The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 14, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.
Present: Commissioners: Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Scott Shackleton, Richard Timmer, Bernard LaJoie, Jim Moore and Chairman Earl Kay
Also Present: Don and Chris McLean, Jim German, Mary Piralli, Scott Brand, Evening News, Frank Blisset, Sue Short, Probate Court, Marilyn McDonald, County Treasurer, Kelly Beaune, Assistant to the Controller, and Diane Cork County Clerk
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, 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 Timmer, to approve the County Board minutes of February 16, 2005 (with one correction) and the Workshop minutes of February 28 and March 7, 2005. On a voice vote the motion carried unanimously.
February 16, 2005 correction: Page 5, paragraph 8
The paragraph reads: It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Postula, to cancel the current contracts with both Sault Tribal Court and the separate contract held by Elizabeth Church, and to pay, pursuant to the completion of the contracts, cancellation to include written notice to both parties. It was noted that the contract goes from May 2004 to May 2005. The estimated cost would be approximately $14,500.
The paragraph should read: It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Posutla, to cancel the current contracts with both Sault Tribal Court and the separate contract held by Elizabeth Church, and to pay, pursuant to the completion of the contracts, cancellation to include written notice to both parties. It was noted that the contract goes from May 2004 to May 2005. The estimated cost would be approximately $14,500. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper casting a no vote.
Don McLean read the following statement:
“Four years ago after the death of our daughter Karen McLean the Chippewa County Medical Examiner, Dr. James Terrain, contacted us and asked for our help in checking into the circumstances of her death.
After a brief discussion we agreed and as Karen’s Legal Representatives we signed the consent forms to allow Dr. Terrain to obtain her records from Hiawatha Behavioral Health.
A short time later Dr. Terrain again contacted us and indicated that HBH had refused to provide him with Karen’s records. They were in effect stonewalling him.
Their stonewalling tactic, along with our Probate Judge’s refusal to meet with Dr. Terrain, worked a Dr. Terrain choose not to go through the process of filing a subpoena to obtain her records.
As a result there was no official inquiry into the circumstances of Karen’s death even though Dr. Terrain indicated on her Death Certificate that she died of untreated Mental Illness.
We tried to get legislation passed that would allow a County Medical Examiner free access to all mental health records of a person who dies unexpectedly within their county. Our efforts were unsuccessful.
This creates a situation where there is no true public oversight of mental health agencies, and as a result they can do what they want and are answerable to no one.
We have tried to point out this and other problems to a variety of people in an effort to correct this situation before anyone else had to die.
Unfortunately we have not been successful, and we know of four other people, in the HBH service area, who have died from what we believe has been HBH mismanagement.
I would imagine you are all aware of recent suicides in our area. We have heard from a number of reliable sources that a number of these unfortunate people were clients of HBH or had tried to get held from HBH.
Again HBH is able to claim Confidentiality and again no one will be accountable for the mismanagement of an agency that is charged with caring for our most vulnerable citizens, the mentally ill.
As you struggle with the county’s involvement in the recent suicides in the county jail, keep in mind that “What goes around, comes around”, and also your need to do what is right for the people of Chippewa County.
CONTROLLER’S REPORT – Kelly Beaune No action items needed
OLD BUSINESS: HBH Appointment
Two individuals William P. Connolly and James German were nominated at the February County Board meeting for one opening seat on the Hiawatha Behavioral Board.
Discussion was held on the period of time an application may stay on file for consideration to various boards, committees and agencies.
On a roll call vote: Commissioners Cooper, Shackleton and Moore voted for William P. Connolly.
Commissioners Timmer, LaJoie, Postula and Kay voted for Jim German.
Jim German was elected to sit on the Hiawatha Behavioral Health Board with a three year term to expire in 2008.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Personnel – Bernard LaJoie – No meeting
Equalization & Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting
Health & Social Services – Ted Postula – No meeting
Building, Grounds & Jail – Earl Kay – March 3, 2005
Tony Montero reviewed the Courthouse Annex’s heating/cooling system problems. The Committee discussed the condition of the outside damper, installation of building graphics and work station, air conditioning in a hub closet, and the overall lack of maintenance on the heating/cooling system.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve the purchase and installation of an outside air damper replacement, from ACC Planned Services, in the amount of $1,425.00.
