2024-05-16T08:34:00-04:00May 16th, 2024|

Allison Miedema, Ottawa County Commissioner seeking reelection in District 11Chester Township, Crockery Township, City of Coopersville, Polkton Charter Township, Tallmadge Charter Township and Wright Township

I recently received this questionnaire from an interested group in Ottawa County. I am uncertain as to how they intend to share the information with constituents, and I wanted to share the questions along with my answers here.

1. What do you consider your unique qualifications for the office of county commissioner?

Being a resident of Ottawa County for the past 42 years, and American citizen for 45 years, I have witnessed with my own eyes how important God’s Word is and the United States Constitution is to a free and moral society. Our nation is at a crossroads and it requires everyday men and women to get involved in the public square to defend the freedoms we hold dear. Additionally, I am a wife, mom and have worked with hundreds of families in Ottawa County over 21+years in the role of teaching with a Masters in Early Childhood. Preschoolers, alongside their parents, have taught me a lot about the importance of being a good listener, good communicator, being able to work well with a diverse group of individuals, hard work, growth mindset – never done learning, ability to shift gears quickly, enjoy the work you are doing, the importance of encouraging others, putting others before yourself. My college classes also gave me much experience with research which have been beneficial in my role on the county board. My husband and I have taken the Financial Peace program by Dave Ramsey, which teaches you about setting goals, planning for the future, saving and spending only what you can afford. Additionally, other life experiences such as serving on my church’s pastor search team, being a Kids Hope USA mentor, Youth Group leader and Women’s Bible Study Leader have all provided leadership and servant opportunities that I’ve noticed have been helpful in the role of county commissioner. More can be read about me at allisonmiedema.com.

2. Explain your views on the working relationships among the commissioners. How do you view them now and how do you view them as they should be?

I believe that every elected official, whether it’s on the county board or another elected seat is elected by We the People and has also been granted the seat by God for whatever time he has each of us here. There will always be certain individuals we agree with and those we disagree with on a variety of matters – regardless, they have all been made in God’s image and I will always do my best to treat each individual in the way that I would want to be treated.

A majority of the BOC works well together and has respectful back and forth discussion on a variety of items during committee and BOC meetings. I also have had good communication behind the scenes with most commissioners. Commissioners that uphold virtues such as honor, integrity and truth and avoid lying about one another for personal gain make it a joy to serve We the People. Those that choose to make it their mission to attack, slander and work for personal gain detract from the good work on behalf of the beautiful people of Ottawa County.

A lesson I’ve been taught in life is that I am responsible for my own behavior. The only person I can change is myself.

3. Discuss the role that the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners should have in working with the elected officials, i.e., prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer, clerk/register of deed and water resources director.

From my perspective, open communication and good working relationships between the Board of Commissioners and other elected officials within the county benefits everyone. Having opportunities to hear about other elected officials’ work alongside their needs through reports given to the BOC, in person meetings, phone calls, and emails are all helpful and important. Each elected official has a unique and important role within the county. The BOC has the responsibility to get to know the work, discern the needs and requests and respond based on information provided by the elected officials, the budget and needs of the people.

4. What would be your expectations for the Ottawa County Health Department’s response to a future worldwide pandemic?

In regards to another pandemic such as we experienced in 2020, the health department’s role is to educate the public on recommended ways of being safe. They should look at the big picture vs. one small lense – looking at physical, emotional and mental health. I sincerely hope that those put into roles in the health department have learned from past mistakes of letting politics or the media determine public health decisions. Facts, data, common sense and the constitution should be the factors used. Safety should never trump our constitutionally given freedoms such as closing down businesses (and deciding which ones stay open), churches, mandating vaccines or masks, isolating family members in nursing homes, allowing people to die alone. When people are educated and informed, they are able to make informed decisions and practice self governance.

5. In funding county government operations, how would you prioritize funding needs?

Begin with these questions:
What is government responsible for? What is required? What are the needs of the people? Balancing needs and desires of the people with the reality of the budget.
Create a Strategic Plan that looks not only to the current year but also projects to the future.
A 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan was something the Board of Commissioners created in 2023 and can be found on the county website at miottawa.org. Communication with directors of the departments and county administrator through the budget process is also important.

6. How would you represent all citizens regardless of culture, religion, race, or lifestyle?

The following resolution is one I voted on in 2023 and agree with wholeheartedly and speaks well to this question: