Resolution opposing new Senate legislation leads to discussion
By Ken DeLaat
The Newaygo County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution recognizing Commission on Aging Senior Programs and Community Relations Coordinator Theresa Lindsay who will be retiring the end of this month.
"Theresa Lindsay skillfully and compassionately counseled seniors, family members, and low income citizens regarding the complexities of aging along with offering a warm hand to seniors facing life’s challenges,” read Commission Chair Patrick Gardner from the resolution during the presentation.
County Administrator Chris Wren presented the Newaygo County Budget for 2017-18. The public hearing on the document drew no public comment.
Mr. Wren outlined the budgetary process highlighting areas of consideration and reported that the initial budget submitted to administration required $1.8 million in cuts adjustments and fund balance transfers to become balanced.
While the administrator asserted the county continues to be in good shape financially the spectre of obligations such as retiree health insurance and other post employment benefits will remain an issue for the next few years Revenue growth continues to be slow but measures are being taken to try to increase these while continuing to reduce expenses.
Mr. Wren also cited an upswing in the housing market which should bring about revenue increases.
In conclusion Mr. Wren gave praise to the department heads, elected officials, judiciary and particularly the administrative staff of Donna Kipp, Tammie Gleason, Melanie Carrier and Shelly Henderson for their hard work in completing the budget.
Commissioners passed the budget without dissent.
A resolution opposing a recent bill passed by the state senate that significantly alters the process of collecting delinquent taxes resulted in some discussion as Commissioners Chris Ortwein and Jim Maike questioned the action.
County Treasurer Holly Moon spoke to the aspects of the bill that involved increased litigation allowing anyone to challenge a property tax foreclosure despite having no legal interest in the property as well as clouding titles to court foreclosed property. County Treasurers throughout the state have opposed the bill and several county commissions have passed similar resolutions in opposition according to Ms. Moon.
Commissioners Ortwein and Maike each expressed that additional measures might assist people in keeping their property..
Ms. Moon provided information about the bill and spoke to the potential conflicts that would arise from the legislation’s overly broad measures while explaining the Senate action arose from an individual case currently before the Michigan Supreme Court.
The resolution failed with Commissioners Maike, Ortwein, Vern Willett and Chuck Trapp opposing and Commissioners Gardner, Phil Deur, and Brian Kolk voting in favor.
“I thought it was a slam dunk,” said Ms. Moon after the meeting. “My job every day is to protect the resources of the county and this bill opens up issues that could affect this.”
“I’m disappointed to say the least.”
In other business commissioners heard from 2 candidates for the Commission on Aging, Dan Graham and James Kloet.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday September 27 at 9:30am.