Commissioner Shackleton asked if bids were requested for this project.
Chairman Kay stated that the monetary amount was below the amount required by the Purchasing Policy and that this was a defective part that needed to be replaced and in the past, Mr. Montero had done a lot of work both on the City/County Building and the Courthouse.
On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Montero will be getting back with the Controller’s Office regarding the problem with the VAV box problems, as well as the building graphics and work station issue after more information is obtained.
Commissioner Timmer explained that VAV boxes are censors that help control the heating/cooling system by use of a monitored computer program.
Three bids for toilet paper, and both rolled and multi-fold paper towels, were reviewed. Commissioner Timmer requested that the state provider be checked with, to see if additional savings were possible.
It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the bid of Mussio Janitorial Supplies, Inc., in the amount of $1,111.80, if the state provider is not lower. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Having no further action items, it was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to accept the report of the Building, Grounds and Jail Committee report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Transportation – Ted Postula – No meeting
Legislative & Natural Resources – Richard Timmer – February 17, 2005
Informational purposes only. No action items necessary.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to accept the report of the Legislative and Natural Resources Committee meeting as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Shackleton, supported by Commissioner Cooper, that the County put out a request for proposals for Workers Compensation insurance to include local providers. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Computer Committee – Don Cooper – No meeting
Finance, Claims and Accounts – Richard Timmer – March 10, 2005
Sheriff Moran presented the Committee with documentation, including expenditures and projected revenues for installing a video arraignment system for the federal inmates, which would reduce expenses currently charged for travel, and an increase in revenue for housing inmates, as the federal government would not have to be as selective in who they send to Chippewa County.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, to install the video arraignment equipment as presented, to increase line item 101-351-850.000 by $6,700 to cover the costs and to increase line item 101-000-543.000 by $6,700 for increased revenue. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee discussed the previously held work shop, and was presented with an additional letter from War Memorial Hospital.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to recommend the appointments of Dr. Satish Chawla and Dr. John Ockenfels as Deputy Medical Examiners, to be responsible for War Memorial Hospitals needed autopsies both legally and financially. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee reviewed a letter from EUP Regional Planning and Development, a request for an additional $2,000, to maintain minimum requirements for federal funds.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to recommend approval of an additional allocation of $2,000 to EUP Regional Planning and Development for FY2005. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Soo Theatre Project has requested that the Board of Commissioners act on their behalf as the pass through agent for funds requested from Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the request from the Soo Theatre Project. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The CCHD requested approval for signature for FY04/05 Comprehensive Planning, Budgeting and Contracting (CPBC) Agreement #2.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to authorize signature for Amendment #2 as requested. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
A request for a letter of support was received from S.A.N.E. The Committee discussed the benefits of having this program.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend approval of the following Resolution #05-02 and that a copy be sent to all counties involved.
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE
STRAITS AREA NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
WHEREAS, the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners strongly supports Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement; and
WHEREAS, in the Upper Peninsula , the Byrne Grant Program has proven itself as a resource for cooperative Federal, State and local anti-crime policing strategies: and
WHEREAS, the Byrne Program is invaluable in law enforcement efforts to secure our communities and combat terrorism; and
WHEREAS, Chippewa County cannot afford to reduce the effectiveness of our nation’s state and local law enforcement agencies;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners supports the Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement and its funding through the Byrne Grant, for continued support and enforcement of our nation’s state and local laws.
On a roll call vote, Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Shackleton, Timmer, LaJoie, Moore and Chairman Kay voted yes. The motion carried 7-0.
The Committee reviewed documentation regarding the funding of the Veteran’s Children Tuition Grant Program out of the Corpus of the Michigan Veteran’s Trust Fund.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to concur with the State of Michigan and to pass the information onto the local Veteran’s Counselors. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Budget amendments were presented to the Committee for approval based upon new information for FY2005: reduced Ad Valorem Taxes by $44,560; increase Tourism and Convention by $8,219; increase Substance Abuse by $4,109; reduce State Revenue Sharing by $44,750 and increase Interest Income by $45,000.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the amendments as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee was presented with expenditures of $2,350 for the Concealed Weapons Fund, which previously was omitted from the FY2005 budget. Expenses as follows: supplies $500; postage $250; telephone $500; travel $500; miscellaneous $100; and education training $500.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the amendment as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to recommend approval of the general fund claims totaling $218,629.78, other fund claims of $66,969.90, payroll of $355,014.23 and health department claims of $408,721.27, total claims of $1,049,335.18, voucher 37799 through 37972 and B-1 through B-103. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Marilyn McDonald presented the Committee with information regarding internet banking through Central Savings Bank and request approval to negotiate and sign said agreement on behalf of Chippewa County.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the request as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Having no further action items, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to accept the report of the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee meeting as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Postula stated that a discussion was held at the last MTA meeting concerning Manatron, townships and the County Treasurer’s Office. For some reason the employees of some townships think that the County is being unfair to them and they are paying the County’s bills.
