Facts and statement regarding an appointment to the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board
Compiled by Wes Nakagiri, Livingston County Commissioner for District 3
Mr. Williams sought re-appointment to the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board. This board is commonly referred to as the Huron Clinton Metroparks Board. Mr. Williams was not successful in being reappointed to a second term.
After failing to be appointed for a second term, Mr. Williams sent a letter to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners and WHMI radio. In his June 4th letter Mr. Williams stated, “Livingston County Board of Commissioners (LC BOC) led by Chair Wes Nakagiri has committed at least three violations of Michigan and federal law against me during the ongoing Huron Clinton Metroparks Commissioner appointment process.”
The following objectively verifiable facts provide context surrounding Mr. Williams' allegations.
- Williams had been Livingston County’s appointed representative on the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) Board. His term expired on May 21, 2021.
- MCL 119.54 provides the Livingston County Board of Commissioners (LCBOC) with the statutory authority to make this political appointment.
- Williams completed his term on May 21, 2021. He was not removed from office, rather, his term expired.
- No incumbent candidate is entitled to automatically be reappointed into perpetuity. This applies to all appointed positions, not just the HCMA Board position.
- On May 19, 2021, the 3-member Personnel Committee passed Resolution 8.6. By approving Resolution 8.6, the Personnel Committee recommended Mr. Williams for approval by the 9-member Livingston County Board of Commissioners.
- On May 24, 2021, the LCBOC voted against appointing Mr. Williams as Livingston County’s Representative on the HCMA Board. Mr. Williams received 3 votes in favor of his appointment.
Mr. Williams’ claim of “clear anti-veteran bias.”
- In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated the LCBOC “. . . totally ignored Michigan Compiled Law 35.401, the Preference in Employment Act 205 . . .” He also stated, “The Army Values were ingrained in me during my 28 years of U.S. Army service and now you are denying me continued employment because I am practicing those values. This by itself demonstrates a clear anti-veteran bias.”
- Williams was/is not an employee of the HCMA. He volunteered to serve on the HCMA Board as a political appointee of the LCBOC.
- Williams makes his claim of “clear anti-veteran bias” even though he was the first candidate presented to the LCBOC for a vote to be appointed to the HCMA Board.
- In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated, “This pattern establishes a clear anti-veteran voting bias on the part of the other five commissioners who do not have the same close connection with military service.” His statement indicates he believes that Commissioner Nakagiri has a “clear anti-veteran voting bias.” Mr. Williams makes this claim even though Commissioner Nakagiri has stated publicly that he opposed appointing Mr. Williams because of his support for the DEI program, which Commissioner Nakagiri views as a “toxic racist ideology” which refers to persons with lighter skin pigmentation as “privileged.” Commissioner Nakagiri voiced specific opposition to Mr. Williams’ support of a $6 million expenditure of taxpayer funds to a private entity in order to show more support for “social justice.”
- Commissioner Nakagiri had also publicly stated that he was initially inclined to support the appointment of Mr. Williams, however, he changed his mind after completing his due diligence. This due diligence included a thorough examination of the Huron Clinton Metroparks website, reading HCMA Board meeting minutes, and inspecting Mr. Williams’ voting record.
Mr. Williams’ claim that Commissioner Nakagiri violated the Open Meetings Act
- In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated, “The LC BOC, led by Chair Nakagiri, has repeatedly violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976, MCL-267, by conducting deliberations outside of posted, recorded meetings open to the public.”
- Williams supplied an email from Commissioner Nakagiri, dated April 23, 2021 at 10:06:21 PM EDT, as support of his allegation.
- Commissioner Nakagiri disagrees with Mr. Williams that this email is a violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976.
Note: In his June 4th letter, Mr. Williams stated there are “at least three violations of Michigan and federal law.” However, his letter discusses two issues. It is unclear what his third issue is.
Statement from Commissioner Nakagiri
“I have great respect and appreciation for anyone who serves or has served our country. This heartfelt appreciation includes Mr. Williams as well as my uncles who served in WWII even after President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) incarcerated their family members for being of Japanese ancestry, and the hundreds of troops I have mailed Care Packages to as they served overseas, the veterans I have visited in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, and the men and women of the 2nd Marine Division serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom III[i]. Spanning decades, my military support activities have connected me with troops, veterans, their families, and those who gave all. They are all American Heroes.
While I do appreciate Mr. Williams’ military service, I do not appreciate his support of an ideology that describes persons with lighter skin pigmentation as privileged and American society as institutionally racist. I have always believed people should be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The ideology he supports only serves to divide our country.
Not only did Mr. Williams support this ideology with his votes, but he also supported this ideology by giving $6 million of taxpayer funds to a private entity.
My decision to not support Mr. Williams for this political appointment was due to a lack of agreement on his public policy. It was not due to a lack of appreciation of his military service.”
(Click here to view Mr. Williams July 4th letter.)
(On a side note: I responded to a friend of Mr. Williams who disagreed with my point of view. Read my response letter. This detailed letter includes endnotes and source links so that you do not have to take my word for it. You can view the information yourself).
[i] Endnote: Mr. and Mrs. Wes Nakagiri received this flag and certificate in recognition of their support of the 2nd Marine Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The Nakagiri’s sent Care Packages, Christmas gifts, and letters of support to these front-line troops.
(See the next two pictures for a close-up of the text)