by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

   The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted on Wednesday, April 10, during the board’s Committee of the Whole meeting, to forward several agenda items to the board’s Thursday, April 11 meeting for final approval. The notable items include four appointments to county boards, the creation of a 2020 Census “Complete Count Committee” and additional compensation for Shiawassee County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Trent Atkins for his uncompensated work in the days following the tornados that impacted Shiawassee County on Thursday, March 14.

   Lorraine Austin, an Owosso resident and the executive director of the Friends of the Shiawassee River, addressed the board on April 10 to express support for the creation of a Complete Count Committee, which would be overseen by the Board of Commissioners and cost the county no additional funds.

   “The Census is most definitely important,” explained Austin. Our whole representative form of democracy is based on it. The Census is used to determine the number of seats our state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, it is used to determine federal funding and it helps with the equitable distribution of public funds like state and federal funding for educational programs, healthcare, law enforcement and highways. Additionally, many businesses refer to Census data to determine whether or not to come into our area.”

   Board Chair Jeremy Root made a motion to compensate Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Trent Atkins for 70 straight time hours and 56 overtime hours for the two-week pay period from Saturday, March 16 through Friday, March 29. Atkins accumulated the hours during the clean-up effort following the tornados that struck the area on Thursday, March 14. Root explained that Atkins is paid for 24 hours per week, and that he “was out there for pretty much two weeks straight” cleaning up damage from the tornados.

   The board forwarded three re-appointments to the Shiawassee County Mental Health Authority Board. The three to be re-appointed are Bruce Cadwallender, Kerby Vogl and Vicki Bocek. If approved, the three individuals would serve on the board until March 31, 2022.

   The additional appointment discussed on Wednesday was the appointment of Shawn Scepka to the Shiawassee County Planning Commission. If approved. Scepka would serve on the Planning Commission as the government representative until Dec. 31, 2021.

Commissioners Consider Creating Census Committee was last modified: April 19th, 2019 by Karen Elford