CORUNNA — The days of Shiawassee County having an elected surveyor could soon be numbered, with county officials expressing concern about the current office holder.
Monday, the county’s Finance and Administration Committee voted unanimously to advance a resolution that would abolish the elected surveyor position, currently held by William Wascher, in 2024.
The committee scheduled discussion of the proposed resolution for the Committee of the Whole meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. If advanced, the measure will go before the full county board for final approval Thursday.
Wascher, a Republican from Owosso, was initially elected in 2012 and won reelection in 2016 without opposition.
He ran unopposed in this year’s primary and will be again in the Nov. 3 general election. If the elected surveyor position is eliminated by the county board, the move would take effect at the end of Wascher’s term in 2024, according to County Coordinator Brian Boggs.
Wascher questioned Monday why the elected position needs to be eliminated, noting this was the first he’d heard of such a proposal.
“Upon your actions related to our last budget hearing where you stormed out, where you brought back in your mail, where you slammed your fist on the table, where you carried on and where then we had to ask you to leave,” Boggs said. “That was not the first incident that we heard of from other people in this building, including the secretarial staff, my predecessor (Mike Herendeen), and the finance director, and after discussing it with (board Chairman Jeremy Root), he requested that this be added to the agenda to abolish the position.”
Boggs indicated that if the measure is approved by the county board, the surveying duties — which include the solicitation of local and state funds, preparation of annual budgets, grant applications, surveying contracts, and work assignments to contractors — would likely be carried out by another department. The county drain office and Preston Community Services have both expressed interest in assuming the responsibility, he said.
“Just because you don’t like me, and you can’t fire me, you’re going to abolish the position?” Wascher responded. “I don’t understand this. You’re going to spend more money hiring other departments to do this than what you would be paying me, guaranteed. It happens all the time in other counties so I don’t understand why you want to throw money away. You’re not paying me a dime anyway because this is all grant money and I guarantee other departments won’t do it for the grant money, it’s not that much money.
“I’m totally against this and I’m very disappointed that I was not notified that this was happening and I’m not even sure it’s legal.”
Root noted a number of counties throughout the state have already abolished the elected surveyor position. Only six remain, he said.
“I disagree,” Wascher responded. “There’s a lot more county surveyors than seven out there, guaranteed.”
“There’s only six (in the state),” Root said. “We can get that information and see exactly where that lays, but I mean (the surveying) work is being done in other counties, and we can certainly find how they do their work.”
Following the discussion, Finance and Administration Committee members John Plowman, Brandon Marks and Cindy Garber voted unanimously to advance the resolution to Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.