Administrator's Digest - July 11, 2022

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July 11, 2022

In this issue:

  • ARPA survey
  • Unemployment numbers
  • Cops & Bobbers
  • And more

Greetings from the Administrator

On June 24, 2022, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners attended its annual strategic planning session.  Many of the elected officials and department heads also attended the session to review the County’s Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Organization Values and goals.  After much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to make only minor revisions to these overarching concepts as follows:

Vision Statement: Where You Belong

Mission Statement: Ottawa County is committed to excellence and the delivery of cost-effective public services.

Organizational Values:

  • We recognize the importance of the Democratic Process in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to respect the rule of the majority and the voted choices of the people; to support the decisions of duly elected officials; and to refrain from interference with the elective process.
  • We recognize the importance of the Rule of Law in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to work within, uphold, support, and impartially enforce the law.
  • We recognize the importance of Ethics in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to always act truthfully, honestly, honorably and without deception; to seek no favor; and to receive no extraordinary personal gain from the performance of our official duties.
  • We recognize the importance of Service to others over self in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to treat each resident as a customer; to do all we can, within the bounds of the County’s laws, regulations, policies and budget, to meet requests for service.
  • We recognize the importance of Employees in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to treat each employee with professional respect, recognizing that each person using their trade or vocation makes a valuable contribution; to treat each employee impartially, fairly and consistently; and to listen to the recommendations and concerns of each.
  • We recognize the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to proactively engage and understand a variety of perspectives across all human differences. We seek to ensure respectful treatment and fair access to opportunities and resources so all may thrive and achieve their full potential. We believe every person’s voice adds value and contributes to the wellbeing and stability of our growing community.
  • We recognize the importance of Professionalism in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value that each employee will perform to the highest professional standards and to their highest personal capabilities.
  • We recognize the importance of Stewardship of public money in the accomplishment of our mission and hold it as a basic value to discharge our stewardship in a responsible, cost-effective manner, always remembering and respecting the source of the County’s funding.


  1. To maintain and improve the strong financial position of the County.
  2. To contribute to the long-term economic, social and environmental health of the County.
  3. To maintain and enhance communication with citizens, employees and other stakeholders.
  4. To continually improve the County’s organization and services.

As part of the strategic planning process, the Board participated in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis. From this process, the Board came up with the six top objectives to incorporate into the business plan. The numbers are the total points received over the number of Commissioners assigning some of his allotted points to that objective. 

  1. Public Safety Funding and Collaboration 72/8
  2. Employee Retention and Recruitment 51/10
  3. Reestablish Trust in Government 46/7
  4. Mental Health Diversion Initiatives (CIT) 42/7
  5. Access to Housing 39/7
  6. Provide Education on County’s Role 39/7

The County will strive to meet these objectives in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2022.

John Shay
Ottawa County Administrator

Strategic Planning 2022

County seeks community input on ARPA spending

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a COVID-19 relief package, was signed into law in March 2021. This Act includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments. This federal aid is intended to address economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong recovery. Determined to utilize these one-time federal resources wisely, Ottawa County formed the American Rescue Plan Act Committee. Appointed by the Board of Commissioners, the Committee is comprised of 19 community members representing a cross-section of local public and private organizations. The Committee's sole purpose is to guide the Board of Commissioners on how to spend the $57 million that the County has received from ARPA. 

Complete the survey

To further inform the funding process, Ottawa County is asking for community feedback. ARPA Committee members have identified needs within their area of expertise and are assisting County officials with drafting funding options and priorities. To ensure projects funded by ARPA dollars benefit all who live and work in Ottawa County, the Committee identified categories, or "buckets", of high level priorities. The survey asks the community to rank Affordable Housing; Social and Human Services; Countywide Broadband; and Business Stabilization categories plus welcomes additional ideas. The questionnaire, available in both English and Spanish, takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete and closes on August 1.

Bucket Managers

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners secured contracts on June 28 with nonprofit partners who will be responsible for soliciting eligible projects for consideration of the County's ARPA funding. Lakeshore Advantage will lead business stabilization efforts, HousingNext will support the identification of affordable housing projects, and a collaboration between the Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and the Greater Ottawa County United Way will work under the name Care Ottawa to identify critical social and human services endeavors. These organizations will work in the community to solicit applications for funding, however final project and funding approvals will be funneled through the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.


A dedicated website – – outlines Ottawa County’s ARPA plan. It will be updated regularly. The County, through its bucket managers, will begin accepting project applications for a first round of ARPA funding through the summer of 2022 based on the priority areas.


Visitors can sign up for future ARPA updates by email

Survey Button

Unemployment in Ottawa County

The preliminary unemployment rates for May 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate for May measured 3.2%, the lowest in Michigan. Unemployment data for the entire state is available from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

May 2022 Unemployment

Cops & Bobbers

Join Ottawa County Sheriff and Ottawa County Parks for an event dedicated to introducing kids to fishing, conservation, and water safety!

  • July 18
  • 5:30 - 8 PM
  • Ottawa Sands County Park, 18153 N Shore Drive, Ferrysburg

Follow the Facebook Event for details, discussion and to share with your friends. 

Cops and Bobbers pdf

Assessing division grows through collaboration

Ottawa County has been providing assessing services through its Equalization department for over a decade now for some jurisdictions throughout the County. Grand Haven City was the first municipality to partner with the County in 2011 to provide assessing services to its citizens. That model has worked out well over the years. As a result, the County has become a viable option for municipalities who have lost assessors to attrition. Crockery Township was the second jurisdiction to partner with the County for assessing services followed by Hudsonville City and Blendon Township. The County never seeks to undercut a properly certified assessor nor pursue additional contracts where local jurisdictions have an assessor in place. As assessing staff are lost, however, many jurisdictions are finding it difficult to fill those positions. 

Such was the case with the City of Coopersville who in June, 2022, lost their long-time assessor, Wayne Pickler, to retirement. Wayne was an excellent assessor who has served the city well for many years, but his retirement left the City with a vacancy. After exploring their options, both the Coopersville City Council voted unanimously to approve the collaboration followed by the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approving the partnership on June 28. 

Public health gets kids kindergarten ready

With the beautiful West Michigan summer we’re having, it’s hard to believe that we’ll need to start thinking about going back to school soon.

In order to help parents fulfill these necessary requirements all in one place, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is hosting a kindergarten health fair on Thursday, July 21. Kids can get free back-to-school immunizations, hearing and vision screenings, and new this year, dental screenings. The health fair will take place from 10 am to 6 pm at the Holland clinic, located at 12251 James Street. OCDPH’s health fair will have skilled nurses, technicians and dental hygienists providing services in a kid-friendly environment, prizes, snacks and even a special guest appearance.

Routine immunizations and screenings can help identify problems and protect children from diseases that were once considered fatal, including polio, chickenpox and even the flu. Hearing, vision and dental screenings can reveal impairments that parents might not know are there and which can impact a child’s ability to learn.

If you or someone you know needs help accessing these required services, please call (616) 396-5266. Beat the back-to-school rush and schedule your appointment for the health fair today! To learn more, visit

Kindergarten health fair 2022

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