County board sets prosecutor’s salary for 2017

REED CITY — Osceola County officials set the 2017 salary for the incoming prosecuting attorney during the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Osceola County Courthouse.

Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed current Osceola County Prosecutor Tyler Thompson to be the new probate court judge for Mecosta and Osceola counties. While Thompson’s name appears on the general election ballot for the prosecutor’s position, Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm explained on Tuesday morning he will not be sworn in as judge prior to Election Day. Write-in candidates James Sims II and Erin Carrier Barnhart also are running for the position.

When Thompson does take the oath for the judgeship, Bluhm said the judges from the 49th Circuit Court will have to appoint a prosecutor for the remainder of his current term, which ends on Dec. 31.

“If the printed name on the ballot is the winner, then a second appointment will be needed for the start of the new term beginning on Jan. 1,” she said.

The second appointment would last until November 2018, when the next general election is held, Bluhm said.

With the prospect of having a new prosecutor begin Jan. 1, officials set the salary at $84,744. The salary in 2016 for the position is $85,070.

“The board can only change the salary of an elected official’s position prior to an election for the next term,” said County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol. “Throughout that term, the board can raise the salary based on experience if it chooses, but it cannot lower it.”

Other items approved by the committee of the whole included:

  • position changes at the Commission on Aging, reducing two social service coordinator positions to part time and making the two part-time registered case managers full-time staff;
  • an increase in the monthly rent agreement with the Marion Eagles for COA meal services. By adding an additional day to the meal schedule, the current agreement of $150 per month was increased to $200 per month;
  • the purchase of winter snow tires for Osceola County Sheriff’s Office road patrol vehicles at a cost of $5,776.08;
  • waiving the county’s unpaid leave policy to approve an unpaid leave of absence for an Emergency Medical Services employee due to an injury that occurred off-duty;
  • denying a COA request for an assistant director’s position and a request by the equalization director to increase the salary scale for the position in the 2017 budget;
  • a two-year agreement with Donald LaBrenz II for building official and inspection services through Dec. 31, 2018; and
  • appointing Glen Bluhm to the Health and Human Services board for three years.

The items approved by the committee of the whole were later approved by the board of commissioners following the committee of the whole meeting.

During the commissioners’ meeting, officials accepted the county’s 2016 apportionment report from Equalization Director Rosie McKinstry. Prepared annually, the report contains millage rates and special assessments based on taxable values within the municipalities throughout the county.

The next Osceola County committee of the whole meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1.