Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
Today's Board of Commissioners meeting was considered their annual organizational session. The Board voted to reelect Commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette as the Vice Chair, serving with Comr Steve Frisbie as Chair, for the second of a two-year term. It also set the schedule for 2020.

Here is what else is going on in Calhoun County:

Shortly after the holiday break, the Senior Millage Allocation Committee, chaired by county commissioner Gary Tompkins , held a special meeting regarding the development of a strategic project fund. I attended with Assistant Administrator Brad Wilcox and Finance Deputy Megan Banning in support of the plan that was ultimately unanimously approved. Initially funded with the designation of $750,000 in prior years’ revenues from the State’s reimbursement of personal property tax losses and from the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board, the strategic dollars will be allocated toward individual projects that benefit county seniors.
 
The Summit Pointe Board met Tuesday, Jan. 7 and heard educational presentations about recipient rights reporting and Connections Employment Services. County commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette convened the meeting as chair. We heard about Summit Pointe's Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Plan, which we later voted to approve, along with amended Bylaws to reflect the deletion of one standing committee. I provided an update as treasurer from our Finance/Audit committee, which welcomed two new members, Sherii Sherban and Scott Frank.
 
The same day, the County’s Hospital Finance Authority held its organizational meeting. The Board reelected me as chair, John Byrd as treasurer, and Finance Deputy Jeryl Schoepke as secretary. Oaklawn's CFO Andrew Poole attended and provided highlights on the hospital's recent initiatives and financial status.
 
On Wednesday, Jan. 8, the Veterans Affairs Committee started its January meeting discussing proposed office goals. The group decided to hold a special meeting in the upcoming months to further explore community engagement and communications initiatives. Director Aaron Edlefson shared 2019 statistics, such as there were 1159 sign-ins in the office and 125 applications for the veteran relief fund, of which 47 were approved, providing almost $30,000 in relief.
 
Thursday, Jan. 9, the executive committee of the Michigan Municipal Services Authority met. We heard updates from Interim CEO Shea Charles on our Financial Management Services contract, and pending new legislation for the Local Community Stabilization Authority, with which MMSA contracts to manage personal property tax reimbursements and metro act payments to local governments. We also scheduled a special board meeting to hold a visioning session in February or March.
2020 State of the Community
On Monday, Jan. 13, I participated in the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce's State of the Community address , which provides updates to community leaders about successes and new projects to look for from city and county government. Alongside County Commissioner Steve Frisbie, Battle Creek City Mayor Mark Behnke, and City Manager Rebecca Fluery, we talked about issues like housing, economic development, and countywide public transportation. Key messages to the audience included the importance of this year’s Census count and participation in all of the elections. Stay tuned for annual reports from our County departments, to come soon.     
On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the BC CAL KAL Inland Port Development Corporation Board met at the Battle Creek Unlimited Office. We discussed the redesign of the Board and Advisory Committee, a summary from 2019 showing a record number of new free trade zone users and growth, a potential upcoming event to increase outreach to local manufacturers, and the NAFTZ Legislative Summit.
 
Later that day, the Solid Waste Management Planning Advisory Committee met for the first time this year. I attended on behalf of County Administration, and Commissioner Tommy Miller attended as the Board of Commissioners’ representative. The committee received updates on grants for sharps disposal and scrap tires, discussed the future of the Albion Recycling Center, and reelected Howard Johnson as its chair and Brandie Van Horn as vice chair.  
Finding our True Colors
County employees had the opportunity to participate in a personality test called True Colors , in workshops that were held Monday and Tuesday of this week. The exercise was an opportunity for staff to learn more about themselves and their coworkers, allowing everyone to examine strengths and weaknesses as they relate to working with others. Department heads and members of the executive team participated and learned their colors, including,
  • Brian Wensauer - Green
  • Eric Pessell - Green
  • David Makled - Green
  • Kelli Scott - Green/Orange
  • Kim Archambault - Gold
  • Krista Trout-Edwards - Green
  • Lucy Blair - Green
Please note: Most county offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
Around the County
Update from the Road Department
Operations:
  • Boom mowing is complete in Burlington, Eckford, and Newton Townships. Marengo Township mowing will take place this week.
  • Installation of a new guardrail system on V Dr N in Lee Township over Indian Creek is complete.
  • Tree trimming and removal on 13 Mile/Bellevue Road in Convis Township is complete, preparing for federal aid work. Tree trimming is also complete in Albion, Marshall, and Homer Townships as well.
  • Patching potholes countywide continues as weather allows.
  • Gravel road maintenance continues countywide as weather allows.
  • Ongoing sign maintenance is taking place countywide.
Update from Communications
Website development continues

The County's redesigned website, which is optimized for mobile accessibility and intuitive navigation, will go live in mid-February, barring any hiccups. Communications Manager Lucy Blair has met with every department regarding migration of content, ensuring that each department will have a succinct presence on the site. The new site will have mobile-friendly forms, online payments, an improved employment function, a calendar with committee meeting dates, and more. If you have any questions, please contact Lucy Blair .
Update from the Public Health Department
CCPHD welcomes new Community Public Health Director

In a press release this week, the Public Health Department introduced the department's new Public Health Director, Teatrice Williams. Teatrice has 17 years of experience and will lead the Community Public Health division of the Health Department, which includes Nurse-Family Partnership, Infant Safe Sleep, WIC, Children's Special Health Care Services, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review, clinical services, School Wellness Program, and Childhood Hearing and Vision. Teatrice has an MBA in Health Administration and Human Resources from Bethel University in Tennessee. Read the press release for more information.
Information from the County Census Committee
Why should you care?

One of the primary reasons individuals do not fill out the census questionnaire is because they do not believe that the census affects them. We're learning that this is far from the truth. An accurate decennial census count is crucial for funding in our community. In Michigan alone, over $14 billion a year is distributed on the basis of these numbers, which totals about $1,400 per person. The Calhoun County Public Health Department alone benefits from a number of the programs that rely on census data, such as WIC, the Medical Assistance Program, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and Medicare Part B.
 
The City of Battle Creek is also in a challenging situation because it rests right at the threshold where dollars are affected based on population size. The population is teetering on the qualifying line for entitlement status for some federal and state government grants, at 50,000 people. An accurate count for the City is crucial to ensure, if appropriate, it continues to qualify for these grants.
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