Read the Administrator's Update
Equity Challenge During Black History Month
This month, in addition to group diversity and equity training from Battle Creek’s Truth & Titus consultants with the Marshall Community Credit Union Board, I am participating in the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region's 21-day Racial Equity Challenge. This daily email campaign has provided interesting and new education for me on topics like Housing Discrimination and Environmental Justice, and it includes lots of information specific to our local area. The emails from United Way provide an introduction to the topic and then a plethora of resources to dive deeper, learning how these topics impact our country, region, and neighbors directly.
There are still days left in this equity challenge, so it's not too late to sign up to receive upcoming topics to consider. Regardless, check out the United Way website to see past emails and additional resource. Leading with Equity
Highlights from a few boards and committees:
On Feb. 9, the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau Board met. County Commissioner Katy-Sue Vette continues to serve as Chair of the CVB Board. We received updates from our CEO, Linda Freybler, about new items including the second round of federal Paycheck Protection Program Loans and Employee Retention Tax Credits. We also discussed the current year's budget status and the potential to adjust the budget upward depending on first quarter results through March. The Board also heard a review of 2020 accomplishments for the Visitors Bureau, including a new website, an updated strategic plan, and a redesigned Welcome Center, and many more remarkable successes considering how drastically the pandemic affected our tourism industry.
To learn more about COVID-19 response efforts statewide, I attended an administrative briefing hosted by the Michigan Association of Counties on Feb. 10, featuring Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Chief Medical Executive of MDHHS Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, and Special Adviser to the Protect Michigan Commission Kerry Ebersole Singh. At this presentation, we learned more about the Protect Michigan Commission, on which multiple community leaders serve, including Battle Creek Mayor Mark Behnke and CareWell Services CEO Karla Fales.
The Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, Feb. 10 via Zoom. The Board examined the year-to-date budget, heard an update about digitization of files, and reviewed applications to the Veterans Relief fund.
On Feb. 11, the Michigan Association of Counties County Administrator monthly meeting took place virtually. These meetings are an exchange of information and thoughts on the most pressing issues in county government, and a chance for Administrators to discuss solutions that have worked for others. MAC staff also gave legislative updates and asked for our feedback so that they can help encourage legislation that helps county governments and our budgets.
The Marshall Community Credit Union Board met on Feb. 15, virtually. A pretty standard meeting, agenda items included presentations on IT security initiatives and potential growth strategies, and updates on the Credit Union's ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
The Michigan Association of Counties held a live recording of its Podcast 83 on Feb. 16, featuring an interview with Elizabeth Hertel, the new director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. I attended this live session to hear state MDHHS updates from the newly-appointed director.
On Feb. 18, I joined a webinar hosted by International City/County Management Association (ICMA) called COVID-19 Cost Recovery: Ways to Maximize Federal Funding for Response, Recovery and Vaccination. This helpful webinar provided information about funding possibilities, many of which Calhoun County is participating in, to maximize our COVID-19 response and what we're able to do.
Read the entire Administrator's Update
The Calhoun County Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 via Zoom video conference. The Board of Commissioners will meet electronically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision is also in accordance with the Epidemic Order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 9, 2020, which limits in-person gatherings to 10 people.
To watch the meeting, visit our Youtube Channel. Information about where to call for public comment will be provided during the Youtube stream and is shared below. If you'd like to submit a written comment to be added to the record for this meeting, submit that via the Contact Us form on the website and please state that your message is for the Feb. 18 Board of Commissioners meeting.