaton District Health Department health board meeting he attended last Thursday.


Vanderboegh said the reception by Eaton County commissioners to a planned Barry County Commission review of the department’s TOST regulation was, “less than positive. It was almost like our commissioners were being chastised as if they were children.

“I think it was very unprofessional and I commend our commissioners for standing their ground and holding to their guns.”


The health board oversees the combined health departments.It  is made up of three commissioners from each county. Commissioners Ben Geiger, who is board chair, David Jackson and Dan Parker represent Barry County on the BEDHD health board. Eaton County Commissioners Jane Whitacre, Vice Chair Blake Mulder and Joe Brehler serve their county on the board.

Backers say a survey of residents, a public meeting to take input and a telephone survey will lead to improvements in the 10-year old regulation.


TOST calls for inspection of on-site sewer and water systems and repair or replacement of systems deemed failing before the sale or transfer of property in both counties protects the environment.


Critics contend the regulation is too costly, administrated arbitrarily and unfairly, and brings exiting systems up to the present day codes, which is prohibited in the regulation.


In other matters Tuesday, Commissioners Geiger and Vivian Conner will visit Washington D.C. on Aug. 8 and attend a White House conference meant to develop a working relationship between

Michigan county commissioners and federal agencies. A tour of the White House is part of the day.


No taxpayer funds are involved, both intend to pay the full cost of their trips.


The invitation to each Michigan county commissioner came from Billy Kirkland, deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, the liaison between state and local governments and the White House.

Geiger called it, “a unique opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.”

Conner said she will never have a better chance to visit the nation’s capital. Geiger is flying in and out the same day; Conner is going to stay a few days and take in the sights.









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