Longtime county executive secretary retiring after 34 years

(Photo by John Deacon|American Courthouse Photo Archive)

Longtime Executive Secretary Pat Kulikowski is retiring after “nearly 34 years” of service for St. Joseph County. As a result of Kulikowski’s impending retirement, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners approved a request for an exception to the county’s hiring freeze from County Administrator Teresa Doehring to fill the vacancy.

The annual salary for the position (including fringe benefits) is $$60,000 and will officially become vacant on March 31. Doehring said her office was reorganized two years ago and three full-time positions in the county’s Human Resources department were eliminated, so replacing Kulikowski will is paramount, as the executive assistant position is responsible for board support and assisting the county administrator.

The position currently calls for 35 hours per week but Doehring asked for it to be a full-time position as her office is short handed as is, and “does not have any additional capacity to assume these responsibilities.” The commission also approved an exception to the hiring freeze for a chief public defender, which will become vacant on March 1, and will command a salary of $90,000.

In other business the commission…

•Adopted a resolution urging Governor Gretchen Whitmer to lift the “suspension on winter high school contact sports.”

•Discussed revising its executive committee dates to accommodate Commissioner Jared Hoffmaster, who has a scheduling conflict with another meeting. Commissioners ultimately decided to table the discussion for future consideration, as they couldn’t nail down a schedule that worked for everyone.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.