Commissioners rescind vote for $50,000 millage after veteran pro - WNEM TV 5

Commissioners rescind vote for $50,000 millage after veteran protest

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A controversial decision to use millage funds to sponsor a PGA Tour of Champions event was reversed after staunch opposition from the group that millage supports.

Last week the Genesee County Board of Commissioners voted to use $50,000 from the county’s veteran’s millage to sponsor the Ally Challenge at the Warwick Hills golf club later this year.

“Because I’m a disabled veteran and I don’t believe in the process they used when spending this $50,000,” said George Grundy, who is a veteran.

Grundy and dozens of other veterans didn’t mince words over what they call a misuse of taxpayer money.

Last week the Genesee County Board of Commissioners voted to take $50,000 from a Genesee County veterans millage to help sponsor the 2018 Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc Township as part of the PGA Champions Tour.

“Being that we have all of these veterans in Genesee County. 5,000 alone the city of Flint. 627,000 in the state of Michigan. When you’re elected official you don’t want this to affect your votes,” Grundy said.

Veterans called for local commissioners to look at other ways to spend the money. Citing that veterans locally are suffering from hunger, homelessness, and mental illness.

It looks like the commissioners were listening. Drew Shapiro motioned for the board to rescind the vote and to not use the funds of the golf tournament and the board agreed.

“I think the biggest part of the story is obviously the veterans,” Shapiro said. “I think that the second piece is that people are not aware of the fact of the taxpayers, when they passed this millage in 2012 did not intend for this money to be used to sponsor a golf outing.”

Commissioner Mark Young is now putting together an advisory board to see how the commission and veterans can move forward together.

Grundy said that’s how it should be.

“From my perspective, you should talk to the people maybe do a survey and find out what’s needed first, don’t just guess,” Grundy said.

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