When I was first elected I had no experience. Getting experience became an immediate and vexing problem since the BOH Chairperson at that time, Dave Kowalski, made no effort to share, include or explain the responsibilities of BOH members.
I was expected to sign and approve plans without any knowledge of the details. I remember how honored I felt to be elected by a large majority, I was not going to let these people down. So I had to learn the job on my own.
On my days off, I went to other town´s BOH members to learn what the many responsibilities of the Boards of Health were. I discovered that Holland was falling drastically short of all legal requirements.
Last August, David Kowalski, the Chairperson, a 15 year BOH member, was replaced on my motion to make Kenneth Ference the new Chairperson. Kowalski chose not to attend BOH meetings for four months. When he returned in December 2014 it was only to start lobbying for his friends.
In his four month absence the BOH ran smoothly and regulations were finally followed. The most notable change was that septic plans were now being properly reviewed. Ken Ference and I had attended special BOH training to achieve this. The goal was to get the Holland BOH from where it was to where it needed to be. As the June 2015 elections approached the next step would be to find a third person to serve the community with integrity but no one was willing to serve. I tried to convince some former members to come back but the three individuals, people who had served with Kowalski on the board, made it abundantly clear that they would NEVER work with him again!
As a result of learning title V and making decisions according to the law, I have been blackballed, persecuted, harassed and now, recalled. All because a few property developers, real estate agents and a septic designer didn´t like the fact that their substandard and not in compliance with Title V projects no longer get approved with no review as had been the pattern for the past decade.
Saying no to bad projects is not fun, neither is filing complaints in an effort to fix persistent and pervasive problems. It did not make me a popular person. How clear that has become. But it does protect OUR public health, which is what a BOH is supposed to do and what I thought I was supposed to do. Protecting Public Health is what I will continue to do if I am not voted out by the recall.
I have done nothing but serve the community with honesty and integrity; if this is what you stand for, I need you to come out and vote. It is much more fun to go to your kid´s soccer or baseball game and it´s easy to think that one vote doesn´t matter, but it does. The people clinging to their personal vendettas will be out in force to vote. Don´t let that small group be the only ones who will decide this outcome. I have no connections to developers, builders, or real estate agents. I´m a registered nurse and work in a hospital. I have no hidden agenda.
I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in June 2014. I would appreciate your continued support at the Special Election on August 10, 2015. Voting will be at the Holland Community Center from 10 am to 8 pm. Please vote NO to the recall, and then please vote for me, Dana Manning. I now have experience, and I have knowledge of the current and ongoing issues that are prevalent in our town.
August 4, 2015, Dana Manning