The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 8, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.

Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Rita Dale, Richard Timmer, Aaron Hopper, Jim Moore and Chairman Earl Kay

Absent: Commissioner Don Cooper

Also Present: Don and Chris McLean, Don Holt, Jeff Moran, Sheriff, Susan Short, Probate Court, Mary Piralli, Scott Brand, Evening News, Tim Dolehanty, County Controller and Diane Cork, County Clerk

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to acknowledge the correspondence received in the Clerk’s Office and if necessary, forward to the appropriate committee. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the minutes of February 17, 2004 as prepared by the Clerk. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Don McLean read a statement to the Commission encouraging them to continue their efforts to improve mental health services.

CONTROLLER’S REPORT – Tim Dolehanty

The first action under the Controller’s report was the appointment to the Hiawatha Behavioral Health Authority Board. The names of Richard Beadle, William P. Connolly, James R. Johnson, Dr. Leif LaLone and Cynthia Ojala were nominated at the February County Board meeting.

On a roll call vote, Commissioners Rita Dale, Ted Postula, Richard Timmer and Chairman Earl Kay voted for Richard Beadle. Commissioners Aaron Hopper and James Moore voted for William P. Connolly. Having received four votes, Richard Beadle was appointed to the Hiawatha Behavioral Health Board Authority with a term to expire March 31, 2007.

Mr. Dolehanty stated correspondence was received from Lee Shirey, DDA Director, seeking permission to use the Courthouse lawn on Thursdays, June 24th until August 5th for this summers “Lunch Time Concert Series”. It was felt that this would be a prime location for the program to offer diverse entertainment for residents and tourists.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the use of the Courthouse lawn for the dates stated above.

On discussion, Commission Hopper thought some guidelines should be set for the clean-up and care of the area.

On a voice vote, the motion carried.

This concluded the Controller’s report.

OLD BUSINESS: None

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Personnel – Rita Dale – Meeting of 2-25-04

Tim McKee, O.E. S. Director, asked the Committee to consider appointment of Jennifer Lyn Besteman to the position of part-time dispatcher.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Posutla, to recommend appointment of Jennifer Lyn Besteman to the vacant part-time dispatcher position. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The pay rate established for the Under-sheriff upon his promotion to that position was discussed. In recognition of recent events concerning advancement of court employees to the top of their respective pay scales, it was agreed that the Under-sheriff should be given the same consideration and his pay adjusted accordingly.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to recommend approval of the pay rate adjustment for the Under-sheriff as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Committee reviewed a memorandum from MSU Extension Director Jim Lucas concerning appointment of a 4-H Youth Agent.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend the appointment of a 4-H Youth Agent be postponed. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to accept the report of the Personnel Committee as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Equalization & Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting

Health & Social Services – Ted Postula – 2-23-04

The Health & Social Services Committee report required no formal action by the County Board.

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the report of Commissioner Postula as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Building, Grounds & Jail – Earl Kay – 2-24-04

The Building, Grounds & Jail Committee report required no formal action by the County Board.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to accept the report of Chairman Kay as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Transportation Committee – Ted Postula – No meeting

Legislative & Natural Resources – Richard Timmer – 3-1-04

This report was for informational purposes only and required no formal action.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Computer Committee – Don Cooper – No meeting

Finance, Claims & Accounts – Rita Dale – 3-4-04

Commissioner Cooper reviewed the history of payments to employees of the Public Defender’s Office and the contract between the County and the Sault Tribe for Public Defender services. He said it appears that employees received compensation in addition to their respective salaries and wages since the Sault Tribe contract was approved in 2000. Commissioner Cooper said this result was not intended. Committee members agreed, noting in their discussion that the situation was not fair to taxpayers or the County.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to recommend that proper adjustments be made to assure County employees are properly compensated, and to place all affected parties on notice as required in the existing agreement. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Register of Deeds/Equalization Director Sharon Kennedy appeared before the Committee to request authorization to purchase equipment and software in order to comply with requirements imposed under Act 698 of 2002. The estimated $38,000 cost to complete purchase would come from funds deposited in the technology fund.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend approval of the equipment and software purchase as recommended by the Register of Deeds/Equalization Director. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Controller Dolehanty reported on an increase in premium cost for short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage for Sheriff Department employees. Employee Benefits Agency, Inc., acting on behalf of the County, sought quotes from other companies that provide the same coverage. The agency recommended contracting with Medical Life Insurance Company for the short-term disability policy, and renewing coverage with Harleysville for long-term disability coverage.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend contracting with Medical Life Insurance Company for the short-term disability policy, and renewing coverage with Harleysville for long-term disability coverage as proposed by Employee Benefits Agency, Inc. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Controller Dolehanty presented a draft credit card policy for consideration by the Committee. Commissioner Kay reported on a situation that occurred at the health department when an employee made a purchase for the department with a personal credit card.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend use of a County credit card be explored further, and to seek advice from the County auditor. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend approval the following Resolution No 04-05:

RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION TO TAX COLLECTION DATE CHANGE

AND ELIMINATION OF STATE REVENUE SHARING

WHEREAS, Governor Jennifer Granholm proposed to temporarily eliminate revenue sharing for Michigan counties in her FY 2005 budget: and

WHEREAS, the Governor called for creation of a reserve fund in her FY 2005 budget proposal, paid for by advancing the date when county property taxes are collected, to provide the equivalent of what counties would receive in revenue sharing for at least five years: and

WHEREAS, the Governor’s budget proposal does not address replacement of revenue sharing dollars after temporary suspension; and

WHEREAS, the proposal to advance the property tax collection date will place an additional burden on Chippewa County taxpayers.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows:

1. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners respectfully records its opposition to the Governor’s proposal to temporarily eliminate state revenue sharing payments to counties, and her proposal to advance the date when county property taxes are collected: and

2. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners calls on the Governor and State Legislature to work with the Michigan Association of Counties to create a stable fund designed to maintain county revenue sharing payments on a permanent basis; and

3. That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Governor Granholm, state legislators representing Chippewa County, and the Michigan Association of Counties for their consideration.

On a roll call vote, Commissioners Postula, Dale, Timmer, Hopper, Moore and Chairman Kay voted yes. The motion carried.

The following Resolution #04-06 was offered by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer.

RESOLUTION IN APPRECIATION AND SPECIAL RECOGNITION

OF RICHARD ASKWITH

WHEREAS, Richard Askwith was appointed to the position of Chippewa County Friend of the Court on June 1, 1993; and

WHEREAS, Richard Askwith dutifully served the residents of Chippewa County for th esucceeding ten years; and

WHEREAS, Richard Askwith honorable served the citizens of Chippewa County during tenure as the Friend of the Court until his retirement on December 31, 2003.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows:

1. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners respectfully dedicates this document to honor and thank Richard Askwith for his many years of public service and particularly for his work in Chippewa County.

2. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners extend their best wishes to Richard Askwith for many years of good health and enjoyment in his retirement.

On a roll call vote, Commissioners Postula, Dale, Timmer, Hopper, Moore and Chairman Kay voted yes. The motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend the approval of general fund claims totaling $303,568.46, other fund claims of $52,503.41, payroll of $523,119.84 and health department claims of $474,254.76, total claims of $1,353,446.47, vouchers 35377 through 35537 and C-1 through C-193. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

A motion was made by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to accept the report of the Finance, Claims & Accounts Committee as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS: None

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Dale to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the Board did adjourn at 7:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, Clerk

Earl Kay, Chairman