An issue that caused angst, raised voices and criticism of Barry County Commissioners last week (see last week’s story), was unanimously approved this week with just one comment.
At issue was a proposal from Commissioner Howard “Hoot” Gibson to set up an ad hoc committee of three commissioners to look into the finances of the Barry Eaton District Health Department and the feasibility of establishing a separate Barry County Health Department.
The motion was to form the committee with Commissioners Dan Parker, Heather Wing and Jon Smelker to talk to the health department about its budget, allot $6,000 for professional help like a CPA if they needed to, and report back to the board in writing by Dec. 31.
Commissioner Dave Jackson, who spoke against the plan last week, said it would be a good opportunity for the committee to learn about the health department, but wondered if they would have enough time to get answers they needed if they had to hire someone before the end of the year and with the holidays coming up. He suggested they give the committee past the end of the year to continue working.
“We have no authority to appoint any committees; we can only take actions before our terms end (after the Nov. 6 election) Commissioner and chair Ben Geiger said, because sitting commissioners cannot bind future commissions to any actions. “If the committee needs more time, the new commission would have to reappoint the committee.”//
Several volunteers to county committees and boards were approved:
*Joe Sancimino was selected to serve on both the Agriculture Promotion Board as well as the Parks & Recreation Board for partial terms ending Dec. 31, 2019.
*Sarah Nelson, representing the Conservation District, will sit on the Parks & Recreation Board for a partial term ending Dec. 31, 2020.
*Jerry Czarnecki, from the City of Hastings, and Steve Essling (reappointed), from the recycling industry, will serve on the Solid Waste Oversight Committee until Oct. 31, 2021.
*Jack Miner will serve on the Planning Commission for a partial term ending March 31, 2021.
Commissioner Vivian Conner objected to not having the candidates vote results in the minutes of last week’s meeting. Commissioners voted with slips of paper on a magnetic board and, “there’s no record saying who got what… it should reflect the vote for the record.” Geiger said it was a consensus of the board and the motion at the end of the appointments was sufficient.
The commission also approved;
*Fiscal Year 2019 grant contracts for the court’s specialty programs; Adult Drug Court, 56B District Sobriety Court, Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, Office of Community Corrections and Juvenile Drug Court.
*a Farmland and Open Spaces Preservation (PA 116) request from Boyd and Lydia Endsley for property in Section 18 of Castletown Township.
*the Barry County 2018 Apportionment report with the local tax rates to allow collection of taxes.
*a request from county employee Robert Horrmann to buy one year of service with Michigan Employees Retirement System foe $25,846 to meet early retirement requirements.