The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 9, 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: Frank Blissett, Chris and Don McLean, Julie Timmer, Tina Ojala, and Diane Cork, County Clerk

It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Postula, 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 Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to approve the County Board minutes of April 11, 2005 with the corrected spelling of Commissioner Shackleton’s name on page 2. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Don McLean read the following statement:

“At the April meeting of Hiawatha Behavioral Health we sat in amazement as the board discussed if the agency should require it’s various committee’s to follow the Michigan Open Meetings Act. The discussion centered on a presentation by their Grand Rapids attorney who contended it would be illegal for HBH to adopt the OMA.

During the discussion various board members indicated their committees have been making decisions and screening information and that they felt the way to remedy the situation was to simply comply with the OMA.

The lawyer kept insisting that HBH was not required to follow the OMA but should instead adopt some additions to their policies that would open the committee meetings and allow discretionary public input.

A motion to adopt the new guidelines while continuing to work to make the agency fully compliant to the OMA failed on a 6-6 vote with all Chippewa County and two Mackinac County representatives voting yes and all Schoolcraft County and the other two Mackinac County members voting no.

The board then voted unanimously to simply adopt the lawyer proposed additions to their policies and open their committee meetings and allow public input under certain circumstances.

These new rules create a situation where my wife and I could travel to a committee meeting in Manistique and as the meeting starts the committee chair could decide to not allow public comment or the committee could vote to close the meeting to the public and all that we could do is drive back to the Sault.

HBH says they have nothing to hide yet instead of simply adopting the universally accepted rules and procedures of the OMA they will continue to spend tax dollars for their lawyer to “reinvent the wheel” developing new rules just for HBH.

Their lawyer then presented a new defamation policy he had developed. This policy is aimed at people and newspapers making statements or printing information about HBH. The lawyer would investigate these statements and possibly file lawsuits against the individuals or newspapers.

Again HBH claims they have nothing to hide yet they are developing a new set of policies in an attempt to scare people so they won’t talk about HBH for fear of being sued.

As we see it this is simply another management smoke screen and a move by the lawyer to run up more hours of legal fees as he develops new rules for committee meetings and investigates statements to see if the agency has been defames.

In our dealings with HBH we have learned that it is all about the money. Instead of simply making the agency more accountable and responsive to the public needs the management continues to keep public business shrouded in unnecessary secrecy under the guise of required confidentiality. This is done as they continue to squander taxpayer money intended for patient care on Christmas bonuses, college tuition, an SUV for the CEO’s personal use, staff recognition luncheons etc.

We again ask you continue your efforts to bring about change in HBH to improve service to Chippewa County residents who make up 68% of the cliental but have only 33% of the vote.”

CONTROLLER’S REPORT - Informational only-no actions were necessary

Commissioner Cooper referred to a letter received by Jim Shogren, Veterans Affairs Counselor, from the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs indicating that 4,489 veterans reside in Chippewa County, with VA expenditures totaling $9,139,000.00. Out of this total, Chippewa County Veterans and their families received $5,346,000.00 in Compensation and Pension benefits, $524,000.00 for benefits and training for disabled veterans, and $268,000.00 for insurance and indemnities.

OLD BUSINESS: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Personnel – Bernard LaJoie – No meeting

Equalization and Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting

Health and Social Services – Ted Postula – No meeting

Building, Grounds and Jail – Earl Kay – April 14, 2005

The committee received follow-up information regarding the work station for the Courthouse Annex Building, by using our own CPU the price savings for purchase and installation would be $500.00, the new total price would be $2,400.00, monies to be taken from the 101-890-701.000 contingencies fund; started FY2005 with $10,000.00.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve the purchase and installation of the building graphics and work station, from ACC Planned Services, in the amount of $2,400.00 from fund 101-890-701.000 Contingencies. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee continued to discuss security issues with the County’s buildings, specifically District Court issues, of a new lockable door with keyless entry for the office of the District Court Administrator, Probation Officer and Court Recorder. The Building Inspector’s Office obtained a quote for the required door, and options for the keyless entry were reviewed. The committee opted to purchase one keyless entry system to see if it is going to work. The Committee also discussed installation of metal detectors, the costs involved, including the equipment and personnel needed to operate it.

It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the purchase of one (1) Grinnel Door and frame in the amount of $383.06, and to purchase and install one keyless entry system from Alert Electronics in the amount of $650.00, from the Contingency Fund 101-890-701.000.

Commissioner Cooper asked why the monies were being taken from the Contingency Fund and not the Repair and Maintenance line item. Chairman Kay will check with Kelly Beaune to see what fund would be more appropriate.

