Petoskey Accepts $42,000 from Michigan GOP Chairman for the City’s Department of Public Safety

In a 3-2 vote, Petoskey decided on Monday to accept $42,000 from the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, Ron Weiser for the city’s Department of Public Safety.

Last April, Weiser found himself in hot water for calling three top state officials, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer, witches. Petoskey councilmember, Kate Marshall said these comments were unacceptable. “They’re insulting to the elected officials,” she said. “They’re insulting to women. They are inflammatory, especially when we have a governor who had a plot against her.”

Weiser has since apologized, but Marshall still worries about the reputation of Petoskey by accepting the donation. “I think this vote was really a litmus test of our integrity and I think we failed it,” she said. “I just think that people might think that we’re for sale.”

Mayor John Murphy says he understands the concern, but it would be wrong to pass up on opportunities like this. “I think The reputation could be actually soiled if we didn’t take the opportunity to take this funds,” he said. “I don’t like the idea of setting a precedent whereby people are mixing politics with philanthropy. I think what we should do is get the politics out. Philanthropy to the city is a great thing and we welcome it.”

The money will go towards new equipment for fire teams and officers, including body cameras that automatically turn on when a gun or taser is pulled. “There’s only so much money in any budget and there’s always things you have on a wish list that you wish you could have and these happen to be things that we’re purchasing through this opportunity with this grant,” said Murphy.