BOC promotes Majewski, debates security camera access

November 25, 2015

By Rosemary Horvath
Correspondent

Eleven months into 2015, Clare County has issued 514 concealed pistol permits. Compare that number to the 135 issued in 2010 or 611 in 2014.

Clare County Clerk/Register of Deeds Pam Mayfield calculated some 1,500 permits have been issued in the last few years.

More applications may be filed now that county gun boards ceased as of Nov. 1 and the new law takes effect Dec. 1.

Lansing lawmakers decided to speed up the CPL application process and transfer review responsibility to only county clerks and an online system managed by Michigan State Police. Left out are county prosecutors and local law enforcement.

The new law establishes Michigan as a “shall issue” state, which means county clerks are required to issue pistol permits based on statutory eligibility alone.

Mayfield reported to the Board of Commissioners on Nov. 18 the new unfunded mandate will require more work in her office.

The board agreed giving applicants an option of having a printed paper card or paying $10 for a laminated plastic card. All proceeds will stay in the clerk’s CPL fund to cover expenses.
Commissioner Jim Gelios updated the board on the appeal to the U.S. Department of Labor on being grouped in the Region 5 Michigan Prosperity Region. The county has petitioned to remain in the Michigan Works! Region 7B where ties with the five other rural counties have been too productive to break. “They want to split up successful programs,” Gelios said.

Region 7B consists of Clare, Arenac, Gladwin, Ogemaw, Iosco and Roscommon counties.
Under the new grouping, Clare joins Isabella, Gratiot, Midland, Gladwin, Arenac, Bay and Saginaw.
The smaller and less populated counties have appealed the changeover. In spite of their protest though, funding will still be dispersed to Clare and the other counties, Gelios said.

The Region 5 board has 16 members: five from Saginaw, three from Bay, two from Midland and the rest have one vote each. Saginaw County serves as fudiciary for funding.

David Stoker, the municipal attorney for Clare County, also represents the Region 7B counties before the labor department.

Commissioners had a lengthy discussion on drafting a policy regulating who has access to security cameras and when at the County Building. Currently, the county administrator who oversees the building and the information technology coordinator can monitor cameras.

Sheriff John Wilson will set policy for the sheriff’s department and jail.
A committee that takes up I.T. matters will study options and propose a recommendation.
Another lively debate was over creation of an assistant director position for Community Services. Department director Lori Ware explained her new position as director will take her away from overseeing community development and senior services.

Carol Majewski, nutrition director for senior services, is Ware’s choice for the position. Ware disputed a conflict exists because Majewski is married to County Commissioner Dale Majewski. “It’s about what she does for me. This has nothing to do with Dale. Carol has worked seven years for me before Dale was a commissioner,” she said.

Along with the new position is a $7,000 salary increase. The $45,000 salary would strictly come out of community development funds and nothing from the county’s general fund, Ware said.

Commissioner Karen Lipovsky said she wasn’t opposed to the position or Majewski, but that the salary increase seemed too much too soon. Still, Lipovsky was in the minority. Commissioner Leonard Strouse moved for approval and Commissioner Gelios seconded. The motion passed 5 to 1 with one abstension. The board had approved allowing Commissioner Majewski to abstain from voting because action directly involved his spouse. At first, the request pertained to all matters regarding senior services but that was modified. Ware pointed out that on matters of community development and senior services “he should be able to vote.”

In other business, the county board:
APPROVED placing on the March 8 ballot a proposition to increase the monthly surcharge for Clare Central Dispatch 9-1-1 Emergency Service from the current 47 cents to $1.00 per landline and wireless device and voice-over-Internet protocol service users for a period of five years from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2021. The motion passed with Commissioners Strouse and Gelios voting no. Revenue  is exclusively for funding 9-1-1 emergency telephone call answering and dispatch services in the county, including facilities, infrastructure, equipment and maintenance, and operating costs.
RECEIVED an explanation from Tom Pirnstill, executive director of Clare County Transit, about the administrative error inadvertently made in the ballot langugage for the 2015 transit renewal. The goal was to have continuous millage funding for transit except no one caught the omission of the year 2016. Pirnstill said transit will pay for a special election at the Aug. 2, 2016 primary election. Voters have already approved funding for the period 2017-2022.

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