A Manatron representative came to the last meeting and spoke to the Association and explained the process involved. The will also meet with the individual townships, explain the process and perhaps change the wording on the tax bills as it may be confusing to some of the townships.
Information was handed out at the last Finance Committee re: Animal Control Officer.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Shackleton, to recommend hiring an Animal Control Officer for 20 hours per week, 40 hours per pay period.
Discussion was held on pursuing other options for additional funding, licensing fees and enforcement.
On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend approval of the following proclamation re: March the American Red Cross Month.
America has always been a place of humanitarian action and compassion-a place where people take care of each other, and are always willing to reach out and take care of others in need whether they are down the block or around the globe. That American desire to put our compassion into action is deeply rooted in the character of the Chippewa County Chapter-American Red Cross. The Chippewa County Chapter-American Red Cross is a true reflection of that character.
For more than 88 years, the Red Cross in Chippewa County has been the place where citizens join together, and the generosity and compassion of the American people finds purpose. It’s been the place where someone who may not know you will still give you their blood, save you from drowning or provide you with shelter. Never has this been more evident than this past year, when hurricanes pounded the East Coast, and deadly tsunami struck our neighbors in Asia and Africa. The Chippewa County Chapter-American Red Cross responded swiftly and generously, and in overwhelming numbers chose their Red Cross as the place to turn their caring into action.
The Chippewa County Chapter-American Red Cross responds to disasters in the Eastern U.P. every year. Some are large disasters such as staffing a canteen for the firefighters at the Tahquamenon Falls blaze last November. Often, this response is to events that don’t make headlines, such as the 12 home fires that disrupted lives across Chippewa County last year. Our Red Cross and its corps of 36 volunteers is among the first on the scene, providing food, shelter, and more. During this past hurricane season alone, Red Cross chapters across the country worked together to provide shelter to more than 424,000, and served 16 million meals.
Chippewa County turns to the Chippewa County Chapter-American Red Cross for many of the things that make this area stronger and safer. Nearly half of our critical blood supply is collected by the Red Cross. Last year, 1260 donors chose the Red Cross as the place to donate the gift of life. 1140 people also turned to the Red Cross to learn lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR.
The Red Cross continues to provide support and comfort to our military families. Last year, they briefed local reserves and National Guard Troops and their families throughout the Eastern U.P. on how to access Red Cross services and connected loved ones separated by war and conflict.
Recognizing that suffering knows no orders, the Red Cross provides assistance during the international emergencies, such as the tsunami. They have also spearheaded a campaign to immunize millions of African children against measles, a disease nearly forgotten in America , but a deadly killer in other parts of the world.
In America, we may not all look the same, dress the same or sound the same, but we share a common spirit that binds us together when times are tough and unities us in action when someone is suffering. Like a mirror on American, the Red Cross shows us the best possible reflection of ourselves. In celebrating American Red Cross Month, we are celebrating the humanitarian and volunteer spirit here in Sault Ste. Marie and all across American,
NOW, THEREFORE, I Earl Kay, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Chippewa County, do hereby proclaim March 2005 as American Red Cross Month. I urge all Americans to continue to give blood, volunteer their time, and give generously to the American Red Cross and its local offices. Chippewa County is a place where we take care of each other. When you help the American Red Cross, you help Chippewa County.
IN WHTNESS, WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 14th day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.
On a roll call vote: Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Shackleton, Timmer, LaJoie, Moore and Kay voted yes. The motion carried 7-0.
Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the Board did adjourn at 7:55 p.m.
Diane S. Cork, Clerk
Earl Kay, Chairman