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Charlevoix Co. Resident Raises Concerns About County’s Transit, Senior Services

Charlevoix County

A Charlevoix County man is raising concerns with what he says are deficiencies in the county’s Transit and Commission on Aging services.

Chet Falkowski is legally blind, which has forced him to rely on public transit to get around. He’s lived in the county for just over 10 years and says the issues surrounding the county’s Transit and Commission on Aging services has continued to get worse.

“The services provided by Charlevoix County Transit is really just a shadow of its former self,” Falkowski claims.

Falkowski has raised concerns with commissioners in the past about the duration of a ride, the lack of stops and the lack of exercise activities with the Commission on Aging. However, he says commissioners haven’t shown much interest. So, he decided to put together his own study comparing Charlevoix County’s services with Emmet and Kalkaska Counties.

“I hope it opens some eyes. My study was done to show discrepancies so [commissioners] are better able to make decisions to improve the quality of life for those most vulnerable of their county residents,” Falkowski says.

found Kalkaska and Emmet Counties provided better services than Charlevoix.

The Chairman for the Charlevoix Board of Commissioners, Scott Hankins, disagrees with Falkowski, saying he believes their services are adequate.

According to Charlevoix County Transit, they provide over 3,700 rides per month for $2 or less. The area’s Commission on Aging also provides warm meals with County Transit delivering some of the meals to Beaver Island.

Falkowski admits they are doing some things right, but they should be striving to do better.

“They’re doing stuff, but it’s not good enough and they’re not doing enough of it,” Falkowski states.

Hankins says this is the only complaint he’s heard about the transit system and Commission on Aging, but still takes Falkowski’s concerns seriously. He says they will continue to look for ways they can improve.

“It’s difficult to make everyone happy, but I think we provide a lot of services, and I’m pleased with the work that our staff is doing to meet the needs of the Charlevoix County residents,” Hankins says. “We’re very reasonable in what we do, and we certainly try to be responsive to people’s concerns.”