Barry County Commissioners are still working on the best way to attract volunteers to serve on its various committees and boards. Several weeks ago, Commission Ben Geiger said he would develop a solution to the problem of not enough applicants to serve on the county boards.
Commissioners Tuesday agreed to use its advertising budget on traditional and other venues, including Facebook, and considered making the process as informal and relaxed as possible with a night committee of the whole meeting at the Tyden Center several times a year.
Also, commissioners would focus on finding the right fit for applicants, instead of just accepting or rejecting a person for a specific position. After meeting and talking with the available applicants, the commissioners would make recommendations to the full board.
Geiger said the approach was more efficient and less stressful for applicants. There is no streaming of Tyden Building meetings, but audio will be available, he said.
Commissioners serve on each board. If someone expressed an interest in animals, Commissioner David Jackson could talk to them about a board he sits on, the Animal Shelter Oversight Committee, tell of its goals and what they do.
The meeting could be formed as a workshop or if an official meeting, start with a short presentation at the beginning and agenda items taken care of before the discussions with each applicant.
Several details are still to be decided, but the commissioners seemed to agree with the idea of talking to all applicants in a night meeting, perhaps quarterly.
“Bottom line is, does it work?” said Commissioner Dan Parker said. “Two or three times a year, let’s do it.”
Also on Tuesday, Commissioner Heather Wing said traffic problems at the entrance of Walmart on M-37/M-43 may be eased next year by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
After an accident involving county employees in June, she said she inquired about the possibility and learned the MDOT had already made the decision to address the questionable area. They had considered lengthening the approach lane to the store, but decided it wouldn’t help much and are considering a traffic light at the entrance to the area, she said. The entrance has been the site of several accidents.