By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer
CHAIRMEN – The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners chose its Chairman and Vice-Chairman during the Jan. 5 Organizational meeting with Commissioner Hartmann Aue again given the responsibility of wielding the gavel. Aue received four votes to be the 2016 chairman: himself with commissioners Jeff Bartz, John Horvath and John Plowman. Bartz was then elected vice chairman.
Following that, Aue announced his committee appointments, naming the chairman and members for each of the board’s committee.
After the meeting were (from left): Aue with Vice-Chairman Jeff Bartz and Commissioner John Plowman, appointed by Aue to replace Commissioner Jeremy Root as the Chairman of the county’s Finance and Administration Committee. (Independent Photo/GRAHAM STURGEON)
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners Organizational meeting for 2016 was Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the Surbeck Building in downtown Corunna.
After two rounds of voting, Commissioner Hartmann Aue was re-named the Chairman and Commissioner Jeff Bartz was re-named the Vice-Chairman. Commissioners Jeremy Board of Commissioners Forms 2016 Committees Root and Jeff Bartz also received votes for the chairman position. Root and Aue were tied with three votes apiece after the first round of voting, which prompted the two to detail their reasons for seeking the position. Aue spoke about continuing what he started in 2015 and how he has “worked hard enough to deserve” the chairman’s responsibilities.
“It’s a difficult position, no doubt about it,” Aue said during his time to speak. “There are a lot of balls in the air and I feel as though I am best prepared to catch them. Obviously I am going to need more help than I had last year, and I need to share those responsibilities more this year. There are some contract negotiations out there that I’d like to see finished up and there are some programs that aren’t quite where they need to be, and I think we can get them there. I have the time, I’m here for you.”
Commissioner John Horvath, who originally nominated Bartz for the chairman position, cast the deciding vote for Aue in the second round of voting. Bartz was then named vice-chairman by a 4-3 vote, with commissioners Les Schneider, Gary Holzhausen and Jeremy Root voting “no.”
The commissioners also decided during the meeting to use Robert’s Rules of Order to determine the board’s rules and procedures again for 2016. The only change the board made to its rules and procedures for 2016 was to extend the amount of time given to citizens to speak during meetings to five minutes from three in 2015. Commissioner Horvath sought clarification on consent agenda rules and the rules concerning commissioners abstaining from voting. Commissioner Schneider asked for clarification regarding the chairman’s ability to remove committee members and sought to remove language concerning a county administrator, which the county does not currently have.
“Nowhere in the rules does it say that the chairman can remove commissioners from committees, so if you want to have that power it needs to be included in the rules,” Schneider said during the discussion. “I know I’m going to be a pain in the neck this next year, and your way of dealing with it, I want it in black and white.”
As for the committee appointments, Commissioner John Plowman was named chairman of the county’s Finance and Administration Committee, replacing Jeremy Root. Also, Commissioner Horvath was named to 11 of the county’s 21 committees and sub-committees, while Commissioner Schneider was named to only one committee and two sub-committees.