The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week gave approval to fill a few open positions.
A candidate for the job of deputy probate register will be pursued, as it was vacated due to the retirement of Bonnie Walter. Her last day of work was Friday.
The vacant position of juvenile neglect/abuse specialist, which has been open for a month, has been filled by a temporary employee. Court administrator Kathryn Griffin indicated the position needs to be filled with a permanent employee as soon as possible.
In another personnel move, the county board agreed to the employment of Kenneth Syers Jr. as land resource data cartographer. His pay is $15.29 an hour.
Also hourly rate-of-pay increases were awarded to Julie Brenner, Kate Fair, Bernice Metzger and Alex Milliman.
The city of Three Rivers is making an appeal to the public for help in filling vacancies on a variety of commissions and boards.
City officials said the Three Rivers planning commission, River Country Recreational Authority, local officers compensation commission, board of appeals, industrial development authority, brownfield redevelopment authority and board of review are all in need of one additional member.
Two vacancies remain unfilled on the airport industrial park board and the airport advisory board.
Citizen-interest forms for anyone interested in serving in any of the capacities are available at city hall.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners agreed to keep its meetings at 5 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month.
The matter was resolved during Tuesday’s meeting.
The exceptions to the 2014 schedule are the first meetings in August and November, which will be moved one day earlier to not conflict with primary and general elections.
On a related note, one notable change agreed to by the commission was moving the monthly committee of the whole meeting to a Thursday before the second county commission meeting of the month.
The committee meetings, which previously took place Fridays, will continue to be called to order at 8 a.m. in the third-floor history room.
Constantine Village Manager Mark Honeysett said he will take over as chief of police later this year.
Members of the Constantine Village Council agreed to the arrangement Monday, as current chief Jim Bedell is retiring in May.
Honeysett, 58, said he will work under a two-year contract as chief while continuing to serve as village manager. His salary will be adjusted to $80,000 a year after Bedell steps down.
Honeysett started with the village as its chief of police in March 2004, and took on the dual role of chief and village manager in August 2006.
Bedell was hired in May 2009.
John Dobberteen will head the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners for the second consecutive year.
The unanimous decision was made Tuesday at the commission’s first assembly of 2014. The meeting had been postponed one week due to inclement weather Jan. 7.
Dobberteen, whose jurisdiction covers the city of Sturgis and Fawn River Township, is starting his 16th year on the commission. This will be his sixth year as chairman.
The nomination of vice chair resulted in Allen Balog being named to the post. He will oversee the county’s twice-a-month meetings in Dobberteen’s absence.
Balog is starting his fourth year as a county commission member after serving three years as mayor of Three Rivers. His district consists of Flowerfield and Fabius townships, and the city of Three Rivers.
Commissioners are paid $7,200 annually.
A dozen people attended a public forum Wednesday in Mendon to hear more about the school district’s millage-increase request.
Superintendent Rob Kuhlman and Michael Galovan, project manager from engineer/architect firm TowerPinkster, went over a detailed explanation of what’s at stake in the $9.3 million request.
They said nearly three-quarters of the request will go toward building renovations and technology upgrades. In addition seven new buses would be purchased over the course of a seven-year period starting this year.
Nobody from the public posed a question during the 45-minute gathering.
If approved, the millage would allow the district to sell bonds in three phases through 2021.
Kuhlman said $5.9 million overall in building upgrades at Mendon Elementary and Mendon Middle/High School, and more than $900,000 toward a comprehensive upgrade of its technology infrastructure are critical components to the request.
A 1-mill increase would cost the owner of a house with a market value of $100,000 about $50 more in taxes annually.
Additional forums will be Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and Feb. 19. All sessions will begin at 7 p.m. at the elementary school.