Thursday, November 11, 2010

EDC Interviews, Road Commission, Dog Park, Pollution Prevention, Other Items

Another busy week for the county commission. Due to the election, the County Services committee was canceled last week and rescheduled for Monday. Mondays are the days that I do karate with Ryan or gymnastics with Hannah, so on Monday I went to County Services directly from Ryan’s karate class and he came with me (in full karate gear!). We had interviews for the county Economic Development Committee. Five very impressive individuals interviewed for two open spots (and we have five more to interview). Tough decision. Then, after that, we met with the Road Commission for about an hour. They updated us on what is going on at the Road Commission, and our committee members asked several questions. It was heated at times, but it is always important for the elected Commissioners to keep up with the folks we appoint to the Road Commission.

On Tuesday, we had our Board meeting. We had two controversial resolutions that were on the agenda, but both were delayed. I have reported on the resolution to establish a gate at the dog park. That was on the agenda for a second time, but we tabled it indefinitely. We are awaiting a decision by the city of Lansing regarding the Dog Park. At this time, there is no contract between the County and the City for the Soldan Dog Park. It is City land, but the County is maintaining it. Before we can establish a gate at the Dog Park, we need to hear from the City on a contract for the park. So, until that happens we have tabled the resolution.

The second resolution that was controversial is the Pollution Prevention resolution. As I reported last week, the Commission is considering passing a fee for businesses that deal with pollutants. This has been regulated due to federal and state law, but until now the county has been paying to regulate this service. The Health Department has requested that the Commission establish a fee so that the taxpayers are not on the hook for this, and so that we can move this from an administrative program to an actual ordinance. The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce requested that we delay consideration of the ordinance for two weeks while they review it and talk to their members. As such, we decided to delay Board action for two weeks and Commissioner McGrain plans to discuss it once again at the Human Services committee on Monday to ensure that we are giving this regulation a thorough review.

Other important resolutions that we did pass on Tuesday which I have already reported on are: the 2011 community agency funding, increasing the local purchasing preference policy from 5% to 10%, and adopting a policy on cost increases that will inform vendors that any cost increase more than 1% will receive more intense scrutiny.

At the next County Services committee on Monday, we are expecting to discuss the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP). The County owes dues for the year, but there are some who are uncomfortable with what benefits we are receiving from LEAP. Should be an interesting discussion! I know you are eagerly awaiting my report for next week…

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