Health department considers comment policy change

After recent protests at Branch-Hillsdale- St. Joseph Health Agency meetings, Hillsdale County commissioner Brent Leininger suggested a change in policy for public comments.

An email to Policy Committee members suggested the presiding officer may prohibit public comments that are frivolous, repetitive or harassing.

Leininger said he serves on a school board that adopted similar rules.

Protestors caused disruptions at the December and January health agency meetings. They have objected to numerous issues, but have focused on mask mandates and agency operations.

Branch County commissioner and agency chairman Tom Matthew said rules should be enforced requiring a person to give their name and address.

Moms for Liberty Branch and Hillsdale Counties sued the health agency. The case is now in federal court over discontinued quarantine and mask mandates orders from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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