Commissioners support four-year terms

REED CITY — The Osceola County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution in support of House Bills No. 4937 and 4938 and Senate Bills No. 504 and 505 to enact four-year terms for county commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

“A lot of resolutions come to us, but I think this is an important one and would recommend it’s approval,” Commissioner Roger Elkins said.

An amendment to the Michigan Constitution in 1966 established the term for elected county commissioners to run concurrent with that of state representatives — elected each even-numbered year for a term of two years.

If adopted, the House and Senate bills will change the term of office to four years, effective “at or after” the 2022 general election.

According to the resolution, Michigan is one of five states that provide for exclusively two-year terms for county commissioners. All other county and township elected officials are elected for a term of at least four years.

The reasoning behind the desire to change the term of office is that the scope of duties of a county commissioner has greatly increased and the position is a “highly complex oversight role that requires years to master,” the resolution states.

A resolution of support was narrowly passed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners by a vote of 4-3 at their meeting on Nov. 13.