August 4 Ballot: Senior Funding Renewal, Parks Millage, Countywide Elected Officials
Just a reminder that the August Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Voters countywide will be asked to consider a renewal of the Senior Millage and also a new Parks Millage. Details about how these two separate initiatives will benefit our residents can be found on the County's website within the departmental pages for Senior Services and Parks.
Of the five county officials to be chosen in November--Clerk/Register, Treasurer, Sheriff, Prosecutor, and Water Resources Commissioner, only the Water Resources Commissioner has more than one candidate from each party, with two republicans seeking to replace Fred Heaton, who is choosing not to run for another term. The final item at the county level on August 4 is the selection of the republican candidate for county commissioner for voters within District 6, covering the Marshall area. 
 There are many ballot initiatives and candidates to elect within our cities and townships as well. An easy way to check whether you're registered and/or see what's on your ballot is to visit
This information is also updated on our website by our Deputy Clerk of Elections Teri Loew under the direction of Clerk/Register Kimberly Hinkley. Visit the 2020 Elections page for voting information, an absentee voter ballot application, a list of candidates who have filed at each level, proposal language, and details about other upcoming elections.
I encourage everyone exercise your right to vote. This year it's been made easier to vote by mail, and if you vote in-person, please remember to wear a face covering to the polls.

Here's what else is happening in Calhoun County
Phasing Back to our New Normal
County administration is focused on catching up on projects slowed down drastically over the past few months due to COVID-19, particularly in the areas of purchasing and capital projects. Furloughs for county and court employees are scheduled to end on July 25, and we've experienced a pretty smooth phased reopening to the public so far. Many of our internal staff and project update meetings have now resumed, mainly via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The County's FY2019 financial audit was completed and submitted to Treasury by the June 30 deadline, and we'll schedule the auditors to present to the Board of Commissioners in August. Finance has also prepared our usual mid-year budget amendment, although this year's finances are anything but normal! We are hopeful that measures already taken, coupled with state and federal COVID-19 related funding, will help avoid drastic cuts from now through December. And we've begun the 2021 budget planning process, with the Board of Commissioners and internal Budget Committees scheduled to meet in early August. HR/Labor Relations Director is leading efforts to begin collective bargaining with groups who have contracts expiring this year, with the first session with the Road Department Teamsters union held in person with social distancing on July 7.  
On Thursday, June 25, I attended a virtual National Summit on Equity of Opportunity, hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce. The webinar featured leaders from private and public sectors to discuss solutions to the challenges that drive inequity of opportunity in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and the criminal justice system. This is just one example of how our administrative team seeks to learn more about inequity in what we do every day: Since the last Board of Commissioners Meeting, Communications Manager Lucy Blair also participated in a two-part webinar about unconscious bias for local government communicators.
The Michigan Municipal Services Authority (MMSA) Board and Executive Committee both met on Thursday, July 9, accepting the 2018-2019 audit, and approving a proposal for audit services for 2019-2020. We also discussed board vacancies and succession plans, with my 3-year term as Chair ending in September. The Executive Committee called a special meeting on July 16 and authorized our CEO Shea Charles to execute a $100,000 grant agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury for the MMSA to provide financial and planning consulting services to the City of Flint from now through December. This is an exciting new pilot program for the MMSA, which is adding a part-time employee to carry out this scope of work in Flint.

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