On the motion, all Commissioners voted in the affirmative. The motion carried unanimously.

The Committee received information regarding a computer based panic button and notification system, called AlertTracker, which would cost approximately $999 plus shipping. The system has been checked by our Information Systems personnel and director McKee of Central Dispatch for compliance, with no objections from either. The company is also checking into the use of remote transmitters for the Judges’ benches. The Committee also discussed adopting a new ordinance for the County regarding random searches, and prevention of persons with CCW permits to enter open meetings at the County Building. An assessment of security by Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority is expected the week of May 23rd, with recommendations to follow regarding security issues.

Discussion was held on guns being brought into County Buildings.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve the purchase of the AlertTracker, panic button and notification system, for the software price of $999, to be paid out of 101-885-701.000. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, 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 and Natural Resources – Richard Timmer – No meeting

Computer – Don Cooper – No meeting

Audit – Richard Timmer – April 21, 2005

Auditor Phil Wolfe presented and reviewed documents included in the annual audit report and explained the purpose of each. He reviewed the independent auditor’s opinion.

Mr. Wolf presented and reviewed the general fund balance sheet, a number of graphs, his Report to Management and the meaning of each section of the report. The Committee discussed issues concerning the FY2004 Audit and the direction that need to be taken regarding the Controller’s and Finance Director’s position. Mr. Wolf gave the Committee three options 1) leave as is, 2) hire a part time consultant to tie out the general ledger and the bank statements or 3) hire a Finance Director. Discussion continued regarding each option. The County is only maintaining a 1% rainy day fund, when it should be carry approximately a 10% rainy day fund, last years actions were only short term fixes and we had no capitol outlay.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to approve the FY2004 Audit report as presented and have a copy sent to the Bayliss Public Library, copies available in the Clerk’s Office, and on the County’s homepage.

Commissioner Cooper pointed out that the County, in the FY2004 report, had four reportable conditions and several things in the management letter. One item that appeared previously in the management letter is now a reportable condition, that being the Friend of the Court Trust Account. Commissioner Cooper thought that this matter had been cleared up. Commissioner Timmer will look into the situation.

On the motion, all Commissioners voted in the affirmative. The motion carried unanimously.

Having no further action items, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to accept the report of the Audit Committee as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Finance, Claims and Accounts – Richard Timmer – May 3, 2005

The Chippewa County Health Department received a grant which will require travel for training.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Postula, to approve the travel request, at no expense to the County. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.

Tim McKee, 9-1-1 Director, presented two proposals for the expenditure of funds from our Homeland Security Grant allocation.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the expenditure of $12,694.19 for the equipment identified in the grant. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to approve the purchase proposal for 800 MHz radio equipment at a cost of $165,775.00. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Director McKee presented the title III, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources funds. This year the projects identified will include Geographic Information system (GIS) software upgrades and mapping improvements for Chippewa County , in a project through Info Geographic, Inc. along with requests for assistance from the various townships.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the project as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Title IV-D Co-op Reimbursement has been adjusted by the State of Michigan. The amended amount is a decrease of $2,152.00.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to accept the reduction in the contract with the Chairman’s signature and to show a reduction in the department budget. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

One proposal for Workmen’s Compensation was received. John Katona, Agent for Accident Fund Insurance Company presented a proposal effective 6/1/05. Randy Pingatore of Madigan/Pingatore was invited to explain his position. He presented the Commissioners with an agent agreement, asking that he be appointed agent for Chippewa County. He explained that his company was locked out of presenting a proposal because Mr. Katona was the agent of record for Chippewa County.

Discussion was held on Agent of Record.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to authorize Madigan/Pingatore as agent of record for Chippewa County . On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

A letter was received from Chief Murray, City Police Chief. The letter outlined the terms for the hiring of Chippewa County ’s Animal Control officer part-time.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to accept the proposal for access to equipment while working for the City. The fee schedule for mileage to be $.40.5 cents per mile, the city would provide an identification badge and a letter would be submitted to authorize Jennifer Schoenmann to perform euthanasia in Chippewa County. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Prudential representative, Joe Hilliard, met with employees and explained that Prudential will no longer carry a deferred compensation program for small groups. The County has approximately 17 employees in the program. They have been given the chance to roll over to Security Benefit Group.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to have the necessary paperwork signed by the Chairman to allow this transfer. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to receive and accept bids for the Chevrolet Impala formerly used as a Sheriff Patrol vehicle. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Bids were received for the new boiler water feed for the Annex Building.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to award the low bid of $1,914.00 to Baril Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Inc. for the purchase and installation of One Bell & Gossett Model 30VBFS-B boiler feed tank with pump and required fittings. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Motion made by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to recommend approval of general fund claims totaling $130,598.88, other fund claims of $115,964.98, payroll of $512,718.03 and Health Dept. claims of $418,544.83, total claim of $1,177,826.72, vouchers 38154 through 38154 and D-1 through D-144. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Moore, to accept the settlement agreement for Mary Marsh, former employee of the Public Defender’s Office, as presented in the closed session of the Finance, Claims and Accounts Committee meeting. 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.

