The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 10, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.
Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Rita Dale, Richard Timmer, Aaron Hopper, Jim Moor and Chairman Earl Kay
Also Present: Tim Dolehanty, Controller, Mary Piralli, Jeff Moran, Sheriff, Don and Chris McLean, Jim Lucas, MSU Agent, Don Holt, Road Commission, Maxine Anderson, Sue Short, Probate Court, Bob Atherton, Bernita Sibbald, Norma Osborn, Lynn Greenglish, Michael Worley, Mayra Santos-Worley, Elaine Love, Ken Rogers, Melissa Green, Margaret Merchberger, Amber Myers, Bay Mills News and Diane Cork, County Clerk
It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Cooper, 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 unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the County Board minutes of April 12, 2004 as prepared by the County Clerk. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Norma Osborn, Margaret Merchberger, Amber Myers, Ken Rogers, Jeffrey Green and Elaine Love all voiced their individual concerns with the possibility of non-funding for the position of 4-H Agent in Chippewa County. They all expressed the need to have a 4-H program for area youth to teach responsibility, community involvement, self worth, respect for others and the opportunity to make long lasting friendships. Without this program it was felt that 4-H in this area would be lost forever.
Jim Lucas, MSU Extension Director, informed the Board that MSU had found an additional $9,000 to help fund the 4-H position from June 1, 2004 to May 31, 2005 and asked for the Commissioners support in funding this position.
Don McLean made the following statement:
“At last month’s HBH meeting in Manistique, we listened to a report on their new crisis line service. After the presentation, a board member asked if this new service taped the calls like Emergency 911 services.
After a very round-about discussion involving confidentiality, patient rights and money, it was admitted that they did not have the ability or the interest in taping these calls to HBH.
For the last 6 months a staff member has video taped each board meeting, even though a paid HBH executive secretary recorded the minutes. This makes two paid staff members and thousands of dollars of top of the line video recording equipment devoted to keeping track of what is said at the meetings.
Yet, the agency doesn’t have the interest or the money for equipment to record the after hours phone calls from people in the midst of a mental health crisis.
The Emergency 911 service uses their tapes to look back on a situation and see if mistakes were made in an attempt to improve the service.
It appears the top management at HBH is more interested in keeping track of what is said at their meetings, than they are in finding mistakes and improving service to mentally ill clients.
Also, at this meeting the HBH Board discussed the spending of funds for a party for a departing board member from Chippewa County.
The tentative plans call for the former member and his family to be honored by the agency at a Whitefish dinner at the Ojibway Hotel.
This lavish recognition event is new since past departing board members haven’t been treated in this manner and the event promises to be another example of how money intended for client care is being misdirected to provide another free lunch for management and board members at HBH.
The natural question is “What can be done about this?”
The answer may have come from the last Chippewa County Legislative Committee meeting, when Schoolcraft County Commissioner and HBH board member, Mr. Linsely Frenette, stated that he thought problems with HBH could be worked out between the various county commissions.
We encourage this commission to contact the other county commissioners so that together you can determine if the present HBH board members are truly representing the best interests of the residents of the three counties involved.
We ask that this commission do this soon; since as each day passes, the top management of HBH misdirects more money and more residents go without services, suffer and die.”
CONTROLLER’S REPORT – Tim Dolehanty
Mr. Dolehanty informed the Board that a letter had been received from the Bay Cliff Health Camp asking for the Boards continued endorsement of this program.
It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to adopt Resolution 04-12, Proclamation Supporting Bay Cliff Health Camp and Proposed Federal Appropriation from Health, Labor and Social Services. On a roll call vote: Commissioner Postula: yes, Commisisoner Cooper: yes, Commissioner Dale: yes, Commissioner Timmer: yes, Commissioner Hopper: yes, Commissioner Moore: yes and Chairman Kay: yes. The motion carried.
