The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, August 12, 2002 at 5:40 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse following the Public Hearing on the MSHDA Small Cities Grant Application.
Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Rita Dale, Bernard LaJoie, Aaron Hopper, Earl Kay and Chairman Gary McDowell.
Also Present: Patrick Gagliardi, Richard Timmer, Michael Estes, Dr. Betty Youngblood, Jeff Moran, Sheriff, Cheryl Jones, Elizabeth Church, Public Defender, Jimmy Johnson, Brian Peppler, Prosecutor, Patrick Schuh, Lt. Ken Mills, Mark Stoykovich, Office Max, Tim Dolehanty, Controller and Diane S. Cork, County Clerk
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Postula, to acknowledge correspondence received in the Clerk's Office and forward to the appropriate committee, if necessary. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to approve the County Board minutes of July 8, 2002 as presented by the County Clerk. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Patrick Gagliardi, former State Representative, introduce Dr. Betty Youngblood, newly appointed President of L.S.S.U. Mrs. Youngblood said she was excited about meeting different groups and organizations in the area and was very pleased to be able to attend the County Board meeting. Mrs. Youngblood stated she was very excited about getting involved in the community.
Chairman McDowell introduced Michael Estes, candidate for the 37th District State Senate race. Mr. Estes explained that the 37th District contains 8 different counties, the Soo to Grand Traverse, and has enjoyed traveling throughout the district.
Don McLean read the following statement:
"We are here again asking for action in response to the petitions we presented to you in June. The petitions called upon you to work to change the top management of Hiawatha Behavioral Health or find Chippewa County a new mental health agency to join. Those petitions were signed by 1260 Chippewa County residents.
The death of our daughter, Karen McLean, was the result of continued inaction or misaction by HBH. We have attended their meetings since Karen died 18 months ago. At each meeting we explain a different part of HBH's mishandling and failure to provide appropriate treatment for Karen.
The reaction of the majority of the HBH Board had been to ignore us. Only Commissioner LaJoie has expressed any concern and tried to address our situation.
At the July HBH meeting, we witnessed another example of how top management conducts business.
The example was the furniture bid for the new HBH facility in Chippewa County on Mackinac Trail. It was indicated that the bid for $157,000 worth of office furniture had been awarded to GWA Contract Furniture of Gulliver, MI.
This surprised me as I have a brother who lives in Gulliver and I had never noticed an office equipment company in that village of about 200 people.
I was further surprised to learn that GWA Contract Furniture was the only bidder even though bid packages had been picked up by Shunk Furniture, National Office Products and Sault Printing. HBH Board member Fred Feleppa of St. Ignace asked the Chief Financial Officer, Lisa Hinkson, if this same furniture could have been purchased off the floor of Office Max.
The CFO responded that Office Max did not carry the top quality equipment that was needed. The CFO, basically, brow beat Mr. Feleppa and he accepted that answer which surprised me.
The next day, I called Office Max and explained what had taken place. During our conversation, the manager and sales manager explained that Office Max handled every grade of equipment including the Hon brand which was one of the four top brands mentioned by the HBH CFO.
After further discussion, the sales manager indicated he would be writing a letter to HBH concerning this matter. I have included a copy of that letter.
I, then, contacted the management of Shunk Furniture, National Office Supply and Sault Printing asking why they did not bid on the furniture. They indicated a number of reasons and concerns about the bid process:
1. Even thought they had been asking HBH about the furniture bid since January, the bid package was not available until July 3 and had to be in within 10 days including July 4 and weekends.
2. The complexity of the bid package would have required about 80 man hours to complete, with time required in the new HBH building.
3. Much of the furniture would have to be special ordered, usually requiring up to 6 weeks for delivery.
4. The furniture had to be installed within 4 weeks.
Other comments indicated that: "it appeared the bid specifications were written with one company in mind", "someone made a lot of money off this bid", "they didn't want to say too much for fear of being shut out of future business".
When we tried to contact GWA Contract Furniture in Gulliver, directory assistance could not find any such company.
I am not sure if any part of this bid process was illegal, but I do feel it was unethical.
In today's world with the problems of Enron, World Com and other companies involved in less than ethical practices, we believe we need to be very cautious in letting CEO's and CFO's explain shady practices.
We feel the top management of HBH displayed an arrogant attitude that resulted in our daughter's death.
We feel this same management is now displaying that same arrogant attitude with regard to proper financial procedures.
When Commissioner LaJoie questioned some of the actions proposed by HBH management, they attempted to brow beat him. He stood his ground, but in the vote, his was the only "no" vote.
Other HBH board members seem to be content to just smile and vote yes.
We believe this will only lead to continued problems that are not in the best interest of the residents of Chippewa County.
