Petoskey City Council is now discussing the potential donation from Ron Weiser
even though weiser is “messy” the city should still accept a large donation from him to fund the use of body cameras, says councilor brian wagner
council member kate marshall argues that public safety should not be at the behest of a large (political) donor like weiser
there appears to be a policy dated from c.2016 regarding donations to parks and rec funding that could give guidance as to how this could play out
council members are now listing the criteria previously listed for accepting donations, with mayor john murphy mentioning frequently he doesn’t want things to be “political”
mayor murphy mentions a church group donated once to the public safety department. councilor marshall mentions the difference is that the church group wasn’t in the international news for being so controversial
mayor murphy mentions he spoke to weiser and that he wanted no acknowledgement for this gift. after being asked from councilor shiels if there will be a photo op, response is there will be none. their will also not be a plaque to honor weiser either
Weiser has purchased a home in Bay Harbor, and Mayor Murphy claims Weiser just wants to contribute to the city of Petoskey with no quid pro quo. Just because he says he doesn’t want anything in return doesn’t mean the public won’t perceive it that way, says Councilmember Marshall
Councilmember Shiels brings up the issue of preferential treatment with Weiser, and the response he gets from the mayor is that the donation will help promote equality under law (and its enforcement)
so it appears there is a clause in the 2016 criteria for accepting donations that takes into account the reputation of the donor and how it could affect the reputation of the city. seems like they shouldn’t accept from someone who incites misogyny and political violence
Councilmember Marshall mentions there are many residents of Petoskey who believe “that those words in this day and age are unacceptable,” even Republicans who live there
Mayor Murphy continues to cover for Weiser’s misdeeds and words, setting the bar as low as saying that he believed the Jan 6 insurrection was unacceptable.

That was already after Weiser downplayed the events that day.
Mayor Murphy mentions Weiser’s donations to art center and McLaren Medical Center and that he’s looking to contribute more to the Emmet Co area.

I don’t know, maybe a millionaire doing profligate charitable spending is in fact a way to mask his terrible track record in life?
Marshall mentions that Weiser recently donated $100,000 to anti-voter legislation in Michigan to restrict access to ballot drop boxes. Mayor Murphy says that isn’t grounds to deny a potential donation from Weiser: “Let’s get politics out of philanthropy for this area.”
Shiels motions to table the resolution until the council revises its stance on “real or perceived impropriety” in accepting donations, until there are no restrictions on which city dept it can go to, or until the political brouhaha boils over
Mayor says council should move on with proposed vote. Says that city’s reputation will be “scarred” whether or not they accept Weiser’s donation: “What we need to do is what’s best for the city of Petoskey, which is to take politics out of philanthropy.”
public comment period now begins. resident mentions the issue of ethics: weiser has said there’s no quid pro quo now, but it could eventually become that down the road.
resident brings up that private donations shouldn’t ever go to public safety budget, even if there was precedent of the same kind of deal
the issue of refusing weiser’s donations on the grounds of it being “political” are nonsense because what is in question is his sexist and violent remarks. not his GOP affiliation per se
thus far all of the speakers during public comment session have voiced their concern with the donation, except the current one who says it’s not the role of the council to be a “moral weathervane”
City council now taking vote. Motion passes 3-2 to accept the $42,400 public safety donation from prolific inciter of misogyny and political violence Ron Weiser

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