It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Cooper to adopt Resolution No.04-13 as follows:
WHEREAS, Public Transportation exists in some form in all 83 Michigan counties and in the majority of Michigan’s municipalities, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation is funded by a combination of sources including federal, state and local financing and the historic level of state support has been declining as a percentage of overall support for the past seven years, and
WHEREAS, The Granholm Administration has proposed a budget for 2005 that holds Public Transportation essentially harmless from further cuts, and
WHEREAS, The state’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund is recognized as a primary source of funding for Public Transportation and these funds are “restricted state funds” intended to be used solely for provision of public transportation services and state administrative support, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation is a key economic development tool in local communities, providing essential transportation to work sites, training centers and education facilities, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation is recognized and depended upon by countless residents as a vital source of transportation for medical purposes, grocery shopping, employment and consumer activities, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation is an integral part of local and statewide economic activity through the wages and salaries of employees, contracting of services and equipment from local vendors, purchasing capital equipment including buses and vans from Michigan-based automotive manufacturers that promote the retention of manufacturing jobs in Michigan, and
WHEREAS, State funds in the Comprehensive Transportation Fund, in addition to funding Public Transportation, provide essential rail, passenger and freight, intercity bus service, transportation planning and critical state match funds for significant federal grant funding, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation is recognized for its positive contributions to the economic development of Michigan and the local economy, quality of life for employers and employees, senior citizens, students, lower income citizens and the disabled, and
WHEREAS, Public Transportation contributes significantly to the overall economic vitality of Michigan’s counties and demand for public transit services surpass current resources
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Michigan Association of Counties hereby calls upon the members of the State Legislature to fully fund existing positions in the Department of Transportation’s Multi-Modal bureau and the state’s transportation services, and to expand state funding of these services insomuch as resources allow.
On a roll call vote: Commissioner Postula: yes, Commissioner Cooper: yes, Commissioner Dale: yes, Commissioner Timmer: yes, Commissioner Hopper: yes, Commissioner Moore: yes and Chairman Kay: yes. The motion carried.
Mr. Dolehanty stated that there was an open seat on the E.D.C. and that it would be a reappointment with a nomination by the Chairman to the County Board for consideration.
Chairman Kay nominated Paul Coutant for the open seat on the E.D.C.
It was moved by Commissioner Hopper, supported by Commissioner Dale, to appoint Paul Coutant to the open seat on the E.D.C. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously. Term to expire March 31, 2010.
Commissioner Cooper wanted to go on record as opposing the collection of summer taxes as proposed by the Governor.
Commissioner Hopper stated that the Michigan Association of Counties is still negotiating with the Governor on summer taxes for 2005 and it is more than likely to come about, but the Association has to go about it the right way to make sure that revenue sharing is not lost. Commissioner Hopper will report back to the Commission.
This concluded the Controller’s report.
OLD BUSINESS: None
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Personnel – Rita Dale – May 3, 2004
The Committee reviewed a memorandum from Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Lambros announcing office hours of the Friend of the Court were changed to 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning on April 1. Commissioner Kay stated he did not agree with this decision, adding that there was no reason why office personnel could not stagger hours to maintain an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to not accept the office hour adjustment for the Friend of the Court, and to table formal action pending further investigation. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Dolehanty reported on recent resignations at the Animal Control shelter and discussions held with the Sault Ste. Marie City Management concerning the agreement for supplemental animal control services. He stated animal shelter attendant Holly Henderson originally applied for an open animal control officer position and expressed continued interest in that job. Mr. Dolehanty suggested Ms. Henderson be temporarily assigned as a full time animal shelter attendant pending completion of the 100-hour training program to be certified as an animal control officer. Then, upon receipt of the certification, assign her to the full-time animal control officer position.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend Holly Henderson be given full-time status as an animal shelter attendant and that consideration be given to promoting Ms. Henderson to the animal control officer position, on a part time basis, upon her completion of certification requirements. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Dolehanty asked that the Committee recommend authorizing him to hire two animal shelter attendants to fill open positions. He stated he had a number of applications on file that were less than one year old. Mr. Dolehanty said that he was concerned that a delay in hiring until the June board meeting would hamper operations at the animal shelter.
Commissioner Kay asked if the hours of the animal shelter attendants could be reduced in recognition of the current budget situation. It was noted that these positions were originally supposed to be 20-hours per week.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend that the County Controller be authorized to hire two part-time animal shelter attendants from the field of standing applications, and that the positions be filled on a 20-hour per week schedule.
Commissioner Timmer asked what the net figure was for these positions. Mr. Dolehanty responding by saying about $8,000. Discussion was held on the animal control budget if the City should decide to cancel their contract.
On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Timmer voting no.
OES/E9-1-1 Director Tim McKee proposed that Chris LaPointe, a part-time dispatcher since November, 2001, be promoted to fill a vacant dispatcher position. He also proposed the appointment of Brenda Curtis to fill the part-time dispatcher position vacated by Mr. LaPointe.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to recommend appointment of Chris LaPointe to the vacant full-time dispatcher position, and to recommend appointment of Brenda Curtis to the vacant part-time dispatcher position. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McKee pointed out that part-time dispatchers earn $8.00 per hour when they are hired, and $10.00 per hour upon completion of required training. He asked that part-time dispatcher pay be increased to $9.00 upon hiring and $12.00 upon completion of training. It was suggested that part-time dispatchers be placed on the approved pay schedule for non-union employees in order to assure equity with other employees and to keep pace with inflation.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend that part-time dispatchers be placed on the non-union pay scale at grade 6.
