In his criticism of Rep. Meerman and Senator Victory, does Ottawa County Corporation’s legal counsel, Doug Van Essen, recognize alternative legal opinions exist?

“Sad that Rep. Meerman and Roger Victory would support litigation against Ottawa County. In my 40 years of being a county lawyer I have never seen such a disrespectful situation.”

– Doug Van Essen, Ottawa County Corporation Counsel as reported by WZZM 13

Is he blinded by the praise he has received from the offices of Governor Whitmer and AG Nessel for his harsh enforcement of Covid orders with Libertas Christian School, resulting in a legal alliance with them in defense of a lawsuit brought by Libertas? (Doug Van Essen recently recommended those doubting his legal advice obtain a second opinion from Whitmer’s AG office.)

At least one Commissioner has commented they fear losing their personal belongings should they stand against Health Department orders. Do the County Commissioners acquiesce to the Health Department’s actions out of personal fear instead of standing for freedom for those they represent? Fortunately, we have a State Representative and State Senator who first uphold their oath to the Constitution, are active in reviewing and writing legislation to protect our freedoms, and seek alternative legal counsel.

Does Doug Van Essen miss the irony of his own words? There is nothing more disrespectful to an entire community than the County forcing compliance to health orders while blatantly violating Constitutional rights and freedoms—including the parental right to direct the care of one’s child, discouraging and/or disallowing religious and medical exemptions turned into area schools, and forcing masks onto the faces of our littlest ones.

Who is actually running Ottawa County? Elected officials, unelected bureaucrats, and/or someone hired by the county to give advice?

“Neither Representative Meerman nor Senator Victory are members of the Michigan Bar and so they are totally incompetent to provide legal analysis.”

“To say [Rep. Meerman and Senator Victory] . . . have no appreciation for the rule of law . . . is the understatement of the year.”

– Doug Van Essen, Ottawa County Corporation Counsel as reported by WZZM 13

If Mr. Van Essen is correct, that our elected officials—the board of commissioners—have no authority over the health department, then why did the Michigan legislature enact the statute that declares that the board of commissioners is the “governing entity” over the health department?

Why did the Michigan legislature enact law that provides that the board “shall” appoint the health officer?

And why, pursuant to MCL 46.11 (k) did the Michigan legislature indicate that the board of commissioners may “require a county officer . . . to make a report under oath to the county board of commissioners on any subject connected with the duties of that office?”

The Ottawa county mask mandate is premised on the Michigan statute that finds there is a “imminent danger.” Has the Ottawa County Health Department provided evidence of an imminent danger to our children if they are not masked?

In the past 18 months, there has reportedly been zero (0) deaths in children under the age of 19 due to Covid-19 in Ottawa County.

Parents are not asking unelected officials to make medical decisions; parents are asking elected officials to recognize and exercise the statutory authority they have to oversee the county and the health officer, who can be replaced with someone who respects the limited role of government, especially related to parents making health decisions for their own children.