Sheriff fills vacant Central Dispatch positions

Erich T. Doerr | Review Correspondent

Less than 24 hours after this week’s election it was back to business as usual for the Clare County Board of Commissioners with their first November meeting.

The board took on several issues including one approval, some CPL permit issues and a few topics for next time during the Committee of the Whole meeting that followed.

The board of commissioners’ only approval of the day dealt with monthly expenditures. The board unanimously approved a motion regarding the $3,464,326.36 in expenditures for October including a total of $896,999.58 in General Fund expenditures.

The biggest feature of Wednesday’s meeting was a visit from Clare County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ed Williams. The lieutenant first discussed vacancies at Central Dispatch before confirming they had already filled two part-time positions with one non-union supervisor position vacant while they wait on a budget regarding the issue.

When the board moved into the committee of the whole Williams stayed around to discuss several more issues including the possible sale of two felony forfeited vehicles to fund the purchase a new to the department used vehicle for the Bayonet program.

“I need to know if that is a viable option,” Williams said.

According to Williams the Bayonet program needs one vehicle and currently uses a mid-1990s one that needs about $1,000 in repairs making it unviable to continue in long-term use. He added that the nature of the program means an unmarked or converted police vehicle isn’t usable and both of the forfeited vehicles to be traded in also are not viable. The board approved the proposal to send it to a final vote at the next board meeting.

Williams also discussed a proposal by property owners on Eight Point Lake to increase their police presence for the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends next year. He said the property owners are willing to pay 100 percent of the cost to have a single deputy and a boat patrol the lake for those six summer days.

“They really want a peaceful lake,” Williams said.

The board agreed with the proposal and like the forfeiture vehicle sale approved it for a final vote at the next meeting. The committee of the whole also approved a temporary reduction in staffing at the county jail. According to Williams the number of inmates from the state is currently down although it is going to come back up in about three to six months. During this slow period the jail is going to lay off three part-time employees but Williams said all three are going to be hired back afterward.

“We’ll fill that jail back to maximum and we’ll need every one of them,” Williams said.

The board discussed two appointments during the meeting. The first was appointing recently re-elected board member Leonard Strouse to the Shamrock Lake Improvement Board at the latter board’s request. Board chairperson Donald David said the county board has not had a representative on the board for at least six years and with the board’s support approved Strouse’s appointment.

The second was reappointing Virginia Collins to a three-year term on the planning commission to expire on July 6, 2015. Collins appointment was voted on during the committee of the whole and is set for final approval at the next meeting.

Earlier during her board of commissioners meeting clerk’s report Pamela Mayfield talked about the Concealed Pistol Licenses issued by the county and a minor controversy regarding a $3 lamination fee. Mayfield since the issue is likely to be dealt with by making the lamination optional.

“I figured we won’t laminate and charge the fee,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said she talked to other counties before coming to this decision with some suggesting the prosecutor could order lamination if necessary. She added lamination is still the preferable option for CPL permits as the papers could $10 to replace if they deteriorate. She added that since CPL permits require a photo identification if the county took up doing the service for $10 each, priced competitively with others who provide the service, the service could pay itself off in about a year.

According to David recent storms in the area have revealed that the leak in the roof above the treasurer’s office has not been completely fixed despite their best efforts.

“There is still water coming through that wall,” David said, discussing some of the options for fixing it such as caulking it although none would likely be permanent. “You’re probably stuck with that for the life of the building.”

The new server for central dispatch was also briefly discussed specifically for paying the licensing fees on it. The cost was estimated to be about $5,700 and county treasurer Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger suggested it was small enough they should just pay it off.

The board confirmed on Wednesday its next meeting is going to be at 9 a.m. on November 19. While the board normally meets on Wednesdays that next meeting is going to be on Monday to avoid conflicts with the Thanksgiving holiday.