City of Ludington Fails to Close Facilities Ruled Unlawful by Governor

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued her 160th executive order this year, and while most people obediently follow these orders, apparently the City of Ludington has decided they are immune to them.  The order, which went into effect and 12:01 AM this morning, labels itself as an 'amended safe start order'.  It says in relevant part:

Subject to the exceptions in sections 8 and 9, the following places are closed to entry, use, and occupancy by members of the public:  (e) outdoor services or facilities involving close contact of persons, for amusement or other recreational or entertainment purposes, such as... water parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.

The two exceptions do not apply for the City's defense in any way, the first allowing provisions for regions 6 and 8 (north of us) and the second allowing for several specific occasions.  It was noted in the news that due to this latest executive order, nearby Michigan Adventure will be closing.  It should also be noted that her EO #110 that allowed swimming pools and similar facilities to reopen was specifically rescinded by this latest order, which means that her majesty's permission for swimming pools and similar facilities is no longer around.  

The public splash pad at Copeyon Park therefore, should be immediately closed and not operable starting today, and yet the following picture was taken earlier today at that facility:

There are no signs around the area noting that the area is closed.  Has city hall decided that it doesn't need to follow Lansing's orders, even when they are effectively a political subdivision of state government?

Apparently, because they are also still utilizing their 'public pool' at Harbor View Marina.  This picture was also taken this afternoon.

The swimming pool's definition is still in dispute, it is ran by the City of Ludington in the process of leasing it from the State but signs all over the facility says it's 'private'.  They have made clear that slip holders of both city marinas can use the pool, they have also allowed a local condominium association to use it as well-- so this swimming pool could be looked at as a Petri dish for viruses from all over the state and country, as few slip holders are actually local. 

One would have to believe Whitmer would not approve of this total disregard of her executive orders by a state subdivision in two different ways, potentially spreading the coronavirus under her name.  This is why the Ludington Torch is going to be reporting this potential health crisis to the appropriate state authorities, and hope that Attorney General Dana Nessel can close these dangerous facilities the same way she closed Fivecap for minor transgressions.


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After reading EO 160 again, it's easy to see the misinterpretation by many of water park and splash pad. It also says skate park, but not city parks, causing a lot of confusion and anger. Still the propaganda (notice) could have been explained without blame on the reporter if it has been interpreted by the legal team as such. A simple "Due to Covid19 Restrictions, or concern for spreading Covid19, ..." would have been more civic and fair.
I thought I saw it somewhere earlier, that specifically mentioned in the Executive Order that "splash pads" should be closed but can't find it now. Why can't the city clearly explain the "legal interpretation"? It's pretty bad when we need legal interpretations to understand Executive Orders.

I wonder if the city could be liable for posting an announcement that looks as if it is meant to foment anger toward a complainant?

Typical of the City of Ludingron to blame anyone and everyone but themselves.  If you close the movie in the park, was it because of a complainer?  No, they decided it might be good to follow the governor's orders?  Or it was cheaper not to have to run Movies in the park?  But they didn't foment accusation on a person who is noticing the attorney general on that are they?  Bad news, bad faith, bad bad people at city hall.

The person at city hall who wrote that announcement should be reprimanded.

Thanks Du Wright, quite correct. You guys should see the Splash Pad today. Goose poop all over the pad the sidewalk approach, terrible, and dangerous for kids and adults alike.

Thanks, Aquaman. What is sadder, imo, is that we, the people of Ludington, will be paying 14.9% more in water and sewer this year and significant increases already in the past for kids and tourists from all over to splash free. Now they want more water increases next year, I think, while kids and their parents, backed by certain city employees, throw a fit to get their splashpad while the rest of the budget spirals negatively. Bunch of fabricators of truth down at city hall, imo, who never have enough money to increase their wages and do pet projects while acting like taxpayers have never-ending deep pockets.

It is also sad that the "city leaders" insisted on putting "a donated" (ha ha) splashpad in a park that is not only a floodplain, but was a retreat for wildlife. Geese are messy but they've lived there for many years and many people liked to watch their beauty and serenity in the park, if undisturbed by "progress."

Over 1500 views on this post, and 750 members of this forum, for the critics who call XLFD a "hater" of the city who has only two friends.  In my life, I have rarely seen a more courageous individual stand for what is lawful, and right, against a city that has been sued for violations of OMA, FOIA and pushed to first right discrimination through intimidation.  Never have seen more ganging up on an individual in a small city than in Ludington and it seems the gang continues the intimidation and discrimination of viewpoint, probably originating right in their still mostly "secret" meetings downtown.  I really was hoping the new city manager might man up and take charge of gang mentality creating hate against viewpoints other than their own.  But fear the internship will continue the trend by the attitudes from the mouths of the leaders.  And many wonder why posters would want anonymity?  The lynch mobs with pitchforks and torches are rallying to stab anyone who might have an opposing view or who doesn't drool at the feet of the city leaders and dare point out any fault in ethics or law.

While I would agree with the concern about the ganging up on X in the Facebook realm is way over the top, what should the City, City Manager, or other staff do in that situation?

A) Not discuss the closure/reopening and reasons behind those actions and get FOIA'd accordingly, thus releasing the information anyways;

B) Post the information on Facebook as was done, but delete any comments mentioning X even if not directly, therefore opening themselves up to First Amendment legal concern;

Other than those two options, I am not sure how else they should have handled it. I will say that one of the comments they made did make it fairly clear they wished that the "whistleblower" should be treated fairly. I can't find that comment but I remember seeing it somewhere.

In this time of COVID-19 and its affect on the people, gang rule has taken hold and can be difficult to wade through for an individual, let alone an organization. Not trying to get into an argument about this, but I don't like piling on any individual; the City Manager, X, President Trump, or anyone else. We are not in their shoes (well X is) and therefore do not know all that goes into decisions, actions, or situations.

What the City should have done is announce the closing of the splashpad and stated the reason was because of Whitmers executive order. Period!  The City was under orders and did not comply. That is not the fault of the citizenry, it is the fault of irresponsible City leaders. Having said that, I think the splashpad is a waste of money, resources and public property which was built without the public's input. Typical Ludington politics. Even so, in my opinion, splashpads should not be included in Whitmer's order because of the disinfectant chlorine used to keep bacteria and viruses including Covid19 from contaminating the water. Small brains in Ludington's leaders failing to follow rules made by small brains at the Capital.

Willy are you a staff member at the City? You were a part of those discussions as to the reason behind the closure? If that is the case, you must be aware now that the Governor's office and local health department did not intend to close the Splash Pad with the order as was stated in the press release/Facebook post.

I think this is the issue with all things Ludington at this point in time: X (or another citizen) brings up a legitimate concern with regards to an action of the City, and then presumptions of rationale are thrown on top of it. Instead, whether it is referring to City actions, general citizens, or "whistleblowers", why is it that we need to create fanciful stories of rationale instead of just addressing the issue? Let's focus on getting good outcomes that we can control or impact instead of creating a scenario in our heads and not doing anything about it.

Thank you for your role in this community X, even though we may not always agree, it is your right and responsibility as a citizen to engage.

 Thanks FS.

Ep, Whitmer’s shut down included “water parks”. I would guess that water fountains built for kids to play in and on which are located in a park would be deemed a “water park”. Your second paragraph is a bit confusing. Do you consider your comments fanciful stories as you consider others who have commented on this topic. Silly me, I had the Gaul to think that all who posted comments here were addressing the issue. Why don’t you stick to the topic instead of commenting about other posters.


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