The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met on Monday, April 11, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Present: Commissioners: Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Scott Shackleton, Richard Timmer, Bernard LaJoie, Jim Moore and Chairman Earl Kay
Also Present: Don and Chris McLean, Tina Ojala, Bob Savoie, UnderSheriff, Sharon Kennedy, Equalization Director, Marilyn McDonald, County Treasurer, Kelly Beaune, Assistant to the Controller and Diane Cork, County Clerk
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Shackleton, to acknowledge the correspondence received in the Clerk’s Office, and if necessary, forward to the appropriate committees. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the County Board minutes of March 14, 2005 as prepared by the Clerk. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Don McLean read the following statement:
“It has been almost 10 years since our family first had to be involved with Hiawatha Behavioral Health. One of the issues that made that involvement more difficult was HBH abuse of the concept of patient confidentiality, patient client privilege and authority status to avoid any form of accountability to patients, families for even the taxpayers and county governments they are supposed to serve.
Last month HBH continued this secretive exclusionary policy by refusing to allow the local press to attend their monthly Financial Committee meeting. Their action, supported by HBH CEO Sam Harma, reaffirmed their position that tax dollar supported HBH is answerable to no one and is even exempt from the provisions of the Open Meetings Act.
We take issue with their position since we believe the top management of HBH continues to make decisions that waste taxpayer money on benefits for management and employee by limiting services and screening out people in need.
At the regular monthly meeting of the entire HBH Board, Chippewa County representative Earl Kay offered a motion to change HBH policy and open all committee meetings to the public.
It appeared most of the other HBH board members scrambled to avoid a decision since the CEO and the board chairman were absent from the meeting. In the end on a split vote they postponed action on opening the meetings.
This all ties into a Letter to the Editor in last weeks Evening News. Even though we agreed with many of the points in the letter regarding mismanagement at HBH we believe this County Commission made the right choice when selecting Jim German instead of Bill Conley for the open position on the HBH board.
We believe this because we saw Bill Conley in operation during his previous service on the HBH board. We believe Bill Conley repeatedly turned his back on the best interests of Chippewa County residents. We also witnessed a situation, after he knew he was not being reappointed to the board that Mr. Conley, as chairman of the HBH Finance Committee, negotiated a lavish pay and retirement package exclusively for the CEO Sam Harma. He did this by himself even though Mr. Harma’s contract was not up for review or any other consideration. This new package will take Mr. Harma to his retirement date a few years from now.
Chippewa County has been sold out a number of times with regard to HBH and it is going to be a difficult process to get back what our citizens have lost. We again urge you to continue your efforts to make the necessary changes to HBH so our citizens get the mental health services they deserve.”
CONTROLLER’S REPORT – Kelly Beaune
No action items necessary
OLD BUSINESS: None
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Personnel – Bernard LaJoie – April 4, 2005
Equalization Director Kennedy, represented by Kathy Munson, submitted approval for the hiring of Stephanie Rintamaki to fill the vacant Data Entry Clerk position.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the hiring of Stephanie Rintamaki to fill the Date Entry Clerk position in the Equalization Department, starting date and hours being at the discretion of Director Kennedy, until Ms. Rintamaki is available to work the regular 35 hour work week. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Clerk Diane Cork submitted for approval the hiring of Kari Willis for the vacant Secretary I position in the Clerk’s Office.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve the hiring of Kari Willis to fill the Secretary I position, effective immediately, at the discretion of Clerk Cork. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
The Committee, following up from the Board action taken on March 14, to hire Animal Control Officers for 20 hours per week, hours to be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:00 (noon)to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday’s from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. These will be straight time hours with no pager service. Per Union contract with Local 946, both Officers John Savoie and Jen Schoenemann were contacted regarding these hours. The officers agreed to share the 20 hours per week with Ms. Schoenemann working Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Mr. Savoie working the Friday and Saturday hours.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the recall of Animal Control officers John Savoie and Jen Schoenemann to fill the 20 hours per week Animal Control position. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Discussions regarding the additional hours worked by Bookkeeper Tina Ojala were discussed at length: Mrs. Ojala had previously submitted correspondence to the Board of Commissioners. The Committee discussed several different options for reimbursement. Mrs. Ojala wanted it known that she did not ask or expect compensation for the extra hours worked.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Postula, to authorize Mrs. Ojala, to work up to 40 hours per week if necessary, and to pay 40 hours per week retro from January 1, 2005.
On discussion: Commissioner Cooper asked if the policy and procedures were followed to allow the bookkeeper position to work 40 hours per week as other departments have done.
On the call of the vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.
It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the minutes of the Personnel Committee as presented. On a voice vote the motion carried unanimously.