We call upon you again to move forward on action outlined in our petitions.
Mr. McLean noted that the sales manager and office manager of Office Max were in the audience, if any of the Commissioners had questions for them. This item will be handled under new business.
CONTROLLER'S REPORT - Timothy Dolehanty
Under action items: Mr. Dolehanty referred to a letter received from Kewadin Casinos asking the County Board to support their bid to host the Michigan Association of Counties Conferences in 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007.
For the proposal to receive full consideration, MAC requires a resolution from the County Board supporting the application.
It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the following Resolution No. 02-21:
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT
KEWADIN CASINO, HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER
PROPOSAL TO HOST MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES CONFERENCE
WHEREAS, Chippewa County hosted an extremely successful and memorable Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) Summer Conference in August of 2000; and
WHEREAS, more than 500 county dignitaries representing all 83 Michigan Counties received red carpet treatment at attractions throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula; and
WHEREAS, Kewadin Casino, Hotel & Convention Center has submitted a proposal for MAC's return to Chippewa County in 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007; and
WHEREAS, the Sault Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau is providing their full support in coordinating this endeavor.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chippewa Board of Commissioners proudly supports the Application of Kewadin Casino, Hotel & Convention Center to host the MAC summer conference in 2000, 2005, 2006 or 2007.
Commissioner Kay would like to see the Commissioners involved in the planning of any MAC Convention. He also stated the casino did a wonderful job.
On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Controller Dolehanty brought attention to a letter written by Roger Godin (included in the Commissioner's packet) concerning a piece of property next to Mr. Godins in Bay Mills Township that had substantial earth change and he felt has a direct impact on his property which would reduce its potential value. This change occurred before a proper building permit was issued.
As follow up to this issue, Mr. Dolehanty asked Anthony Bosley, Building Inspector, to take a look at the situation and there have been fines levied for the work that had been done that was out of compliance.
Mr. Dolehanty stated that as members of the Michigan Employees Retirement System the County is required to send an employee delegate down to their convention each year. If the Commissioners had no objection, he would like to start the process of election for that individual. The name of the individual will be brought back at the September Board meeting for final authorization.
OLD BUSINESS: None
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Personnel Committee - Aaron Hopper - August 12, 2002
Controller Dolehanty asked the committee to consider appointing Nicole Sundman to the part-time Animal Control Shelter position. Commissioner LaJoie expressed his concern about cutting back on the hours offered to the two employees who are currently working 30 hours per week.
It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to recommend the current Animal Shelter attendants be retained at the 30 hours per week and that no other persons be hired at this time.
On discussion, Commissioner Cooper expressed the flexibility that was needed for the Animal Shelter and that is why the shelter needed part-time employees.
Commissioner Dale stated the schedule was set for 3 people at 20 hours a week to be able to have the flexibility of someone in attendance at the facility when needed. Discussion followed.
On the question: Commissioners Postula, Hopper, Kay and McDowell voted yes. Commissioners Cooper, Dale and LaJoie voted no.
The motion carried.
Discussion ensued over the Crime Victim Advocate position in the Prosecutor's Office and what salary grade level should be assigned to this particular position.
Brian Peppler, Prosecutor, explained to the County Board the need and the statutory requirement to have a Crime Victim Advocate in the Prosecutor's Office to take care of the victims and keep them apprised of their rights and counseled when needed.
When Mr. Peppler took office, the Crime Victim Advocate position was a part-time and now has evolved into a full time position reimbursed by the State thru a formula devised by the State.
Because of the importance and schooling required for this position, Mr. Peppler was asking the Board to advance this position from salary grade 8 to grade 10. The current budget set for 2003 from the State is $33,000 and he was asking for an additional $5,000 from the County since the budget for the position was set by the State for a part-time position last year and now has evolved into a full time position.
It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend adjusting the grade assignment of the Crime Victim Advocate position from a grade 8 to grade 10. On a voice vote the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.
Elizabeth Church, Public Defender, address the Board, asking for clarification on the issue of the salary of the Assistant Public Defender. It was Ms. Church's understanding that the position would start at a salary $38,320.76 for a 90 day probationary period and following that go up to $41,983.35 for the year 2002.
It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Equalization & Apportionment - Bernard LaJoie - No meeting
Health & Social Services - Ted Postula - No meeting
Building, Grounds & Jail - Earl Kay - No meeting
Transportation - Ted Postula - No meeting
Legislative & Natural Resources - Earl Kay - August 1, 2002
Controller Dolehanty reported on an incident where Animal Control Officers confiscated several dogs from a citizen who was housing the animals on behalf of a local animal welfare group. Funding from the organization ceased about a year ago, leaving the citizen to care for the animals alone. The Animal Control officer recommend imposing a reduced confiscation fee because of the predicament was not wholly the result of action by the citizen. Although the Board authorized the Controller to waive fees in certain situations, this case was brought to the Committee because it involved so many animals.
