The Grand Traverse County Commission for decades has acted like solving our critical community issues is someone else’s challenge, leaving it to the city and townships, Lansing and Washington, and non-profits and local businesses. Whether it's crumbling roads, traffic, leaking pipes, forever chemicals in the water, lack of housing and childcare, inaccessible mental health services, protecting our shoreline, or the climate crisis, the county commission has an important, positive role in addressing these issue facing our community.
Public Services Provider
The county has responsibility for nearly every aspect of local public life because the county is responsible for funding and/or managing the courts, the jail, the health department, animal control, community mental health services, construction permits, soil erosion, sewer & water permits, community parks, and more. With a positive vision and a strategic plan developed with input from staff, the community, and stakeholders, the county can reshape how it provides critical public services to benefit the whole community and advance our own priorities while also reacting effectively to unexpected challenges.
The county is a significant employer and consumer, with over 500 employees, numerous buildings and vehicles, and thousands of acres of parks and publicly-owned land. The county can manage these public resources to reflect our community values, and model programs to inspire others. This may include providing childcare for public employees, participating in energy efficiency programs, investing in renewable energy, providing charging stations in public places, protecting tree canopy on public lands, ensuring connectivity and non-motorized access to public places, and more.
Central Local Government
The county is central to all local government in our region. In this role, the county has the opportunity to model, share, convene, advocate, and facilitate collaboration across our community in order to address issues facing our community. These include regional community issues like affordable housing, homelessness, climate, transportation, recreation, mental wellness, and more. In this role, the county can also amplify our voices in Lansing and Washington. And the county can provide centralized planning to bring people together, develop models and pilot programs, and facilitate sharing of challenges and lessons.