THE SHIAWASSEE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS again voted in Commissioner Jeremy Root as chair during the organizational meeting on Monday, Jan. 4. Commissioner Brandon Mark was again voted in as vice chair.

   Root is shown discussing meeting details.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

     The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners held an organizational meeting on Monday, Jan. 4 at the Surbeck Building to elect committee members and set the meeting calendar for the upcoming year. The board’s first week of monthly meetings kicks off Monday, Jan. 11 with the board of commissioners meeting planned for Thursday, Jan. 14.

   The commissioners generally meet the second full week of every month with due consideration given for holidays. Meetings begin at 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and are held on the first floor of the Surbeck Building in downtown Corunna. Meeting agendas are usually available ahead of meetings online at For those unable to attend, meetings are posted via YouTube.

   As is standard in an organizational meeting, Shiawassee County Clerk Caroline Wilson initiated the meeting with a request for board chair nominations. Commissioner Cindy Garber (R-Dist. 6) nominated Commissioner Jeremy Root (R-Dist. 5) – the previous chair. He was the only nomination. Commissioner Marlene Webster (R-Dist. 2) was the only no vote. Newly sworn-in Commissioner Greg Brodeur (R-Dist. 2) voted for Root in his first vote on the board.

   After Root again held the chair position, he opened nominations for vice chair. Root immediately nominated previous vice chair Brandon Marks (R-Dist. 4) for the seat. Commissioner Gary Holzhausen (R-Dist. 3) nominated himself. All but two commissioners – Holzhausen and Garber – voted for Marks.

   Listing off committee appointments, Root decided on Marks and Holzhausen for chair and vice chair on the Committee of the Whole. Economic & Physical Development will be chaired by Marks, vice chaired by Holzhausen and attended by Webster. Finance & Administration will be chaired by John Plowman (R-Dist. 7), vice chaired by Garber and attended by Brodeur. Public Safety & Courts will be chaired by Brodeur, vice chaired by Plowman and attended by Marks. Health & Human Services will be chaired by Garber, vice chaired by Holzhausen and attended by Marks. Root also assigned commissioners on numerous county boards and affiliates.

   Directly following, the commissioners addressed a resolution on compensation for county board commissions and committees. Root stated the resolution, “states what a meeting fee is, what each meeting a commissioner is allowed to reimburse for. It spells out Committee of the Whole, regular board meetings, assigned committee meetings, appointed organizations, township/city/village meetings, special assignments…” The resolution is designed to clarify previous misunderstandings between commissioners on per diem compensation fees. Roots and Webster commended Root on the resolution and it was unanimously approved.

   The new resolution allows commissioners to receive $50 per diem for in-county meetings – not including township/city/village meetings or assignments, which will remain $25 per meeting. Commissioners are allowed a $65 per diem for meetings outside of the county including conferences or meetings lasting more than four hours.

   Root explained he was hopeful the resolution would clear up previous confusion.

   The second resolution – standard for an organizational meeting – was for the commissioners to address rules of organizations and procedures.

   “I know we’re kind of loose on our rules and we need to kind of recommit to these,” shared Root. “So hopefully everyone looks them over, remembers them.” Marks brought up a brief discussion involving individuals approaching the board during meetings. Webster suggested offering a display of guidelines to the public for clarification. Root stated he had been “looking at something like that just so there is more of a uniform process.” Currently, there is nothing on display within the commissioner chambers to explain meeting policies or public participation.

Commissioners Organize for 2021 and Resolve Per Diem Compensation Confusion was last modified: January 11th, 2021 by Karen Elford