ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - About 25 county commissioners gathered Monday at the Quality Inn & Suites in Escanaba on Monday to talk about things that need to be addressed in the Upper Peninsula, and across the state.
It is one of four regional summits that serve to keep a connection between what's happening in Lansing, and other parts of Michigan.
"I think it gives county commissioners the opportunity to talk to each other about things that are happening in their individual counties and issues that they're facing. But it also helps them understand how to implement some of the things that are going to be coming up," said Deena Bosworth, Michigan Association of Counties Director of Governmental Affairs.
This summit had a full agenda, with topics such as trial court funding, combating deterioration in communities, capital improvement projects, and mental illness management in correctional facilities.
For many, mental illness was a key point. Several commissioners voiced their concerns to Senator Ed McBroom, who attended the beginning of the summit.
"And so we're going to have someone talk today about diverting them from the jail system and getting them the help and community that they need. I mean, a jail really isn't the place for someone that needs mental health treatment," says Bosworth.
Others, like Dickinson County Commissioner Joe Stevens, came to talk about issues like the Line 5 pipeline and mental health privatization, but also to listen and learn.
"I want to hear from the speakers, I want hear from what they're talking about and it's all about education that we can bring back to our constituents and inform them as to what's going on," said Stevens.
The Michigan Association of Counties Annual Conference is set for August 18 through 20 in Acme.