In a thriving Michigan county, a community goes to war with itself

April 23, 2023

WEST OLIVE, Mich. — The eight new members of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners had run for office promising to “thwart tyranny” in their lakeside Michigan community of 300,000 people. Walter Davis yells “antifa!” as he exits an Ottawa County board meeting after publicly speaking in January. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post)A coffee mug with the slogan “Where You Belong” on the table at the Ottawa County board meeting. “I just want to be clear that the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners has a very firm stance on mandates, and there will not be mandates in Ottawa County,” he told her. Ottawa County has prospered and has been the fastest growing county in Michigan for over a decade.