CORUNNA — A move to hire a part-time employee for the Shiawassee County Clerk’s Office that failed at the committee level Monday was revived Wednesday at the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners’ Committee of the Whole session — but failed again to advance to tonight’s full board meeting.
At the outset of Wednesday’s session, the panel voted 4-3 to reconsider the proposal. After discussion, commissioners voted 5-2 not to move the motion forward for a final vote at tonight’s meeting.
Commissioners John Plowman and Marlene Webster voted to advance the proposal, while Vice Chairman Brandon Marks, Chairman Jeremy Root, and commissioners Daniel McMaster, Cindy Garber and Gary Holzhausen opposed the move.
The proposal was to authorize the clerk’s vital records office to hire an employee to work 20 to 30 hours per week at a starting wage of $14.77 per hour. County Clerk Caroline Wilson has said she needs the extra help, given new state laws that require more people to order vital records than before, and the four elections set for 2020.
Marks said an additional employee in the clerk’s office has previously put the office over budget by a significant amount. He said the proposed funding source for the part-time employee — vital records fees — fluctuates and might not be enough to cover the wages. He said it would be fiscally irresponsible for the board to approve the hire.
Marks also noted other county departments need additional employees, but can’t hire them due to budget constraints.
McMaster suggested raising some of the fees, given that neighboring counties charge more. Garber said dozens of Michigan counties actually charge lower fees than Shiawassee County.
Webster said the board should trust Wilson when she says she needs another employee, and give her the resources she needs to do her job.