COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION MEETING MINUTES
June 20, 2007
A work session of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners was held on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at the Chippewa County Courthouse in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Vice Chairman Timmer called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. with a quorum present.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Bernie LaJoie, Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Dick Timmer, Jim Moore, and Scott Shackleton
MEMBERS ABSENT: Earl Kay
OTHERS PRESENT: Derek Myerscough; and Kelly Beaune, Recorder
Agenda Item: Code of Ethics and Commissioners Benefits & Compensation
The committee met to discuss and review the proposed Chippewa County Code of Ethics, a County Commissioners Benefits & Compensation policy, as well as, a proposed fraud policy. The fraud policy outline was provided by Anderson, Tackman & Co. The committee started with the review of the proposed Code of Ethics, discussion included enforcement of the policy, and the value in the Code of Ethics as it provides expectation, by providing a guide. The proposed Code of Ethics is as follows:
Code of Ethics
The conduct of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners is to strengthen the quality of county government through professional management. The purpose of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners is to serve the people of Chippewa County in an in professional and ethical manner; following the laws of Michigan. The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners shall be governed by the Code of Ethics as follows:
1. Be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic local government and believe that professional general management is essential to the achievement of this objective.
2. Affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a constructive, objective, creative, and practical attitude toward county affairs and a deep sense of social responsibility as a trusted public servant.
3. Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships.
4. Recognize that the chief function of local government is to serve the best interest of all citizens.
5. Secure the information and perform necessary analysis to provide officials and other appropriate decision makers with objective, reliable information to which they can respond. Additionally, where appropriate, to identify alternative courses of action and the relative consequences associated with the alternative.
6. Recognize the authority difference between the nature and extent of the responsibilities of elected officials, as well as, elected versus appointed.
7. Keep the community informed on county affairs, encourage communication between the citizens and all county officials; emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service. Be committed to the concept of quality public administration and endeavor to publicly promote the image of professionalism in government.
8. Resist any encroachment on responsibilities, believing he/she should be free to carry out the duties of the office without interference, and handle each problem on the basis of principles and justice.
9. Handle all matters of personnel so that fairness and impartiality govern his or her decisions pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions and discipline.
10. Seek no favor; and believe that personal aggrandizement or profit secured by confidential information or by misuses of public office is dishonest.
The Committee next reviewed the County Commissioners Benefits & Compensation draft policy. Suggestions were made to clarify the proposed policy. Discussion on the proposed change of the maximum meetings per day, being increased to two, based on Committee appointment or representing the County on a special agenda was debated at length. The logic behind the two meetings per day charged was questioned, with the change being based upon the number of hours needed for certain meetings, as well as, the missed work for the out County Commissioners. Commissioner Cooper brought forward a paragraph he would like added to the proposed policy regarding County Commissioner health care. The proposed County Commissioners Benefits & Compensation proposed policy is as follows, with the additional paragraph from Commissioner Cooper being italicized:
Personnel Management Policy No. Draft
County Commissioners Benefits & Compensation
County Board Approval:
Effective January 1, 2007, it shall be the policy of Chippewa County that Chippewa County Board of Commissioners shall be considered part-time employees with full-time benefits. And shall not be to allowed to accumulate vacation days, sick days, or any paid leaves of absences.
Chippewa County Board of Commissioners shall receive a monthly salary and a $45.00 per meeting, maximum of two per day, eligibility based on Committee appointment or on an special agenda representing the County. Travel expenses directly related to official County business shall be reimbursable in a manner consistent with policy #410.
The Employer agrees to pay the premium for hospitalization and medical insurance coverage for a single subscriber, two person and family coverage for Chippewa County Commissioners who elect to participate in the group insurance plan; coverage shall be equal to the active employees. Employees electing sponsored dependent and/or family continuation coverage are responsible for payment of the premium costs for this additional coverage.
As with other County employees, Commissioners declining health care insurance, who opt out of the County’s health insurance shall, as an incentive, be eligible to receive compensation in lieu of health care insurance. It may be paid to the Commissioner in a separate check and upon verification the employee is covered by another health insurance program. This election shall be made on an annual basis and shall be effective for that full year. In the event that an employee loses coverage under the alternative source, they shall be returned to coverage under the County=s plan as soon as possible. Spouses of eligible employees shall not be eligible for this benefit.
Chippewa County shall make available a group insurance plan covering certain hospitalization, surgical, medical, dental, and optical services for eligible County Commissioners and eligible dependents. In order to be eligible for this benefit the County Commissioner must not have, or be eligible, for health care insurance through any other plan or policy. In order to coordinate health care benefits and avoid duplication County Commissioners are required to disclose any health care insurance coverage provided by, or available, through any other plan. Chippewa County shall not be used as a replacement for existing health care coverage. County Commissioners or their dependents are ineligible for Chippewa County group insurance, if coverage is provided or available through an existing health care plan or policy.
The Committee then reviewed the current Conflict of Interest Policy and the Fraud Policy; a copy of UPCAP’s policy will be sought and suggested changes to the Fraud Policy were noted. Legal counsel will review the draft Code of Ethics, County Commissioners Benefits & Compensation, and the Fraud policy. The draft Fraud Policy is as follows:
Proposed Policy Draft
County Board Approval:
Reviewed: May 16, 2007 by Legislative & Natural Resources
The Count as the Employer is responsible for the detection and prevention of fraud, misappropriations, and other inappropriate conduct. Fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to his or her injury. Each member of the County management team will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility, and be alert for any indication of irregularity.
Any fraud that is detected or suspected must be reported immediately to appropriate law enforcement agency, who coordinates all investigations with the Legal Department and other affected areas, both internal and external.
Actions constituting fraud:
The term defalcation, misappropriation, and other fiscal wrongdoings refer to, but are not limited to:
The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
Kelly J. Beaune, Recorder
Richard Timmer, Vice - Chairman