The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met for their Organizational meeting on Monday, January 9, 2006 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 and Chairman Earl Kay

Absent: Commissioner Jim Moore

Also Present: Don and Chris McLean, Frank Blissett, Don Holt, Marvin Willis, Dirk Heckman, Will Karr and Diane Cork, County Clerk

ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to nominate Ted Postula as Chippewa County Board of Commissioners Vice-Chair. Hearing no further nominations, it was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Ted Postula. On a voice vote the motion carried and Ted Postula was elected as the Vice-Chair to the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners.

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

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

Chairman Kay stated that the 2006 Committee appointments will remain the same unless objections were voiced. Hearing no objections, the appointments are as follows:

Finance, Claims and Accounts Richard Timmer*
  Don Cooper
  Bernard LaJoie
  James Moore
  Ted Postula
  Earl Kay (Ex-Officio)
  Scott Shackleton (Ex-Officio)
   
Building and Grounds Earl Kay*
  Ted Postula
  Richard Timmer
   
Personnel Bernard LaJoie*
  Earl Kay
  Ted Postula
   
Equalization & Apportionment Jim Moore*
  Don Cooper
  Scott Shackleton
   
Health and Social Services Ted Postula*
  Bernard LaJoie
  James Moore
   
Legislative and Natural Resources Richard Timmer*
  Earl Kay
  Scott Shackleton
   
Transportation Ted Postula*
  James Moore
  Richard Timmer
   
Computer Committee Don Cooper*
  Earl Kay
  Bernard LaJoie
   
U.P.C.A.P. Delegate  
   
Emergency Food & Shelter National Board Program Don Cooper

*Denotes Chairperson

On a voice vote, the motion carried.

MEETING SCHEDULE

It was moved by Commissioner Shackelton, supported by Commissioner Timmer to adopt the following meeting schedule:

2006 Regular Board Meetings 7:00p.m.

February 13, 2006
March 13, 2006
April 10, 2006
May 8, 2006
June 12, 2006
July 10, 2006
August 14, 2006
September 11, 2006
October 9, 2006
November 13, 2006
December 11, 2006

 

2006 Finance Meetings 5:00 p.m.

February 9, 2006
March 9, 2006
April 6, 2006
May 4, 2006
June 8, 2006
July 6, 2006
August 10, 2006
September 7, 2006
October 5, 2006
November 9, 2006
December 7, 2006

On a voice vote, the motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Dirk Heckman, Chippewa County Road Commission, gave a 2005 construction update. Discussion was held on fuel costs, bridge repair and State contract.

Don McLean read the following statement:

From the December HBH meeting and last Thursday's Evening News we understand HBH is planning an expansion of their Manistique office.

We are here tonight to explain our opposition to their plans. To do this we feel the need to correct a few myths that continue to be used by Top HBH management and the HBH board members from Manistique for their own advantage.

First, Schoolcraft County did not rescue Chippewa and Mackinac Counties from extinction by allowing us to join their mental health agency. The truth is the state of Michigan was forcing the smaller mental health agencies to merge as a cost saving move. Schoolcraft County with just 8,000 residents was in more danger of extinction than Chippewa and Mackinac with 50,000 residents. Schoolcraft needed Mackinac and Chippewa more than we needed them.

Next, there is no formal agreement that HBH administrative offices must be located in Manistique. We searched the formal resolution you passed when you joined HBH and the minutes of the meeting Mr. Harma claimed established Manistique as the main office and we found nothing to support that claim. Yet, we remember hearing Mr. Frenette of Manistique state that the offices were located in Manistique so Schoolcraft County would have more doctors and professional people to improve the quality of life in Schoolcraft.

We believe Chippewa County did not join HBH because it was the best option. Chippewa joined because it was the only option presented by a top Chippewa County Representative who was a family friend of the Schoolcraft CEO and another Chippewa County mental health board member who played hockey with the CEO. In both cases, they overlooked the best interest of Chippewa County residents.

When this board was first considering a merger, one of the concerns we voiced was the difficulty of travel to Manistique compared to travel to Petoskey.

Now, that cost of travel, overnight lodging, meals and lost time has caused HBH to eliminate a number of client services in Chippewa and Mackinac counties. Yet in spite of this, the top management of HBH and the board leadership from Manistique are proceeding with plans to expand the offices in Manistique.

Rising fuel costs are going to have an increasing impact on budget. By moving administration offices to a more geographically or population, centralized, location there would be no need to add to the Manistique office. At the same time travel and other administration costs would be reduced; allowing more money for client programs, treatment and care.

To illustrate this, it was necessary for one HBH manager from Manistique to spend 115 nights in Sault Ste. Marie during the last fiscal year. I would expect his meals were also provided those days.

Also, remember when the Chippewa County mental health agency was having financial problems before they joined HBH; that a big reason for those problems was that the board members were not properly monitoring the administration.

Don't let that happen again

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS: None

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the meeting did adjourn at 7:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, Clerk

Earl Kay, Chairman