NEW BUSINESS:

Moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Cooper to adopt the following Resolution number 05-05 as follows:

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING MICHIGAN HOUSE AND SENATE BILLS

PROTECTING THE MICHIGAN VETERANS TRUST FUND

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 80 (tied barred with SB81) and House Bill 400 (tie barred with HB 4002) will, if passed, establish an undergraduate tuition waiver program for children of certain deceased or disabled members of the United States armed forces and repeals MCL 35.111-35.112, the Education for Children of Certain Veterans Act, and certain sections of MCL 35.601a et seq., the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Act; and

WHEREAS, Michigan Veterans Trust Fund provides assistance to Michigan veterans, their unremarried widows and dependants (persons legally entitled to look to the veteran for his or her support) on the basic need, including the prescribing of the necessary forms and the making of reports and accounting; and

WHEREAS, the Michigan Veterans Trust fund also provides funding for college tuition grants for children of disabled or deceased veterans; however, the trust fund is now losing money and cannot fund both the financial assistance for needy veterans and the college tuition grants for their children; and

WHEREAS, the primary purpose of the Veterans Trust Fund is to provide immediate assistance to needy Michigan veterans; House Bill 4001 and Senate Bill 80 will create an undergraduate tuition waiver program for children of veterans to be funded by another source and not the Veterans Trust Fund; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners on this 9th day of May, 2005 that it unconditionally supports the passage of House Bills 4001 and 4002 and Senate Bills 80 and 81 which will establish a new undergraduate tuition grant program for children of certain veterans and keep the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund a viable source of funding for our veterans in need; and be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Michigan Legislature.

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 Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to adopt the following Resolution number 05-06 as follows:

RES0LUTION IN OPPOSITION TO

NEW PASSPORT INITIATIVE

WHEREAS, the Department of State and Homeland Security announced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to secure and expedite travel. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require all U.S. citizens, Canadians, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and citizens of Mexico to have a passport or other accepted secure document to enter or re-enter the U.S. by January 1, 2008; and

WHEREAS, currently U.S. citizens, and some citizens of other countries in the Western Hemisphere are not required to present a passport to enter or re-enter the U.S. when traveling within the Western Hemisphere. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, signed into law on December 17, 2004, mandated that the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, develop and implement a plan to require U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to present a passport, or other secure document when entering the United States; and

WHEREAS, to provide vital information to the general public, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and State (DOS) are issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the plan to the public and requesting input and/or comment on the suggested documents and possible alternative documents that can meet the statutory requirements. A more formal rulemaking will be issued later this year following review of those comments to implement the first phase of the initiative. This rulemaking will take into account comments received from the advanced notice a well as soliciting further comments on the rulemaking itself; and

WHEREAS, implementation of the new passport initiative would result in financial harm to the tourism industry of Chippewa County and the surrounding area; and

WHEREAS, the change would impede the promotion of the twin Sault’s, and cross border commerce, not only to businesses, but to the general public as well.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows:

1. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners respectfully opposes the new passport initiative.

2. That the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners acknowledges the need to strengthen border security in the Western Hemisphere.

On a roll call vote: Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Shackleton, Timmer, LaJoie, Moore and Kay voted yes. The motion carried 7-0.

Moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve Resolution number 05-07 as follows:

RESOLUTION TO APPROVE

APPLICATION FOR COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS ACT FUNDS

WHEREAS, the Eastern Upper Peninsula Employment and Training Consortium consisting of the Counties of Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac, has submitted a proposed Application for State of Michigan Community Corrections Act Funds for Fiscal Year 2006: 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 2006, 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.

On a roll call vote: Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Shackleton, Timmer LaJoie, Moore and Kay voted yes. The motion carried 7-0.

The Committee in charge of the sesquicentennial has asked if tours of the courthouse would be available in August (1st weekend in August). It was noted that arrangements could be made.

Commissioner LaJoie brought before the Board a Resolution supporting UPCAP as a “Single Point of Entry” for long-term care services.

It was agreed that more deliberation was needed on this particular subject.

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the Board did adjourn at 7:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, Clerk

Earl Kay, Chairman