By Genine Hopkins
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Gary Coning tendered his resignation in early August, prompting Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis to forward the information to the Clare County Board of Commissioners at their regular August meeting on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. Coning stated he was retiring from service to the office; he had previously come out of retirement to fill the post. Prosecutor Ambrozaitis posted the position and received many responses; interviews will be conducted August 30, 2013, at 6 p.m.
Other items discussed at the meeting:
County Clerk Pamela Mayfield informed the BOC that CPL (concealed pistol license applications) was increasing, as was the number of recorded documents that could indicate the county’s housing market is at least stabilizing and potentially in recovery. Mayfield stated the number of documents recorded last year was comparable with 2006 numbers, including home transfers, home mortgage documents, but also including tax foreclosures.
County Administrator Tracy Byard’s report was read into record. Byard provided an update on the roof project, stating that request for proposals was sent out on August 16th, and will be received by the County Clerk’s office to be time stamped. Deadline for proposals is Tuesday, September 3, 2013. In addition to the list of contractors who were sent proposal requests, information will also be posted in local papers and on the county’s website. Copies of the proposal are also available in the County Administrator’s office.
Byard reported that the Clare County Sheriff’s Dept. will be preparing for another county sale, to be held in the CCSD parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Additionally, it appears that the Courts have agreed to open up a discussion with the unions regarding contracts if the county would review the Opt Out plan rather than Hard Caps for health insurance.
The 2013 Budget Update has some good news. Revenues in the county are up $194,225 over last year and expenses down $100,669 for the same period. This indicates that the county departments are working hard to watch spending and is positive news for the county.
Work on the 2014 continues, as Byard has revised items requested by the Budget Committee. The next Budget Committee meeting will be held on September 4, at which time appeals by department heads will be heard. Byard also reported that NACo prescription drug discount card usage still hovers in the teens. Much of the lower usage could be explained by an increase in the discount programs offered by local pharmacies.
Gretchen Wilbur, Clare County DHS Outreach Coordinator, reminded the BOC of the upcoming Community Connections Day that will distributed food and school supplies to area families in need. The date of the event is Tuesday, August 27, 2013 and pre-registration is required. There will also be free lunch, free hair cuts and free mobile dentists on hand for kids.
State Sen. Darwin Booher updated the BOC on items of concern in Lansing. Legislators are considering how to fund fixing state and county roads in desperate need of repair, and are considering using the current six percent sales tax on gasoline solely for roads (this is in addition to a 19 percent gasoline tax; both are calculated at the pump). This would decrease the school fund, and there is talk of increasing the overall state sales tax to seven percent to make up for the shortfall. Such a measure must go before Michigan voters, but Booher stated he didn’t expect any proposal to be considered until the 2014 election year.
County Treasurer Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger reported that 84 parcels in tax forfeiture sold at the auction, with 38 parcels remaining to be sold in October at the non minimum bid auction. The auction will again take place at the Beaverton Bowling Alley.