Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020
Congratulations to our County Elected Officials
With the Nov. 3, 2020 election, voters re-elected all seven County Commissioners, along with all incumbent Countywide elected officials and judges on the ballot. I'm thankful for, amidst other turmoil, this continuity in leadership that will allow us to work even stronger together for the benefit our community. In 2021 we will welcome a new Water Resources Commissioner, Ron Smith, and a new District Court Judge, Michelle Richardson. Congratulations to everyone who ran for local offices throughout Calhoun County, and we look forward to new collaborations in 2021 and beyond.

Honoring Veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 11
County Offices are closed next Wednesday as we take time to recognize Veterans' Day. With few in-person opportunities to celebrate this year, Calhoun's Veterans Affairs Director Aaron Edlefson shares some powerful videos to mark the occasion and reflect on the sacrifice of veterans.

Calhoun County United Way Campaign Begins Today!
With a November 5 resolution supporting the three United Way chapters in Calhoun County, this marks the beginning of our annual United Way Giving Campaign, which continues until Friday, Nov. 13. 

While this is a challenging time to give, the County decided to continue this annual tradition in order to support a fund that was tremendously helpful in the local COVID-19 response this year. For example, the Battle Creek Disaster Relief Fund distributed over $900,000 in the community to support essential needs. The County's Joint Operations Center received $73,694 from the Battle Creek Disaster Relief Fund toward local costs associated with a temporary quarantine and isolation hotel to shelter homeless and other individuals testing positive with COVID-19 or coming into close contact with those positive.

I ask that all employees consider giving to this important community fund that continues to make a local impact. Due to the pandemic, the County's employee campaign will be conducted entirely via email and online giving.  

Thank you to everyone who gives in every way, even just with your patience at this tumultuous time. While the end of 2020 is in sight, we take this moment to be patient with others, give what we can, and express gratitude for what we have.
Here is what else is going on in Calhoun County:
Congratulations to Health Officer Eric Pessell who was reappointed by the Governor to the statewide Environmental Rules Review Committee, representing public health professionals. Pessell, who leads the county's challenging and ongoing COVID-19 response, is also a leader in our state, and we're proud of his continued service.

The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) Board met Tuesday, Oct. 20 and reviewed the organization's financial control policy, with the goal of providing our CEO James Durian with enough flexibility to seek grant funds in a nimble, yet responsible, way. We also heard staff updates about economic development projects, chamber services and tourism initiatives, including colder weather adaptation of the social district that allows for outdoor dining and beverages.

Friday, Oct. 30, the Battle Creek Rotary Club Board met via Zoom. At this meeting, the Board confirmed the transfer of $5,000 in a replenishing fund from the Rotary Education Fund to the Grand Committee specifically for education-related community service grants. We also heard updates on the new educational and promotional initiatives including Battle Creek Shopper Ads and Billboard signs.

The County's internal Union Leadership Roundtable Meeting took place by Zoom on Nov. 2. HR/Labor Relations Director Kim Archambault and I reviewed with the group the county's updated COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and related policies, including updated employee and visitor self-screening forms, We also mentioned the upcoming 457 retirement savings plan consolidation, set to take place in early 2021.

On Nov. 3, the Summit Pointe Board of Directors met. A closed session was held for the annual performance evaluation of CEO Jeannie Goodrich, facilitated by the HR Committee and with a contract with the County for our HR Director to manage the evaluation process. We also approved our annual Corporate Compliance Plan and FY2021 Work Plan, along with CEO goals for FY21, incentive payments for the leadership team and administrative staff, and updates to various board policies.

The Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) Board met on October 23 and awarded $482,000 to six local governments in this year's round of grant funding. The grants ranges from $20,000 to $216,000, and three of the applicants were Michigan school districts requesting funding to offset costs to remove offensive mascots and imagery across their campuses. The Board will conduct a virtual grant award ceremony on Nov. 20 at noon. Information about the NAHF and its grant awards can be found at www.nahfund.com. The County provides support to the Board through an annual administrative services agreement.

On a related note, NOVEMBER IS National American Indian Heritage Month, during which organizations like ours can take a moment to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. This simple website, nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov, prepared by the Library of Commerce, National Parks Service, Smithsonian, and more, is packed with resources that are perfect for exploring the contributions first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. In Calhoun County, we have the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, a federally-recognized tribal government which is a close partner with the county and an important leader in our community. Check out the NHBP's Facebook Page for information and events related to our area.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
Around the County
Update from Calhoun County Elections
After the Nov. 3 election this week, Chief Deputy Clerk of Elections Teri Loew reports that canvassing has begun is ongoing. This process with two Democrats and two Republicans ensures everything is in balance, accurate, and complete. Canvassing must be completed by Nov. 17, and Loew expects to have officials results at that time.
 
Loew and her team received final Calhoun County results around 5 a.m. the day after Election Night, and submitted final results to the State of Michigan at 7:12 a.m. One-third of voters in Calhoun voted absentee, with 34,854 absentee ballot issued and 33,189 (approximately 95%) were returned on time. Before the canvass is complete, Loew reports that Calhoun saw 66,096 voters, which is a voter turnout of over 63% exceeding the Nov. 2004 voter turnout in Calhoun County.

Click here for unofficial election results, and visit calhouncountymi.gov/elections for more information.
Update from the Road Department
Engineering
  • Countywide culvert inventory, as well as design and preparation of 2021 & 2022 federal aid projects

Operations
  • Road Department staff is preparing equipment for winter maintenance
  • Tree trimming is complete in Sheridan and Albion Townships
  • Pothole patching is ongoing countywide
  • Boom Mowing is complete in Athens and Sheridan Townships.
  • Grading of gravel roads has taken place in Athens, Leroy, Burlington, and Tekonsha Townships
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