Important meetings next week for Boys and Girls Club
WEST BRANCH — A show cause hearing between the Ogemaw Boys and Girls Club and the Michigan Department of Human Services in 34th Circuit Court is slated for Sept. 7, but the day before, the OBGC has another meeting scheduled.
“Sept. 7 is when the court date is set, and we have a meeting with the Attorney General (representative) in Midland before that,” said OBGC board member Ray King.
King said he is not sure exactly why the AG’s office requested the meeting. But he did say the office expressed that it would like to resolve the issue without litigation.
“They called the meeting,” he said. “I think they probably want to resolve the thing without it going back to court.”
The show cause hearing was originally slated for July 30, but the DHS requested an adjournment of the hearing, which was agreed to by the OBGC.
“We agreed to it because if we can resolve it without going to court, then it’s better,” Joni Fixel, the OBGC’s attorney, told the Herald in early August.
Fixel said at the show cause hearing, the DHS will have to prove to the court why a restraining order the OBGC has against the DHS should be lifted.
34th Circuit Court Judge Michael Baumgartner issued the restraining order July 16.
King said the restraining order was due to the DHS’s demands earlier this year to shut down the club, which has affected the club’s fundraising efforts. In March, the DHS told the OBGC it had to cease operations unless it received a child care center license.
Fixel told the Herald she and the club maintain the OBGC is exempt from needing a child care facility license, which the state’s letters claimed was necessary for the club to continue operating.
The club changed its policy to an open-door, at-will attendance policy to make sure it operated within the state’s guidelines, but the state continued to allege the club was not operating correctly.
“It really is affecting our fundraising,” King said.
He added that he is trying to sell $5 tickets for a 1956 Studebaker being raffled off by the club. King said most people are waiting until the issues with the state are over to contribute.
“Everyone says ‘I’ll donate after I hear what happens,’” he said.
The OBGC operates out of Surline Elementary School every day school is in session from 3:35 p.m. to 6 p.m. A membership cost $10 per year.