Erich T. Doerr | Review Correspondent
The Clare County Board of Commissioners said its final goodbye to chairperson Donald David on Wednesday during the first of its two meetings this month.
After years of service to the county David lost his bid for re-election last month to Rick LaBoda who takes over in January. Because he won’t be able to make to the December 19 meeting both David and the other board members used Wednesday’s meeting to say their goodbyes to each other. Several of the commissioners took time from their reports to wish him the best before he goes.
“You guys are going to have to get by without me,” David said.”I wish Clare County the best going forward.”
The next meeting is only the third time David is going to be out of action during his time on the board as he said he previously missed one due to a hospital visit and another due to a Florida vacation. David added once he leaves office he is going to be unavailable for anything relating to politics as he takes a break after 45 years of action in the political arena.
With David’s departure board vice chair Jack Kleinhardt is going to move up to chairperson for just the December 19 meeting. A few quick jokes about ramming his entire agenda through in one meeting aside Kleinhardt confirmed all major decisions are going to be put off until January when the new board takes over.
The meeting was not all goodbyes as the board had business to conduct including four finance and administration committee action items all of which were approved with unanimous votes. The first was a series of small budget adjustments while the second concurred with the city of Clare in granting a personal property tax abatement to Clare’s Robotic Welded Parts.
The board’s next approval was an expenditure request for the Prosecutor’s office to allow OWI forfeiture funds to be used to purchase four computers with monitors for the IT department. The board confirmed the OWI forfeiture funds do not affect the general fund. The board’s final approval of the day was on a proposal to pay for training, travel and per diem when newly elected commissioners to attend it.
During the Clerk’s report Pamela Mayfield continued her discussion of gun licenses from a previous meeting. While the county recently switched to a $3 lamination charge on the licenses Mayfield said that charge may not last because of Michigan Senate Bill 59 which deals with several issues related to firearms.
“We should probably be looking at this bill,” Mayfield said.
According to Mayfield the bill, which recently passed in the state Senate and was headed for a vote in the House of Representatives, would eliminate if it passes their ability to charge for lamination amongst its many changes. She added that since they adopted the policy those buying licenses have almost universally paid the charge.
“Everyone we asked except for one opted for it,” Mayfield said.
Clare County Treasurer Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger said in her report that with the end of November comes the end of the county’s fiscal year. She said the county’s general fund ending balance was a tentative $1.4 million awaiting completion of an audit for the final figure. The board noted this number is not a savings figure.
“It’s basically (the county’s) personal check book,” Kleinhardt said.
After a brief closed session the board switched over to the Committee of the Whole to discuss issues for future meetings. The board gave initial approval to a plan to spend about $400 to buy a pair of desks for the adult prohibition office and some minor budget adjustments. Further discussion was done on issues such as a new purchasing policy but no action is planned to be taken in that area until the new year.