Local News

An employee recognition program for Barry County employees brought up by Barry County Commissioner Ben Geiger Tuesday brought many questions from other commissioners.


Department heads get recognition, but there are 275 employees who carry out the functions of the county every day who don’t, Geiger said.

He suggested a program to recognize employees using a model the state legislature uses. A traveling trophy goes to the employee picked by other staffers.  The first honoree would be appointed by the commission; after that, the winning employee would select the next one to have the trophy, but they would be from a different department.


There would be a little ceremony, every month or two, with a small certificate at a board meeting for the selected employee Geiger said. Commissioner Howard “Hoot” Gibson wanted to know “if other counties do this” and later, “would the employees want it?”


Commissioner Jon Smelker thought it would likely end up a popularity contest. Commissioner Heather Wing wondered if it goes for all departments; Thornapple Manor, the sheriff’s office, the COA?

“Would there be applications from employees and then choose from the applications?” Commissioner Vivian Conner asked “Is this to boost morale or recognizing those achieving more in the workplace?” asked Commissioner Dan Parker.


Geiger said he will bring a formal proposal with more information to the next committee of the whole meeting.


In other business, the committee of the whole recommended the full board approve:


*renewal of an agreement between the county and Michigan State University Extension for its services to county residents in 2018. The $116,283 assessment will pay for operating expenses for extension personnel, the 4-H program, and a clerical employee for the local MSUE office.


*the appointment of  Regina Young to a seat on the Solid Waste Oversight Committee representing the Barry Eaton District Health Department for a three year term.


*the renewal rate of $2.25 a month per county employee to VERIPRO of Grand Rapids for administration of the county’s self-funded short term disability claims for one year.


*moving the Dec. 26 board of commissioners meeting up to Dec. 19 to accommodate holiday and vacation plans during Christmas week. A committee of the whole meeting is scheduled for the morning of Dec. 19. Geiger will look at the committee of the whole agenda before setting a time for the county board meeting.










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