The Charlevoix Library will not host any Northwest Michigan Department of Health meetings for the foreseeable future after things heated up on September 7.
Charlevoix Library director Ryan Deery said the meeting posed a risk to clients and staff.
âIt was like, both from a pandemic perspective and some of that tension and a bit of hostility, it looked like a dangerous environment that day,â Deery said.
At their meeting in County Antrim on Tuesday, a few members of the board of health raised concerns that they were violating their own bylaws by not holding the meeting at their health department office in Charlevoix.
However, health worker Lisa Peacock said the board had not met there for some time.
âIt just wasn’t a problem at the time, so as we rewrite the bylaws we’ll make sure to recognize it and make sure the board is comfortable with where we are. are we going to come together and how are we going to make these changes, “Peacock said.
After hostility in previous meetings, the health department had to make sure everyone was in a safe environment.
âYesterday was great and involved the state police,â Peacock said. “We did a visit last week, before the meeting, to make sure we knew what our plan would be and if we had to go out for security reasons or adjourn the meeting or something, how we would do these things. . “
The Ministry of Health has already used the Charlevoix Library a few times, but for now, there are no plans to hold meetings there again.
âWe’re happy to let the health department come back when we’re sure we can provide a safe environment,â Deery said. “We haven’t talked about what it will take to get there, but I think part of it is just when some of these burning issues aren’t the primary focus of the meeting.”
The health department is expected to hold its next meeting in County Antrim at the same location.