Meeting Overview: Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners 5/4/22

Civic Reporter Sanaa Littlejohn provides a brief overview of the Kalamazoo County Commission meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Watch our meeting highlight video!


When the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners came together for their meeting on Wednesday, May 4, commissioners and several members of the public spoke on the health insurance law passed in 2021.


The changes to Michigan No-Fault insurance law states that an auto insurance company is only obligated to pay for 56 hours per week of in-home, family-provided attendant care. This has been in effect since July 1, 2021


Leonard Reed Jr, a person who suffered major injuries after a car accident, was put in life-long residence care due to the accident. Reed came up and made a public comment asking the board to stand for change. With the new law change, that lifelong care was negated, leaving him with no care at all.


“They help me bathe, cook, grocery shop, help me with my balance … and make sure I take my medicine,” said Reed.


A provider of 29 years came to speak about the effects of the new law on her business. She had to downsize her employees to half the original number and her number of patients was also downsized by half. Due to the new laws, her payments from patients have been unstable, said the provider.


Bryant Harrison of Revise-a-Care, also came to ask for changes to the new laws. They spoke to ask for support from the board to ask the state to amend the new laws 


The board later agreed to vote for the amendment to be made with Patagonia Health System. 


They also went through official appointments of several people upon different boards. Including: Steve Cook and Sandra Bliesener being reappointed to the Planning Commission, Carl Roberts being reappointed to the Land Bank Authority, Julie Pioch being reappointed to EHAC, Ruth Bates-Hill and ReElla Burrell appointed to Older Adult Services Council, Sarah Hill and Michael O'Rourke appointed to the Solid Waste Management Planning Committee and Greg Rosine and Rob Britigan being reappointed to the Central County Transportation Authority.


The board discussed  who would be appointed to the Kalamazoo County Land Bank treasurer. Commissioner Tami Rey voted to appoint Shawntel Lindsey. That prompted a discussion among the commissioners who had another candidate in mind, Brian Hudson. 


The new Executive Director, Sidney Ellis, asked for reappointment of Treasury Secretary Brian Hudson.


“The new president of the Land Bank, Sidney Ellis, has asked us to renew the appointment of Brian Hudson… so I’m going to be voting no on [Shawntel Lindsey’s] appointment,” said Shugars.


The vote to appoint Shawntel Lindsey passed 7-4.


Stoney Kennedy, one of the Veterans celebrated on Memorial Day. Kennedy came in front of the board and asked for the members to celebrate veterans. Kennedy also hoped we could have a parade for that day, and gave a list of COVID-19 safe veteran ways of celebrating.


The board thanked and acknowledged the public and their comments as they finished out the meeting.