Chairman Kay stated the citizen should not have fees waived in full, but should pay at least $5.00 per animal plus mileage. He further asked that Animal Control officers confirm the citizen's possession of a kennel license and implementation of a spay/neuter program.
Commissioner Cooper questioned why the citizen should pay any fee, since he was doing a service for the group and community. Commissioner Kay stated the individual was agreeable to the $5.00
It was moved by Commissioner Kay, supported by Commissioner Dale, to waive the normal confiscation fee for this case and to instead charge $5.00 per confiscated animal plus mileage. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee reviewed the draft Search and Rescue Activation Policy proposed by the OES/E 9-1-1 Director for use by Central Dispatch. The Committee noted several other policies listed as approved in the master index. The Committee asked that the policies be compiled for review by the Board of Commissioners.
It was moved by Commissioner Kay, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to approve the draft Search and Rescue Activation Policy as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.
It was moved by Commissioner Kay, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the Legislative & Natural Resources Committee meeting report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Computer Committee - Don Cooper - No meeting
Finance, Claims and Accounts - Rita Dale - August 8, 2002
Controller Dolehanty presented a draft resolution received from the Michigan Association of Counties in support of an override of the Governor's revenue sharing veto.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of Resolution 02-20 as follows:
RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT
GUBENATORIAL VETO OVERRIDE
WHEREAS, county government provides law enforcement, judicial administration, public health, mental health and environmental services, many of which are required by law; and
WHEREAS, the state legislature has continued to adopt laws which increase the responsibilities and costs of counties in providing these services; and
WHEREAS, the state constitution requires the state to provide funding for these mandates; and
WHEREAS, state revenue sharing has been an historical source of funds provided in support of the County's obligation to provide such required services; and
WHEREAS, the need for these services is continually greater than the amount of funds available to provide them; and
WHEREAS, on July 25, 2002 Governor John Engler vetoed all statutory state revenue sharing payments for fiscal year 2003; and
WHEREAS, this veto threatens the public safety environment and quality of life for all Michigan citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chippewa Board of Commissioners supports and demands the Michigan Legislature override the Governor's veto and immediately restore this critical funding.
On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of Resolution 02-19 as follows:
RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE SUBMISSION OF A COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT COMMUNITY HOME IMPROVEMENT
WHEREAS, Chippewa County is an eligible applicant under the State of Michigan Small Cities Program; and
WHEREAS, the Chippewa County Small Cities Committee has reviewed the State guidelines for the Small Cities Program and has recommended that the Chippewa County Controller develop a housing rehabilitation application; and
WHEREAS, the County Controller, in cooperation with the Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Human Resource Authority, Inc. has developed an application in conformance with State guideline.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED as follows:
1. The Chippewa Board of Commissioners authorize the County Controller to forward said Housing rehabilitation application requesting $300,000 in Small Cities funds for a total project cost of $430,000 to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority by August 15, 2002.
2. That the Chairman of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners is hereby authorized to sign the necessary documents associated with said application.
On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
After discussion, it was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Kay, to recommend that the salary of the Assistant Public Defender be advanced to the three-year stop on grade 12. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee reviewed correspondence from Hon. Nicholas J. Lambros and Hon. Michael M. MacDonald seeking salary increases for their respective Court Administrators. The Judges consulted with the State Court Administrator's Office regarding the salaries. As a result of that discussion, they recommended a salary of $46,436.
Controller Dolehanty suggested a one-stop adjustment could be justified by comparing the Court Administrators' salaries with comparable counties in Michigan, and in recognition of other Court staff positions assigned to the same pay grade.
Commissioner Cooper stated he could not justify the upward movement. If there is a discrepancy in pay grade assignment among Court staff, he said it might be more appropriate to re-evaluate and perhaps lower other pay grades rather than increase the Court Administrator pay grade.
