Consolidation stance misprepresented

August 30, 2010
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Editor,

I was shocked and dismayed to see the words “blinders,” “fighting half the battle” and “hoarding” used in the context of Sandi Frost Parrish’s position on consolidation (Aug. 16, Grand Rapids Business Journal).The entire editorial was poorly articulated and ill-informed. Sandi has progressively and aggressively educated herself on the history of and potential for Kent County’s consolidation efforts, as well as those of peer cities, counties and communities. 

She is keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities presented by consolidation, and also firmly believes in the potential benefits. She has a reasoned and rational approach that takes into consideration infrastructure costs, culture, effectiveness and efficiency when considering the opportunities and challenges. It is a complex issue, fraught with pitfalls and potentially unnecessary expense. Her measured approach to finding the right opportunities at the right costs to the community is exactly what is needed.

Comparing the potential Saugatuck consolidation to Kent County is unfair and simplistic. We would have more constituencies to engage and issues to resolve in Kent County just to consider addressing a parks and recreation consolidation/cost savings opportunity than Saugatuck will have for their entire process.

Your editorial missed the mark in almost every way in representing her position.

Sheila E. VanZile
Grand Rapids

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