CORUNNA — Shiawassee County’s interim coordinator appears likely to become the permanent job holder after he was the only applicant for the position.
Brian Boggs, who was appointed to the position on an interim basis in April, and a committee of commissioners Brandon Marks, Jeremy Root and John Plowman currently are negotiating a contract that would install the longtime Durand City Council member as the permanent part-time county coordinator.
Boggs said Monday while the committee was granted the power to interview and hire by a 7-0 vote in mid-June, he expects a final vote on the contract to go before the full board, possibly July 16.
The former Shiawassee County coordinator Mike Herendeen was terminated and Boggs named as his interim replacement without discussion during a virtual Board of Commissioners meeting in April. Commissioners unanimously named Boggs interim coordinator.
Boggs, the mayor pro tem in Durand, is the former associate director at the Michigan State University Office of K-12 Outreach and former vice president at Public Sector Consultants.
“I’ve enjoyed the challenges so far,” Boggs said Monday. “I train people to be in government; that’s my Phd. It’s an application of what I teach. County government is a unique animal when it comes to the structure of it.”
Plowman said Boggs’ pay as the permanent coordinator will be the same as Herendeen’s — $69,000 — and the negotiations revolve mostly around such things as time off.
Boggs has studied educational policy and administration at MSU and holds a doctorate.
“I was pleased by the appointment (of Boggs), but it’s just a trial,” Commissioner Gary Holzhausen, R-District 3, said in April. “If it works out, it works out.”
At the board’s June meeting, commissioners offered only limited discussion of Boggs’ selection as the permanent coordinator, noting he was the only applicant to that point for the position.
“We’ve posted it for five weeks, we’ll give it another two,” Root said, to see if any additional people apply. The position was posted on the county website and in local papers.
The position is for 32 hours per week. Boggs has been working Monday through Thursday, Plowman said.
Plowman, chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee, said the board has the option of making the position full-time after Jan. 1.
“He has fulfilled the position very well,” Plowman said Monday. “He knows how government works. We wanted to see how he works with people, how he interacts with county supervisors. He gets high marks.”
Both Plowman and Boggs said there will not be a public interview for the position because it’s not required. Commissioners voted 5-2 in April to terminate Herendeen after two years’ service. Commissioners Marlene Webster, R-District 1, and Plowman, R-District 7, dissented.
Holzhausen said at the time that Herendeen was “slow” performing an audit and had missed work due to health problems.
Webster took issue with the way the termination was handled and pointed out procedural irregularities in the process. She said Root, R-District 5, did not allow any discussion on the vote, and Herendeen’s termination did not appear on the meeting agenda until 20 minutes before the meeting began.
“While I have had concerns that Mr. Herendeen might not be the best fit for this position, today I voted no,” Webster posted on her county commissioner Facebook page following the April meeting. “Here’s why: not once have we had a board discussion about Mr. Herendeen’s performance nor has Mr. Herendeen ever been afforded an objective evaluation or job performance review.”
Herendeen was hired as a part-time county coordinator in February 2018. He signed a three-year contract at an annual salary of $69,000.
Herendeen serves as Middlebury Township supervisor. He formerly worked as an assistant prosecutor in Shiawassee County, and maintained a private law practice in Owosso.
He also worked as a Michigan State trooper, sergeant and union president before retiring in 2006 after 27 years.