On discussion, Commissioner Cooper wanted to clarify his comment. He stated Mr. Dolehanty used the example that the Court Reporter was receiving a larger salary than the Court Administrator and that is where the disparity lied and Commissioner Cooper suggested instead of moving the Court Administrator up to meet the Court Reporter, when the current Court Reporter is no longer there, reduce the Court Reporters salary. In the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee meeting minutes, it looked as if Commissioner Cooper wanted to reduce everyone's salary and that was not the case.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend no adjustment in the court Administrators pay grade because the salaries are justifiable at the existing rate. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Kay, to recommend approval of the Courthouse Annex masonry restoration and brick staining proposal submitted by Northern Restoration and Waterproof Systems, Inc. at a cost of $46,813, and that the County Controller confirm the bid price. On a voice vote the motion carried unanimously
Commissioner Kay, a member of the Board of Health, stated bids were received for purchase of three vehicles for use at the Health Department. He reported two Dodge Neons and one Dakota Pickup were recommended for purchase from the low bidder, Chippewa Motors. The Committee confirmed compliance with the County purchasing policy.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend purchase of two Dodge Neons and one Dakota Pickup from the low bidder, Chippewa Motors, at a cost of $39,737. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend suspension of the normal bidding process for purchase of software for the County' Novell server, and that the County participate in the State of Michigan Master License Agreement with Novell, as recommend by the Information systems Director. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to approve the fiscal year 2003 Title IV-D Cooperative Reimbursement Contract handled thru the Prosecutor's Office in the amount of $81,000. Discussion followed. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee discussed the draft S.A.N.E. Interlocal Agreement forwarded by Lt. Ken Mills of the Michigan State Police. It was noted that no dollar amount was included in the draft agreement. Commissioner Cooper predicted costs would continue to rise for all S.A.N.E. member communities as state funds diminish. Commissioner Kay expressed concern that the agreement did not include a dollar amount and suggested that this be clarified before the Board is asked to vote to accept or reject the document.
Lt. Ken Mills, Michigan State Police, addressed the Board explaining that the Interlocal Agreement is something that was signed on when the team was formed back in 1987 and what had happened about two or three years ago was that it determined, not only S.A.N.E., but virtually all of the narcotics task forces throughout the State, that all of the Interlocal Agreements were done improperly. Over the course of the last couple of years, the Attorney Generals Office came up with an agreement for all of the tasks forces to fall under. The cost changes every year and that is why there is no dollar figure included in the agreement. The County has the option of participating or not participating during their yearly budget process. Discussion followed.
It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Hopper to approve the S.A.N.E. Interlocal Agreement with Chippewa County. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to recommend release of the appropriate PA2 Liquor Tax Funds to Pathways Substance Abuse Services as requested. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Controller Dolehanty presented a proposal from National Office Products and Printing, Inc. to lease a postage meter. He explained that the County's current postal provider served notice they would be dropping the County as a client. This action necessitates that the County re-activate its postage meter.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend that County enter into a lease agreement with National Office Products and Printing, Inc. for a Neopost IJ65 digital mail machine at a cost of $215 per month. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee reviewed a memorandum from Information Systems Director, Mary Piralli, regarding a proposal from InfoGeographics, Inc. for training in map plotting. Ms. Prialli indicated this training was especially important to E 9-1-1 and the Building Dept.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of the InfoGeographics, Inc. proposal for GIS training at a cost of $2,160. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. James Terrian, Health Office/Medical Director, provided a draft contract for services provided by the Health Dept. the contract concerned immunization services for children in Chippewa County, at a maximum of $9,104. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend the approval of general fund claims totaling $346,023.40, other fund claims of $332,576.81, payroll of $510,468.29 and health department claims of $344,039.15, vouchers 31481 through 31751 and H-1 through H-270. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend approval of Resolution 02-18 to adopt the amendment to the Hatrford Life Insurance Co. Deferred Compensation Plan. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Dale, to contact MAC to have them start a process to protect government entities from the threat of having revenue sharing taken away. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to accept the Finance, Claim and Accounts Committee meeting minutes as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Cooper expressed his concerns with the problems with HBH. He feels the clients aren't getting the service they need, citizens aren't getting the representation they deserve and now they are leaving the locals out of the bidding process.
Commissioner LaJoie thought a workshop should be held with the whole board.
Commissioner Postula said that was the next step for the Health and Social Services Board once they obtain cost factors to go to a different agency, what would happen if Chippewa County pulled out. Mr. Dolehanty will be looking into figures for the committee and go from there.
Again, Commissioner Cooper thought a letter should be written to HBH about their bidding process and the dissatisfaction of the County Board. It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Kay, to send a letter to HBH backing Commissioner LaJoie's dissatisfaction with their bidding process. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Controller Dolehanty informed the Board that the Circuit Court Unit and the Courthouse Unit of Local 1552 ratified their contract.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the ratification of the Circuit Court contract. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Kay, supported by Commissioner Dale, to accept the ratification the contract with the Courthouse Unit. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Moved by Commissioner Kay, supported by Commissioner Postula, to adjourn. Motion carried. Thereupon the Board did adjourn at 7:27 p.m.
Diane S. Cork, County Clerk
Gary McDowell, Chairman