Calhoun County's Name
Calhoun County was named by the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1829, along with nine other counties in southern Michigan, for members of President Andrew Jackson's cabinet. Over the years, the County's administration has discussed this history and how to address the fact that John C. Calhoun supported slavery. The legal advice we've received is that changing the County's name would require at least a legislative action and possibly a State constitutional amendment. Neither the Board of Commissioners nor our countywide electorate has the ability to simply vote on a new name. 
Especially in light of recent racial injustice and violence, conversation has reignited about renaming our county. An article was written in the Battle Creek Enquirer, where we heard from community leaders about this idea.
We've developed a page on our website expanding on this discussion, with a clear statement on Calhoun County Government's stand against discriminatory and racist beliefs such as those held by John C. Calhoun. As an organization we have no tolerance for harassing or violent actions and instead support inclusiveness and peaceful ways to express individuality. 
We acknowledge the history behind our County name. We strongly believe that it has nothing to do with where we have been, where we are going, and what we stand for as a county. 
The mission of Calhoun County government is "building a better community through responsive leadership."  Police brutality that leads to the death of black people is the antithesis to how we hope to lead as public servants. We welcome broader conversations about how to turn anger and negative energy, fueled by the history associated with our county name, into positive energy that allows us to stand together for what’s right. 
Check out our website on this topic

Here's what else is going on in our county: 
On Wednesday, June 3, the Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Committee met, discussed recent applications for the Veterans Relief Fund, and the success of the new Meijer voucher program. The meeting ended with Director Aaron Edlefson sharing his interest in writing a statement regarding Black Lives Matter, which was later approved by the board. Read the Veteran Affairs Committee's statement here.
The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau met on June 9 via Microsoft Teams. The Board approved the CVB's COVID-19 Safe Start Plan and discussed how COVID-19 is impacting CVB operations, as well as local leisure travel and sporting events.
Also on June 9, I attended a webinar by the Michigan Department of Treasury about how COVID-19 is impacting local government budgets statewide. The webinar covered revenue sharing impacts, Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency updates, property tax information, as well as question and answer.
On Monday, June 15, the Marshall Community Credit Union Board met, which included an audit presentation and then mandatory annual BSA training. 
The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission met on June 16 to discuss compliance planning for next fiscal year, as well as quarterly reporting for this year. Calhoun County's Public Defender David Makled has submitted our plans and budget for the year starting October 1, and we are hopeful for their approval in August. 
The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) board met June 16 and accepted the FY 2019 audit, approved the FY 2020-2021 budget and strategic plan, and discussed the CEO search, among other updates.

Read the rest of the Update