Two members of the public encouraged the Mason County Board of Commissioners to approve a resolution to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County at its regular meeting Tuesday night at the Mason County Courthouse.

Herb Stenzel and Carolyn Kater, during public comment, requested that the county consider passing a resolution.

“I’d to ask that a resolution to be put on the agenda for next month for a vote,” he said. “Look it over. I’ll be contacting each of you, and I can meet with you one-on-one and address concerns.”

Counties around Michigan have been passing similar resolutions. In the February board packet, the county boards of Sanilac, Cheboygan, Mackinac and Iosco had resolutions included approving those resolutions. There was also a resolution from the Marquette County board “affirming the board’s support of Constitutional rights.”

The Oceana County board is expected to discuss the issue again Thursday at its meeting.

Kater, during public comment, said the state has the strongest language supporting gun rights in its constitution out of the 50 states.

“(Gov.) Gretchen Whitmer is calling for tighter gun-control laws,” Kater said. “There is legislation introduced that are red flag laws identical to Virginia. Those red flag laws would target citizens and not criminals. I urge you to read the resolution.

“There is no reason for a board of commissioner to vote against it.”

Following the second set of public comments, and before adjourning, Board Chair Janet Andersen said she had two people discuss the potential for a resolution with her.

“We take the oath, and when we assumed the office, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. In reference to this issue, I’m going to refer this to our rules committee to review. They’ll gather information, and we’ll conduct our due diligence,” Andersen said.

Veterans affairs

Mason County Veterans Affairs Officer Jim Wincek gave his first-ever report for the office that began in spring 2019. Wincek outlined that his office got a late start, but he was able to get the necessary accreditation and certifications to be able to work with veterans in the county.

He said there are roughly 60 individual veterans who he has worked with.

“The word is getting out. It’s pretty steady now. The veterans in this county owe this board thanks,” Wincek said. “They no longer have to wait.”

He also outlined an upcoming two-day event in May. The Friday event is a veterans service summit to get a variety of sources that assist veterans. The Saturday event will be opened up to the county’s veterans to get them connected with those various service, and in addition, hear from a keynote speaker.

Invasive species

Vickie Sawicki, the program coordinator for the North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, updated the board on the programs and projects it did through the past year.

Sawicki said she was excited about the work being done in conjunction with the City of Ludington at its Cartier Park, with the assistance of A Few Friends of the Environment of the World (AFFEW). Part of the work done was the installation of demonstration native plant beds.

She also had a warning, though, of the invasive species in the county.

“You guys are a mess of invasives,” she said, drawing a laugh. “There’s wild parsnip. We didn’t know it was here, but it can pose a threat to the public. It causes burns, as severe as third-degree burns. And the burns can come back every year.

“We’re trying to contain that.”

County business

All resolutions and items before the board passed unanimously, including:

• approved an agreement between the county and the Teamsters State, County and Municipal Worker Local 224 for four years.

• purchasing two Dodge Chargers for the sheriff’s office. One is to replace a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria and the other is to replace a 2013 Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe was damaged in an accident and not repaired.

• approving a letter of agreement with District Health Department No. 10 so a grant totaling $7,101 would be used for education, communication and outreach regarding medical marijuana.

• honoring Dean Samuels, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who started as a reserve officer before eventually working full-time as a corrections officer at the Mason County Jail.

• a request to sell surplus shelving from the county clerk’s office.

• approving surveyor contracts with Nordlund and Associates and surveyor Rex Pope; and the approval of a remonumentation peer group that includes James Nordlund, Pope, Dennis Dunlap, Pat Johnson and Sam Barnett.