Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: June 22, 2015
— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
After over two decades with the POAM, Ottawa County Deputies decided it was time for new representation. As of Jan. 1, 2015, the 119-member unit became official members of the POLC following a fall 2014 election to switch representation.
“We had a long long time with them, as long as I’ve been here — 16 years — and it was long before that,” said Ottawa County Deputy Brent Brown, estimating the group had been with the POAM at least 20 years. “From what I heard from people they weren’t happy with the representation we were getting.”
Last year, people began organizing to see if the majority of unit members wanted different representation. “I think a lot had to do with our Command staff was already with POLC. The experiences they had had, which were good, influenced a lot of people to want to go to them … knowing the history they’ve had and how well they’ve been performing for other unions. I know our Command staff was happy and they had no complaints. That was probably the biggest thing,” said Brown, the local union president.
POLC Rep. Will Keizer has already been working hard for the group, whose board recently went through an election and has only two incumbent board members.
“I can’t say enough about Will. He’s been great especially with all this changeover,” Brown said. “We had to do new bylaws. He’s really been doing well for us. He’s helped us with a couple grievances — one was from a termination on Jan. 6, right off the bat he helped us with that.”
Keizer also helped the new board form committees and with their voting process. “He’s helped us shape our whole board. It was all brand new except for myself and one other trustee. He’s helped us immensely,” Brown said. “I think we’re all excited to be with POLC now and hope to have a long relationship with them.”