Local News

Barry County Commissioners Tuesday approved a recommendation by its committee of the whole last week to raise all county elected officials salaries two percent. However, state law prohibits commissioners from giving themselves raises during their terms of office, so their names were removed from the proposal.


The other elected officials salaries, with two percent raises:

Sheriff: $76,867.27

Register of Deeds: $60,414.52

County Clerk: $65,317.79

Treasurer: $61,390.73

Surveyor: $8,763.76

Drain Commissioner: $60,414,52

Prosecutor: $99,291.14

The increases are effective Jan, 1, 2018, and will cost $12, 736.11.


Commissioner Vivian Conner was the sole “no” vote, as she was last week, because of a concern on the legality of the commission giving the raises when the wording says the County Compensation Commission “shall” give elected officials raises. Commissioner Chairman Ben Geiger told Conner a county attorney said they could legally give raises to other officials, but not themselves.


Conner also said the law says the drain commissioner’s raises are given by a compensation commission, if there is one, but by the county commissioners if there is not. When she questioned the legality of them raising the drain commissioner’s salary, Conner was told it has not been the subject of case law.//


In other business, the commissioners approved:

* Form L-4229, allowing collection of winter taxes, requested by Equalization Director Timothy Vandermark.


* a budget amendment from Barry County Courts Special Revenue Accounts to accurately reflect expenses  and income of it’s specialty programs and line item changes to the Child Care Fund.


* selling three surplus vehicles by sealed bid. A 1986 Chevrolet bus, and 2006 and 2007 Chevy Tahoes can be seen at the Barry County Sheriff’s Office.


* a request from MSU Extension to pay $40,982 from the Cooperative Extension Grant Fund to fund a quarter-time 4-H program coordinator for three years.


* renewal of a three year contract between the Southwest Behavioral Health Regional Entity and Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and VanBuren counties to establish a Substance Use Disorder Oversight Policy Board to administer state block grants and local funding for the eight county region.













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