At its executive meeting on Wednesday, April 14, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to add a request from 3B District Court for an exception to the hiring freeze to the agenda for its meeting Tuesday.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners will meet in-person Tuesday, April 6 for the first time this year. Up to 25 people will be allowed into the room including members of the public but the meeting will also be broadcast live via Zoom.
County Commissioners honored Al Balog Tuesday, whose term officially ends later this month. Balog decided to forgo a reelection campaign this year, opting instead to run for 59th District State Representative in 2020, ultimately falling to Steve Carra.
Jack Coleman, who recently ran for the seat of 59th District Representative in the Michigan legislature, has a new position in St. Joseph County. At a regular meeting Tuesday evening, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners (BOC) appointed Coleman to an upcoming vacancy on the St. Joseph County Road Commission (SJCRC). Coleman will replace John Bippus in the position, which turns over after January 31.
Following an Executive Committee meeting Wednesday morning, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners held a workshop to start planning the 2021 fiscal year budget. For the last several years, the county has operated under a balanced budget, but only by making up shortfalls through drawdowns from the Delinquent Tax Fund (DTF). This year, possible revenue impacts from the ongoing pandemic and a slowed economy brought the imbalance to the front of many of the commission’s conversations about money.
St. Joseph County Administrator Teresa Doehring said the bargaining unit representing the county’s largest group of clerical employees has rejected a proposed agreement under which employees would work a reduced, 35-hour workweek for the remainder of the year. The hours reduction was a measure to attempt to mitigate ongoing revenue losses in the county.
At an Executive Committee meeting Wednesday morning, St. Joseph County Commissioners decided to defer conversations about hiring and pay decisions until planning talks begin over the 2021 Fiscal Year budget.
At a regular meeting of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, commissioners approved the hire of two new employees for the Sheriff’s Department, making an exception to a current hiring freeze. They include a position in road patrol and one in the corrections department that is responsible for courthouse security.
At a County Executive Committee meeting Wednesday, Covered Bridge Healthcare Director Rick Shaffer requested a new arrangement for a recent land purchase. Shaffer proposed converting a three-year land contract for the agency’s building into an outright purchase, which would resolve zoning issues related to proposed expansion work.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners weighed Wednesday whether to send a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer regarding Prosecutor John McDonough’s status. McDonough has been on paid leave since being arrested in a May drunk driving incident for which he will soon stand trial.
The St. Joseph County Commission voted Tuesday to approve union agreements that reduce staff time to 35 hours a week amid anticipated budget shortfalls.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners tabled a request by County Clerk Lindsay Oswald to fill a vacant deputy clerk position at an Executive Committee meeting Wednesday morning. It also reviewed two grant opportunities presented by Grant Administrator James Hissong.
During an Executive Committee meeting Wednesday morning, members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners discussed ways to address likely budget shortfalls for the remainder of 2020, as well as for the next two fiscal years.
Emergency Management Coordinator Erin Goff provided an update to the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday on COVID-19 statistics, and ongoing emergency management efforts within the county.