Ottawa County Administrator's Digest

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Alan G. Vanderberg, County Administrator
February 1, 2016


Keith Van Beek and I attended the funeral of Rockford City Manager Michael Young earlier today in Rockford. Michael was a 1985 Grand Haven High School graduate and started his public administration career at Spring Lake Village under Eric DeLong as I had done some years previously.  Michael was just finishing his year as President of the Michigan Local Government Management Association (MLGM A) and would have presided over the conference later this week. One measure of a person’s impact in life is how they are missed when they are gone. There has been a tremendous outpouring of grief at Michael’s passing in Rockford, where he served for 20 years, and from throughout the region and state as well.  Michael was a top professional and a good friend and he will be missed.


A group of city, county, and school officials, predominantly from the east side of the State, filed a case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan – Southern Division seeking to have PA 269, (perhaps more commonly known as Senate Bill 571) declared unconstitutional. Judge O’Meara will hear the case Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to render a decision, at least on an injunction or stay of the law, at that time. The plaintiffs claim that the law violates 1st Amendment Free Speech protection and that it “is an unprecedented gag order on public bodies and public officials that prohibits them from communicating with and informing their constituents about ballot questions in an objectively neutral way during the two months before an election.”

The outcome of this hearing will impact the ability of the Ottawa County Community Mental Health Department to answer questions and to provide educational information to the public prior to the election. Ottawa County Corporation Counsel Greg Rappleye has provided County Commissioners with his opinion that recommends County officials and employees refrain from providing information and even discussing this matter until either the Legislature clarifies the wording of the law, an Attorney General’s opinion is received that clarifies the law or a court clarifies the situation.

West Michigan Issues and Impact

W MI Issues and Impact Fias
Click the image to view the most recent episode of West Michigan Issues and Impact with D./F./Lt. Andy Fias, Section Commander of WEMET (West Michigan Enforcement Team)

Ottawa County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan available for public input (Jessica VanGinhoven)

Parks Open Space Plan

Every five years, Ottawa County Parks develops a long-range plan to guide the work of the Parks Commission and to provide the public with a clear road map of the future of the parks system. Input from Ottawa County residents and park visitors is key to building this plan, and it is gathered in a variety of ways: in-person, telephone, and online surveys, comment cards, and public meetings. The Parks Commission aims to give the general public as much opportunity as possible to share their desires for park land and outdoor recreation. They are also given the opportunity to critique what is offered, so the Parks Commission can continue to make improvements.  Ottawa County Parks is proud of the very high level of support for the parks system from residents and park visitors alike.

 Parks Plan Overview: 2016-2021

  1. Continues emphasis on high quality maintenance and operations with projections of long-term capital renovation needs.  Roughly half of discretionary (non-operating) funds area dedicated to renovations of current park facilities.
  2. Calls for further improvements at the Grand Ravines, Paw Paw Park, Ottawa Beach, and completion of the Grand River Greenway.  It also anticipates modest growth in other land and facilities to accommodate the growing county population and to complete existing initiatives.
  3. Continues efforts to meet and exceed ADA accessibility guidelines at all lands and facilities.
  4. Provides flexibility to consider other unexpected opportunities and expand existing park properties.
  5. Continues focus on providing nature education programs throughout the park system.
  6. Expands emphasis on communications to residents of available opportunities for optimal park use.

Project Funding

The Parks Plan also includes detailed budget projections and a capital improvement plan. The plan notes that the millage combined with grant funds has allowed the Parks Commission to provide a large and high-quality park system to serve residents and visitors. With a higher percentage of millage funds devoted to operations and maintenance there will be a greater reliance on other funding for new and existing initiatives, including the Grand River Greenway. The newly formed Ottawa County Parks Foundation was created to secure more private funding.

 Public Input on the Plan

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission approved the draft of the plan on January 6, 2016. Public comment is being accepted through February 8 and will be discussed at the February 10 meeting. Comments may be sent via email to or by mail: 12220 Fillmore St., West Olive, MI 49460.

We appreciate the efforts of the local media in sharing the plan and encouraging public comment. 

Winter Fun

OCCDA January 2016 CALL DATA (Tim Smith)

The call volume and incident numbers handled through Central Dispatch for January 2016 were:

Total Incidents – 8,817 down 7.2% over January 2015

Fire Incidents – 1,170 down 5.5% over January 2015

Law Incidents – 7,647 down 7.4% over January 2015

911 Calls – 7,610 down 9.9% over January 2015

911 Hang Up calls  802 down 5.4% over January 2015

Wireless 911 calls – 93.3% of 911 calls for January 2016

911 calls answered in 10 seconds or less  94.3% for January 2016 

(NENA recommended standard is 90% within 10 seconds)

Smart 911 Measures:

Profile Pops  103 down 14.8% over January 2015

Hang up calls resolved by texting  81 up 11.1% over January 2015

Cost avoidance via texting  $1,863 up 24.7% over January 2015                  

Chat success rate  18% down from 25% in January 2015


Click here for the most recent update, for older updates click here. 

IMMUNIZATION & WAIVER Information (Kristina Wieghmink)


Since 1978, Michigan law (PH Code: 333.9208) requires that each student possess a certificate of immunization or valid immunization waiver at the time of registration or no later than the first day of school upon entry into kindergarten, 7th grade, or into a new school district involving grades 1-12.

A student who fails to meet the immunization requirement or have a valid waiver, shall not be admitted to school.

Students entering Kindergarten/DK/Pre-K/Young 5s need to have the following immunizations by the start of school:

  • 4 doses of DTP or DTaP, one dose must be after 4 years of age
  • 4 doses of polio. Only 3 doses of polio are required, if dose 3 is given on or after the 4th birthday
  • 2 doses of MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine at or after 1 year of age
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine at or after 1 year of age OR evidence of immunity (blood test) OR reliable history of having had chickenpox

The Advisory Council on Immunizations (ACIP) also recommends the following immunizations for children:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Flu (seasonal)

Students entering 7th grade and students entering 8th-12th grades in a new school district, need to have the following immunizations by the start of school:

  • 4 doses of DT/DTP/DTaP/Td OR 3 doses, if the first dose was given after the first birthday
  • 1 dose of Tdap
  • 4 doses of polio OR 3 doses, if dose #3 was given after the 4th birthday
  • 2 doses of MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine at or after 1 year of age
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 1 dose of MCV4 (quadravalent conjugate meningitis vaccine)
  • 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine at or after 1 year of age OR evidence of immunity (blood test) OR reliable history of having had chickenpox

The Advisory Council on immunizations (ACIP) also recommends the following immunizations for pre-teens and teens:

  • Hepatitis A
  • HPV
  • Flu (seasonal)

If a parent is waiving one or more vaccines, which are required for their child to enter school, the parent will need to make an appointment at their local health department to obtain a NEW waiver prior to the start of school.

A student, who fails to meet the immunization requirement or have a valid waiver, will not be admitted to school.

For questions and additional information, please call 616-396-5266. 

More information at