Equalization and Apportionment – Jim Moore – April 8, 2005
Equalization Director Kennedy presented the 2005 County Equalized Values. She explained that the values presented on the report are the basis for completing the State required forms which must be completed and sent to the State before the end of April. It was explained that the assessed values are equalized before taxable values can be calculated for the county.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Cooper, that the equalized values as presented by the Equalization Director be adopted as reported and that all state required forms the same be completed and filed as required by statute. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Equalization Director Kennedy explained that staff members may be attending classes during the week of July 10-15, 2005 at LSSU and it may be necessary to close the office for short times to allow remaining on-duty staff to take lunch breaks, etc.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, that reasonable measures may be taken during the week of July 10-15, 2005, including closing during lunch hours, to allow staff required breaks, etc. while the office is short staffed due to staff members attending classes, but any full day closures would only occur after advising the Commission. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Kennedy advised the Board that Ron Cross (temporary employee) will be finished the end of April.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the minutes of the Equalization Committee meeting as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Health and Social Services – Ted Postula – No meeting
Building, Grounds and Jail – Earl Kay – No meeting
Transportation – Ted Postula – No meeting
Legislative and Natural Resources – Richard Timmer - No meeting
Computer – Don Cooper – No meeting
Finance, Claims and Accounts – Richard Timmer – April 7, 2005
Sheriff Moran, represented by Under Sheriff Savoie, submitted a request to the Committee seeking approval to bid up to $6,000 on a 1995 GMC Transport van. The van has a security cage worth approximately $10,000, which would separate the inmates being transported, and the County has received a verbal agreement regarding transporting U.S. Marshall Inmates. The revenue generated by these transports would be approximately $38.00 per hour.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the request to bid on the 1995 GMC Transport van.
Commissioner Cooper asked if this was a budget item and where the money would come from.
Chairman Kay stated that was not a budget item and that the money would probably come out of the transportation budget.
Ms. Beaune reminded the Commission that this was only a bid, not a guarantee.
Commissioner Shackleton thought that this could be a possible money maker and felt that this would go hand and hand with the video arraignment system.
On a call for the vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.
The Committee reviewed a draft agreement between the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Chippewa County regarding the use of equipment and supplies from the Chippewa County Animal Control Shelter. This agreement would be necessary if the City were to employ animal control officers paid by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to authorize the negotiation of the agreement between the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Chippewa County. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to recommend the approval of general fund claims totaling $186,406.54, other fund claims of $190,243.26, payroll of $340,444.02 and health department claims of $372,299.15, total claims of $1,089,392.97, vouchers 37980 through 38153 and C-1 through C-163. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Kelly Beaune requested a change in the regularly scheduled Finance Committee, to be changed to Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. because of a previously scheduled time off.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to approve the request to change the May Finance Committee meeting to Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to accept the report of the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee meeting as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Discussion was held on cost savings for Workman’s Compensation. Ms. Beaune stated that a meeting is set up with Ron Sober for a presentation.
Chairman Kay noted that Richard Brawley’s appointment to the E.D.C. Board had expired the end of March. Chairman Kay asked for the Board’s concurrence in reappointing Mr. Brawley to the E.D.C. Board for a term of six (6) years.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Shackleton, to reappoint Richard Brawley to the E.D.C. Board for a term of six (6) years. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
It was noted that the Recycling Committee was a member short. Commissioner Shackleton accepted the appointment to the Recycling Committee.
It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the following resolution number 05-03 re: Community Services Block Grant
WHEREAS, the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners strongly supports the Continued funding of the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG), and
WHEREAS, a National Mandate has existed for 41 years to provide local decision makers with CSBG funds enabling citizens to identify and solve barriers to self-sufficiency, and
WHEREAS, the services provided by those funds have primarily helped less affluent inhabitants, and elimination of CSBG funds would be very detrimental to the lives of many hard working families and individuals, and
WHEREAS, local taxes are insufficient to provide the needed and often vital services without the Community Services Block Grand funds, and
WHEREAS, supported activities such as Weatherization, Home Rehabilitation, Senior Programming, recreational developments, infrastructure improvements, Head Start and Preschool programming, and other activities will be severely reduced Or eliminated without CSBG funding,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners stress to members of Congress the importance of Community Action as the Nation’s best strategy to create opportunities of self-sufficiency For families and individuals, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Chippewa County Board of Commissioners express its concern about the proposed elimination of Community Service Block Grant funding in FY 2006 and urges Congress to reauthorize the program.
On a roll call vote, Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Shackleton, Timmer, LaJoie, Moore and Kay voted yes. The motion carried 7-0.
It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the following resolution number 05-04:
RESOLUTION FOR THE ADOPTION OF
THE CHIPPEWA COUNTY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
Whereas, Chippewa County, Michigan has experienced repetitive disasters that have damaged commercial, residential and public properties, displaced citizens and businesses, closed streets and bridges dividing the community both physically and emotionally, and presented general public health and safety concerns: and
Whereas, The County has prepared a Hazard Mitigation Plan that outlines the County’s options to reduce overall damage and impact from natural and technological hazards: and
Whereas, the Hazard Mitigation Plan has been reviewed by community, residents, business owners, and federal, state and local agencies, and has been revised to reflect their concerns:
Now, therefore, be it resolved that:
1. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is hereby adopted as an official plan of Chippewa County.
2. A Hazard Analysis Committee is hereby established as a permanent community advisory body. The advisory body being the approved members of the Chippewa County Office of Emergency Services Board. The group duties shall be as designated in the Hazard Mitigation Plan.
3. The Director of Office of Emergency Services is charged with supervising the implementation of the Plan’s recommendations within the funding limitations as provided by the County or other funding sources.
4. The Director of Office of Emergency Services shall convene the Hazard Analysis Committee annually. The Director’s responsibilities will include Monitoring the implementation of the plan and shall submit a written Progress report to Chippewa County Hazard Analysis Committee in Accordance with the following format:
a. A review of the original plan b. A review of any disasters or emergencies that occurred during the previous calendar year.
c. A review of the actions taken, including what was accomplished during the previous year.
d. A discussion of any implementation problems.
e. Recommendations for new projects or revised action items. Such recommendation shall be subject to approval by the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners.
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 LaJoie, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously and the Board did adjourn at 7:40 p.m.
Diane S. Cork, Clerk
Earl Kay, Chairman