Personnel changes coming to Montcalm County offices

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 9:49 am on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

STANTON — Retirements in the Montcalm County Clerk’s Office and Sheriff’s Office are likely leading to promotions and new hires.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Russell will retire on May 31. He was hired in May 1982, promoted to sergeant in August 1996 and promoted to lieutenant in May 2010.

Sheriff Bill Barnwell updated the Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee on Monday about Russell’s retirement. Barnwell wants to promote Sgt. Brian Waber to lieutenant when Russell retires and to promote a yet-to-be-determined deputy to fill Waber’s sergeant position. Waber was hired as a deputy in May 1986 and was promoted to patrol sergeant in July 1996.

Barnwell also wants to recall Deputy Steve Snyder back to work. Snyder was hired as a deputy in February 2009, but was laid off in November 2012 along with two other deputies due to county budget cuts.

“It doesn’t change the budget, the budget remains the same,” Barnwell said. “This will not increase our staff, just fill the open positions caused by Lt. Russell’s retirement.”

The committee voted to recommend the full board approve Barnwell’s proposals.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard’s Chief Deputy Kay Powell will also retire on May 31. She was hired in June 2000 as chief deputy clerk and has worked in the 8th Judicial Circuit Court Clerk’s Office since that office moved from the old courthouse to the newer building in 2002.

“She manages the Circuit Court Office for me and compiles all state reports required by the Supreme Court and the State Court Administrator’s Office,” Millard said. “She also is charged with collecting delinquent fines, costs and restitution ordered out of the Circuit Court.”

Millard plans to promote office assistant Nan Hagerman to chief deputy. Hagerman was hired as a part-time employee in February 2000  and was promoted to full-time office assistant in July 2012. She will continue to work in the vital records and elections office, where she manages the qualified voter file and works closely with clerks throughout Montcalm County, since the county manages voter registration records for 22 of the 23 jurisdictions. Hagerman also assists with vital records requests and concealed pistol license applications.

Millard wants to reclassify two part-time office assistants — Candis Almas and Jaye Christensen — from 32 hours per week to full-time status and hire a part-time office assistant to work up to 24 hours per week.

Almas was hired to the clerk’s office in August 2012. Christensen was hired in May 2010 in the vital records and elections office, but was transferred to the Circuit Court office when another employee left. Both Almas and Christensen assist with filing Circuit Court records and attend Circuit Court hearings.

The committee voted to recommend the full board approve Millard’s proposals.

“You hate to see people retire, but it’s a good way to reorganize the office,” noted Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the committee voted to recommend the full board approve a request from Drain Commissioner Sandy Raines to hire a second seasonal part-time employee to work no more than 35 hours per week to be paid for by the drain fund.

Last month, the full board approved a similar request from Raines to hire a seasonal part-time employee.

The full Board of Commissioners is next scheduled to meet at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28.

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