At Calhoun County, we’re thankful for…In this crazy year I still encourage us all to take time to think about what we can be thankful for, and what we need to appreciate. I would like to take a moment to appreciate how adaptable and persistent Calhoun County employees have been for almost a year now of responding to a public health crisis, while taking care of their families and providing much needed services to our residents.
Public Health Department staff are of course critical to the county’s COVID-19 response. Law enforcement, corrections, and juvenile home staff must show up every day, including holidays and weekends, to maintain public safety. I also want to thank our county Board of Commissioners, elected officials, department heads and administrative staff who help lead the way in countywide COVID response, I’m very appreciative to be a part of a family of county and court employees who just continue to pull together and care about each other, and the public we serve
A less recognized group of County employees are our information technology and central services staff, who are key to our success with working remotely. Before the pandemic, IT staff handled normal help desk support questions, mainly about the network within county walls, which they’re very comfortable with. In 2020, they’ve been asked to deploy hundreds of new laptops, help troubleshoot technical issues we have that may actually relate to our home networks, and even address the lack of broadband internet services for those living in rural parts of the county. The County has even installed software for dozens of employees that allow us to receive phone calls to our normal office phone numbers right from our laptops!
Thank you to this staff who, for months, have kept us connected so we can do our important work.
Please note that County Offices are closed Thursday-Friday, Nov. 26-27 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope everyone enjoys this much-needed time.
At tonight’s Board of Commissioners Meeting, we presented the 2021 County Budget
Click here for the 2021 Budget Recommendation
- This budget will be voted on by the Board of Commissioners at the next meeting on Dec 3, 2020. For the public hearing which was held during tonight’s meeting, Deputy Controller Megan Banning gave a presentation highlighting next year’s budget. Watch that presentation from tonight’s BOC meeting on Youtube or click here for the slides from her presentation.
Here is what else is going on in Calhoun County:The Michigan Association of County Administrative Officers (MACAO) Board and Membership Meeting took place virtually on Nov. 5. At the meeting, we welcomed new members and heard updates about our regularly planned annual conference in May, along with legislative updates from the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) staff.
On Monday, Nov, 9, the Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Committee met virtually, reviewing the department’s year-to-date budget and approving Veteran Relief Applications.
Also on Nov. 9, the Calhoun County Planning Commission met via Zoom, and approved seven township planning and zoning items, ranging from Leroy to Tekonsha Townships. The Commission also received communication about the intent to update the Hillsdale County Master Plan from the Hillsdale County Planning Commission. Commissioner Gary Tompkins and I serve on the CCPC as the County’s representatives.
The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau Board met virtually on Nov. 17, and the Board welcomed its newest member, Joe Sobieralski from Battle Creek Unlimited. The Board accepted financials for September 2020, approved the 2021 budget, and heard an update about the McCamly Hotel change of ownership. CEO Linda Freybler also gave updates on the impact of COVID-19 on area tourism and hotel accommodations tax. Commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette and I serve on the CVB Board as the County’s representatives.
Earlier today, Nov. 19, the Michigan Municipal Services Authority (MMSA) Full Board and Executive Committee both met virtually. We heard administrative updates from CEO Shea Charles, and an update from Mark Wollenweber, hired by the MMSA on a part-time basis to provide financial consulting services for the City of Flint with funding from the Michigan Department of Treasury. In new business, the board approved two resolutions related to electronic meetings and our schedule of meetings for 2020-2021. I remain the chairperson of the MMSA Board based on appointment from former Governor Rick Snyder, and after serving my 3-year term am hoping to hand over this role soon pending appointment of a new chair by Governor Whitmer.Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
At the Thursday, Nov. 19 Board of Commissioners meeting, there were two special agenda items: A proclamation for the holiday season regarding impaired driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over! Also, there was a public hearing for the 2021 budget. On the consent agenda, the Board approved an updated apportionment report, which includes the latest millage approved by Tekonsha Township. There was also an appointment to the Summit Pointe Board. In new business, the Board,
- Approved an amended lease for the Public Defender’s Office, which is in the Toeller Building
- Approved a lease agreement with Substance Abuse Council (SAC), which has moved to the County Building in Marshall
- Approved the County’s October 2020 financials
Around the CountyInformation from the Public Health Department
Today, Calhoun (and Kalamazoo) County Medical Director Dr. William Nettleton hosted a roundtable discussion with officials from local hospitals, to understand the extent of the crisis in our community. Watch that video here.
The surge in Calhoun County continues, as described in the latest Joint Information Center Briefing, which was sent Wednesday.
The Calhoun County Public Information Officers created this quick video that shares recommendations for holidays that are meant to save families from spreading COVID-19 amongst themselves.
Don’t forget: If you test positive for COVID-19, there’s a chance you will not be contacted by the Public Health Department contact tracers. Please follow the guidance in the image (and linked here) to properly isolate and notify close contacts. Update from the Road DepartmentOperations
- Road Department staff is preparing equipment for winter maintenance.
- Pothole patching is ongoing countywide.
- Boom mowing is happening in Athens and Marengo Townships.
- Gravel roads are being graded in Clarendon, Homer, and Marengo Townships.