Kent County Drain Commissioner Ken Yonker has lost the privilege of taking a county vehicle home for one month when, against county policy, he used it while handing out information on a political issue. Yonker took responsibility for the error. “I misused the county’s vehicle,” he said.
The brakes froze up on his truck, and a volunteer with their group said they would pick him up to pass out the leaflets, he said. “But I said it was okay, grabbed a handful and passed them out. I know better, I was just thinking of getting it done.”
Kent County Administrator Wayman Britt issued the following statement Oct. 31:
“I spoke with Drain Commissioner Yonker yesterday after receiving the resident compliant and he immediately apologized and took full responsibility of his actions, which he explained were not planned, but spontaneous.
"While this was an error of judgement, the gravity of the situation required a formal response as County policies prohibit employees, including elected officials, from using county resources to influence the outcome of an election.
"Therefore, he received a formal notice from the County that his privileges of taking a county vehicle home would be rescinded for one month, beginning Nov. 1, 2018. Ken understands why the action is being taken and has assured me this would not occur again. As such, we now consider this matter resolved.”
The information on the leaflet was in opposition to Caledonia School’s Nov. 6 ballot request for renewal of the 18 mills non-homestead levy, plus an additional 1.5 mills to restore the Headlee Amendment rollback and possible future rollbacks.