FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Margy Belchak, Chair, Kalamazoo County Democratic Party
Phone: (312) 848-0225
CONCERNS OVER LACK OF SERVICES IN THE COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE
Our community needs the County Government to continue providing services in a safe and reliable manner.
KALAMAZOO, MICH, April 18, 2020—Although Kalamazoo County Government buildings are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, providing services to our community is essential. At this time, most County departments are still working to provide services while following Governor Whitmer’s social distancing guidelines. However, several individuals have reached out to Kalamazoo County Commissioners with concerns about the lack of services in the County Clerk’s office. Social distancing guidelines should be able to be followed by making appointments and spacing appointments appropriately. It seems the County Clerk has elected not to process vital records for an indeterminate time.
At least one Kalamazoo County resident seeking a marriage license has been turned away. A woman from Portage contacted the County Clerk’s office and was told they would not be processing marriage licenses. Given that 1) most people get their health insurance through their employer, and 2) many employers require partners to be married to be added to their employee’s health insurance policy, and 3) we are living through the worst pandemic in modern history, it seems incredibly important for the County Clerk to process marriage licenses during this time.
Additionally, Dr. Francine Bruder, a Democratic candidate for Kalamazoo County Commission in District 11, is a physician who has a full schedule of patients on Tuesday, April 21, which is the deadline by which all candidates must file to run for office. She attempted to make an appointment for Monday, April 20 and was denied by the Clerk’s office. She was told the Clerk’s office would be open on Tuesday, April 21, however, she would be unable to physically go into the Clerk’s office on that date because of a full patient caseload.
“It’s absolutely critical that the Kalamazoo County Clerk does his job and processes vital records as well as makes himself available to people to file to run for office. Our functioning democracy depends on this. Voters must have a choice in their elected officials. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us just how important our leaders are to the health and safety of our communities.” – Margy Belchak, Chair, Kalamazoo County Democratic Party
This is not acceptable. Our community expects the County Government to continue providing services in a safe and reliable manner.
The purpose of the KCDP is to promote the philosophy of the Democratic Party and to elect Democrats who support this philosophy, and further, to unite and to aid in the activities of all Party members, precinct delegates, committees, office holders, candidates and all other Democrats working to promote wide and active participation in the Democratic Party. It shall also provide information regarding issues and positions of the Democratic Party to the general public.
—Article 2, Kalamazoo County Democratic Party Bylaws
Chair, Kalamazoo County Democratic Party
(312) 848-0225 (cell)