STANTON — New faces were in new chairs at Wednesday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners annual organizational meeting.
Ron Blanding of Greenville, Ron Braman of Vestaburg and Steve DeWitt of Coral are the newest faces on the board, having been elected last year.
Patrick Q. Carr of Lakeview was re-appointed by his colleagues as longtime chairman of the board, with Ron Retzloff of Crystal appointed vice chairman.
“Thank you,” Carr told his fellow commissioners. “I appreciate the support. I’ll try and do my best.”
Chairmen were also appointed for the five standing committees of the board. Ron Baker of Howard City will lead the Finance & Personnel Committee, Retzloff will lead the Collective Bargaining Committee, Tom Lindeman of Greenville will lead the Health & Human Services Committee, Betty Kellenberger of Carson City will lead the Law Enforcement & Courts Committee and John Johansen of Montcalm Township will lead the Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee.
“That gives everyone a chair or vice chair position,” Carr noted. “The workload is spread as evenly as can be for eight commissioners (not including Carr).”
Blanding expressed concern with workload duties of other committee appointments not being spread evenly among commissioners.
“Since I’ve been involved with this, there’s been a very uneven distribution of appointments, with two commissioners doing 50 percent of the appointments,” Blanding said. “I understand there are some people who don’t want to do this, but my view is if you run for the job, you do the job. The people expect representation. I don’t know how to fix the problem, but I think it should be a more fair and equal balance.”
Carr agreed with Blanding and then went through committee appointments one by one to see if any changes could be made. The following commissioners were appointed to the following committees:
• 911 Authority Board: Carr, Retzloff and Kellenberger.
• Area Agency Board of Directors: Johansen.
• Brownfield Authority: Baker.
• Central Area Michigan Works Consortium (CAMWC) Board of Directors: Carr and Retzloff.
• Computer Information Systems (CIS) Oversight Committee (for montcalm.org): Retzloff.
“This might last another year at the most because we’re going to be switching over to a community-based site and linking to other sites,” noted Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer. “I can see that committee going away within the next year.”
• Commission on Aging Executive Board: Johansen and Kellenberger.
• Community Corrections Advisory Committee: Kellenberger.
• Conservation District: Johansen.
• EightCAP Governing Board: Lindeman.
• Emergency Animal Planning Committee: Blanding.
• Emergency Management Advisory Council: Carr and Retzloff.
• Great Start Collaborative: Johansen.
• Greater Greenville Transportation: Blanding and Lindeman.
• Grievance Review Committee (for Emergency Medical Services): Braman and DeWitt.
• Housing Commission: Baker and Lindeman.
• Ionia-Montcalm Department of Human Services Agency Board: Johansen and Lindeman.
• Local Development Financing Act (LDFA) for Greenville: Blanding said this group has not met for 16 years and is not active. Commissioners agreed to remove this committee from the county’s list.
• Michigan Township Association (MTA) representative: Johansen and Braman.
• Medical Control Authority liaison: Lindeman.
• Mid-Michigan District Health Department Board of Directors: Kellenberger.
• Montcalm Alliance: Lindeman and Johansen.
• Montcalm Center for Behavioral Health: Johansen and Kellenberger.
• Montcalm County Emergency Food and Shelter Board: Johansen.
• Montcalm Human Services Coalition: Johansen and Blanding.
• Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation: Baker.
• Michigan State University (MSU) District Extension Council: Johansen.
• Northern Michigan Counties Association: Lindeman, Retzloff and Kellenberger.
• Parks & Recreation: Kellenberger and Braman.
• Pension Trust Committee: Carr and Retzloff.
• Planning Commission: Johansen.
• Prison Liaison Committee: Kellenberger.
• Riverhaven Regional Advisory Council: Lindeman.
• Solid Waste Management Planning Committee: Lindeman.
• Substance Abuse Advisory Council: Lindeman, Braman and Blanding.
• Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) for Greenville: Blanding said this is another group that has not met for 16 years and is not active. He will verify before commissioners remove this committee from the county’s list.
• West Michigan Regional Planning Commission: Lindeman and Johansen.
Commissioners were also appointed to lake boards throughout Montcalm County, including Lindeman for Baldwin Lake, Johansen for Clifford, Dickerson, Perch and Turk lakes, DeWitt for Cowden, Muskellunge, Rainbow/Middle and Big Whitefish/Little Whitefish lakes, Carr for Indianhead, Montcalm, Little Bass, Tamarack and Towline lakes and Baker for Winfield Lake.
The full Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meets at 1:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month except for Tuesday, May 28, and Tuesday, Nov. 12, which were rescheduled due to holidays. Committees will meet throughout the year as needed.