Archived Story

Cass commission issued 26-page search handbook

Published 9:57am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – County Administrator Terry Proctor, departing in March after 20 years, Dec. 17 furnished each of the 15 commissioners with a free 26-page recruitment guidelines handbook for selecting a local government administrator compiled by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association.

It provides answers to their questions about how recruitment is conducted, what selection process should be used, what criteria there should be for the position and resources available to assist in recruitment.

“A chairperson and vice chairperson will be elected in three weeks,” Proctor said. “They will determine the meeting agendas for next year. The board will need to approve a job description, a job advertisement, a selection process and a salary range. Lastly, I’d like to wish the members of the board, county officials and all of the employees a very merry Christmas.”

Commissioner Gordon Bickel Sr., R-Porter Township, reported that the Road Commission decided earlier Dec. 17 to continue meeting on the first and third Thursday mornings at 9.

Commissioner David Taylor, D-Edwardsburg, reported that Michigan Works! received a “clean” audit, despite being funded from multiple revenue streams.

“There are dollars coming in from maybe 15 or 16 different projects, all with different year-ends. A clean audit under those circumstances is, I think, really good for us because the reason Chairman Wagel and I attend is not because we’re voting members, but because we’re supposed to oversee that we and other counties don’t get stuck with any shortfalls. We can feel confident. There’s about $14 million going through there a year in the three counties,” Berrien, Cass and Van Buren.

A proposed lease from Jan. 1, 2010-Dec. 31, 2013, for storage and work space at the Cass County Road Commission was approved.

The county is paying $19,000 annually on Feb. 1 to the Road Commission, 340 N. O’Keefe St., Cassopolis, for approximately 6,335 square feet of the rear portion of its building for the drug enforcement team.
Security improvements to the building are budgeted at $31,000.

An intergovernmental funding agreement with Van Buren County will allow Cass to recoup $7,081.65 for the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) overseen by Sheriff Joe Underwood’s office.

Van Buren is fiduciary for the 2008 Michigan Citizen Corps grant program by the Fifth District Regional Homeland Security Planning Board.

There was $43,804 awarded regionally.

The full commission decided to increase the non-union pay table by $908 effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Also approved were committee recommendations that the health insurance plan for non-union employees hired on or before May 17, 2007, will be Plan D effective Sept. 1, 2010. Employees hired after May 17, 2007, will be on Plan E.

Employees hired before May 17, 2007, may voluntarily opt for Plan E.

All employees on Plan E will pay 11 percent of the premium beginning Sept. 1, 2010.

Employees on Plan D will pay the same percentage of the premium as court union employees do.

Commissioners also adopted two amendments to the revised March 20, 2003, county personnel handbook.

If an employee is ill for 14 consecutive calendar days (changed from seven), rather than paying lost wages, the county will reimburse the employee for all earned time off (ETO) hours used by the employee during the short-term disability insurance waiting period.
Any compensatory, vacation time or other paid time during the waiting period is not reimbursed.

Also, each employee of record on Jan. 1 will be credited with 84 (changed from 32) hours of ETO.

New employees hired during the year will receive a prorated benefit. The county will pay the employee for 100 percent (instead of 60 percent) of the unused ETO in January of the following year (instead of in July) at the employee’s then-current pay rate.

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