On discussion, Commissioner Cooper asked if these individuals where County employees and if so, he felt it looked bad that the Commission was asking departments to cut their budgets by 20% and turned around and gave the dispatchers a raise. Commissioner Timmer was in concurrence with Commissioner Cooper. Continued discussion was held.
On the vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper and Timmer voting no.
This concluded the Personnel Committee report.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Equalization & Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting
Health & Social Service – Ted Postula – No meeting
Building, Grounds & Jail – Earl Kay – No meeting
Transportation – Ted Postula – No meeting
Legislative & Natural Resources – Richard Timmer – No meeting
Computer Committee – Don Cooper - No meeting
Finance, Claims & Accounts – Rita Dale – April 28, 2004
This report was for informational purposes only. A review of the 2004 budget was discussed.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to accept the report of April 28, 2004 as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Finance, Claims & Accounts – Rita Dale – May 6, 2004
The Committee reviewed out of state travel requests submitted from the Health Department and Prosecuting Attorney. The Health Department request involved an employee traveling to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and the request from the Prosecuting Attorney involved and employee traveling to Alexandria, Virginia.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend the out of state travel request be denied based on the discussion and subsequent Board decision in April. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Friend of the Court, Thelma Bosbous, addressed the Committee about the hours of the part-time employee assigned to her office. Ms. Bosbous discussed the number of hours the employee is assigned to normal office functions and the number of hours dedicated to the medical enforcement support contract. She stated the employee will be working up to 35 hours per week but would continue to be considered part-time.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to recommend approval of the part-time employee work hours proposal presented by the Friend of the Court for the life of the medical enforcement contract. It was noted that this was a grant. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee discussed the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Emergency Shelter Grant proposal provided by the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Commission. Commissioner Cooper questioned why the County was asked to sign the grant agreement instead of the City. The Committee directed the County Controller to discuss the matter with City officials and to report his findings to the County Board at their regular meeting scheduled for May 10.
Mr. Dolehanty responded by saying that the grant is a three county grant and that is why the County was asked to sign. This grant will be administered by the Sault Housing Commission.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to authorize Chairman Kay to sign the necessary paperwork. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee reviewed the fiscal year 2005 Community Corrections Grant information provided by David Murray, the Community Corrections Coordinator. It was noted that this program is routinely approved every year.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of Resolution 04-11 to approve application for Community Corrections Act funds. It was noted that Chippewa County’s portion is $3,500. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE
APPLICATION FOR COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS ACT FUNDS
WHEREAS, the Eastern Upper Peninsula employment and Training Consortium of the Counties of Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac, has submitted a proposed Application for State of Michigan Community Corrections Act funds for fiscal year 2005: and
WHEREAS, the Eastern Upper Peninsula Employment and Training Consortium Advisory Board has recommended adoption of the application: and
WHEREAS, the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners has reviewed the Application for State of Michigan Community Corrections Act funds for fiscal year 2005, in detail, and concurs with the recommendation presented.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners approves the Application cited above for submission to the State of Michigan, and respectfully requests that the Application be approved as presented.
Controller Dolehanty explained that an employee who participates in the Nationwide Retirement Solutions, a voluntary retirement program, wished to borrow against her account, but the company would not grant the request until the board agreed to a resolution to permit borrowing.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend approval of Resolution 04-12 to approve borrowing against individual retirement accounts administered by Nationwide Retirement Solutions. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Controller Dolehanty presented a printer reduction and reallocation proposal received from the Information Systems department. He stated these changes should result in reduced printer expenses while allowing employees access to a number of different printers.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to recommend approval of the printer reduction and reallocation proposal as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Controller Dolehanty presented a letter affirming the County’s use of Title III National Forest revenue. It was noted that allocation of these funds is the same as the past two years.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend approval of the Tile III declaration letter as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Moore, to recommend the approval of general fund claims totaling $148,360.33, other fund claims of $312,301.77, payroll of $735,091.79 and health department claims of $385,087.77, total claims of $1,580,841.66, voucher 35800 through 35957 and E-1 through E-131. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
This concluded the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee report of May 6, 2004.
It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Hopper, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Commission was reminded and invited to join in the Hiawatha National Forest Clean Up on May 15 and 16. Individuals will meet at the Raco Forest Work Station at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday with a free lunch provided.
Chairman Kay stated that the 4-H position will be discussed at the Special Finance Committee meeting on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.
With no further business to discuss, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously and the Board did adjourn at 8:13 p.m.
Diane S. Cork, Clerk
Earl Kay, Chairman