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Board of Commissioners

on April 9, 2013



Last Tuesday at 7 p.m. dated one of many of the regular board meetings for the Isabella County Board of Commissioners here in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The meeting is held at the first and the third Tuesday of each month at the Isabella County Building at 200 North Main Street, right next to the Isabella County Courthouse.

The board, which is a body of seven elected officials from various districts here in Isabella County that each serve a two year term, is tasked primarily with the development and administration of the county’s annual budget, according to the Isabella County website.

The Isabella County Board of Commissioners is the legislative branch of government seated here in the county. Duties include policy making, including procedures for public accountability and internal control.

The Isabella County government website also states that it is responsible for approval of all contracts, grant agreements, and personnel procedures and matters, including collective bargaining agreements, and board and commission appointments.

The board includes five members from districts in Mount Pleasant, one from Shepherd, and its chairperson, from Farwell. Michigan local and county governments rely a great deal on its boards and commissions for decision making on a county to county basis.

During the meeting, the events were already outlined in a public handout which sat on a table in the center of the room before the podium the seven members sat behind. It began with a call to order, and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the roll call, and the approval of the agenda for the night by the seven members, voicing whether they approved or opposed a topic.

The public was allowed to make comment before the board, once at the beginning, and again, at the end, after all business was stated. The officials moved quickly through their business, voting in agreement on every issue that was proposed on the agenda. Much of what was discussed was of a local budgetary nature.

The meeting was very short, lasting all of roughly seven minutes from beginning to end, and it was all recorded via video camera from the back of the room. There were areas that had no new business at all, and the business that was attended to was quickly and decisively resolved.

After the meeting was adjourned, James Moreno, representative from District 5 of Mount Pleasant said that the board has a work meeting that is closed to the public earlier in the day, around 3 p.m. That is where much of the budgeting and decision making is done previously, where it is presented to the public by the Board of Commissioners later in the day. Such topics during the closed meeting included the sales and storage of fireworks, and their safety, and issues with the Right to Farm Act.


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