Salaries approved for elected officials

MARQUETTE — Commissioners unanimously approved 2018 salaries for elected officials at the Marquette County Board’s regular meeting last week.

Commissioner Joe Derocha was absent from the meeting.

According to Michigan Legislature, 45.421 annual salaries are fixed by the county board of commissioners before Nov. 1 each year. Salaries can only be increased by the board, not decreased during elected officials’ service terms.

The board approved numerous salaries at the meeting — including their own — which remained at $8,000, and the chairman’s at $9,000.

Other annual salaries include $113,300 for the prosecuting attorney; $78,100 for the sheriff; $65,393 for county clerk, $62,923 for county treasurer and register of deeds; $25,592 for drain commissioner; and $34,683 for mine inspector.

The board also approved salaries for county judges, with $45,724 to circuit and district court judges and $145,558 to the probate judge.

The probate judge received the only salary increase, making $5,639 more than last year.

Even though commissioner Bill Nordeen supported the motion, he believes that the County Clerk, County Treasurer and Register of Deeds are underpaid.

“As I said last year, I think the County Clerk, County Treasurer and Register of Deeds are under-compensated,” Nordeen said. “If I had it my way I’d take ten percent from the drain commissioner and mine inspector and give it to the clerk, treasurer and Register of Deeds … but I said the same thing last year and it didn’t go anywhere. I just want to say my piece.”

There was no further motion to consider the commissioner’s comments.

Commissioners also approved several other important action items, including:

–The 2018 fiscal year general fund budget in the amount of $26,013,300, the FY capital improvements fund budget in the amount of $741,500, other county fund budgets FY 2018 in the amount of $31,778,990 and the millage rates levied for the various taxing units — county, cities, townships and schools — through Marquette County.

A copy of the FY 2018 budget is available for the public to review in the County Clerk’s office or the County Administrator’s office in the courthouse complex on Baraga Avenue in Marquette.

–Approving contracts supporting speciality courts

The approved grant totaling $125,000 allows for the continuation of operating services without drawing from general fund sources, according to Director of Court Operations Charity Mason.

Mason stated that three separate speciality courts “address the underlying issue of addiction that’s driving the criminality.”

“With these monies the courts will be able to continue funding one full time case manager position, substance screening services and other supportive components of the programs,” Mason stated in a memo issued to commissioners. “Our judges work collaboratively with the prosecuting attorney’s office, local law enforcement and treatment agencies to implement these intense justice intervention programs designed to target offenders whose criminal behavior is driven by addiction. This program promotes long-term recovery and reduced recidivism.”

Commissioner Stephen Adamini said he fully supports the speciality courts.

“When I was in the Legislature the speciality courts were first proposed — there was some apprehension as to whether it was worthwhile. I was a big supporter then and I’m an even bigger supporter now,” Adamini said.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.

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