The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners discussed the possibility of returning to in-person meetings after Tuesday’s virtual meeting was interrupted by internet trolls in a practice called “Zoombombing” or “Zoom raiding.” Unidentified persons briefly hurled racist and homophobic epithets at commissioners and those in attendance before Chairperson Dennis Allen temporarily stopped the meeting.
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.
First term St. Joseph County Commissioner Jared Hoffmaster, 38, sat down with Watershed Voice Wednesday (virtually, of course) to answer questions about his new role.
The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA) has hired Pamela Riley, Au.D. of Centreville as its next executive director.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners and the Three Rivers City Commission will both hold regular meetings as planned this evening, Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Check out this local meetings primer for a preview of tonight’s meetings.
Following an Executive Committee meeting Tuesday, members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners held their second workshop to plan the 2021 Fiscal Year budget. At the previous workshop, held two weeks prior, commissioners sought to address a significant potential shortfall, and directed County Administrator Teresa Doehring and Finance Director Angie Steinman to ask each of the county’s various department heads to submit their own savings proposals.
At a regular meeting of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, commissioners approved an expenditure of $53,000 toward planning and design services for the proposed renovation of the county’s Courts Building. The design work will be performed by Tower Pinkster Design Services. The Courts Building is an annex to the county courthouse.
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.