On Monday, August 21, 2023, at a meeting of the Finance and Administration Committee, Ottawa County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Joe Moss proposed returning the Public Health budget back to historical, pre-Covid levels. The graphic below includes a comprehensive review of Public Health budgets.
The recommendation discussed by the Committee was to bring the general fund allocation for Public Health Department back to historical levels. When the pandemic started, there were significant increases in Public Health expenditures by the prior Board of Commissioners. Moving forward, expenditure levels should be restored in line with prior levels, saving Ottawa County taxpayers millions of dollars.
In the past, high levels of funding contributed to the Health Department’s ability to:
- Perform extreme levels of contact tracing on healthy individuals,
- Interfere with schools and parental rights,
- Increase student and athlete anxiety due to testing of healthy students,
- Sideline healthy students from sports competitions, graduations, proms, and the like,
- Threaten parents and school administrators, and more.
A majority of the current Board of Commissioners has clearly stated they will prioritize limited government, family values, individual freedoms, and parental rights.
It is time for Ottawa County to rein in the out-of-control expenditures and augmented influence of the Public Health Department.
The solution discussed would reduce the General Fund allocation to $2.5M and allow the Public Health Department to retain a budget of approximately $9M in 2024, providing the department the funds to fulfill statutory requirements and meet the needs of the community as it did historically.
* The Public Health Department currently has an existing fund balance of $3M and has proposed an additional $17,378,138 in spending for 2024.