Commissioners move evening meeting to earlier time

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WEST BRANCH — The Ogemaw County Board of Commissioners moved the county’s monthly evening meeting to 5:30 p.m. during the first meeting of the new board Jan. 10.

New Commissioner Brad Neubecker made the recommendation to the board, suggesting an earlier time would interrupt the public’s evenings less and could boost participation.

“I was thinking of moving it to 5:30 p.m. so that everybody that is still in town could come to the meeting instead of having to come back,” Neubecker said. “I think we could get more public having a meeting right after work versus going home for dinner. Are they going to want to drive back to town for a meeting?”

Clerk Gary Klacking said to his knowledge the county has never had an early-evening meeting before.

During the discussion, commissioners considered moving the morning meeting to an evening meeting as well, but decided against it because it could create the possibility of overtime. Chairman Bruce Reetz said keeping one meeting in the morning is also more convenient for traveling presenters who occasionally address the board.

The new commissioners on the board asked Commissioners Reetz and Craig Scott if they experienced more attendance during morning or evenings meetings.

“As far as general public, almost nothing, it doesn’t matter,” Scott said. “A lot of the general public (in attendance) are township officials or past employees.”

Scott said the average attendance from the general public is slim, regardless of the time the meeting is held.

The board also voted to continue its previous adjustment of the committee of a whole meetings to start at 8 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. as they had previously been.

After the adjustments, the county commissioners will meet on the second Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. and the fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The committee of a whole will meet on the Wednesday between the two regular meetings at 8 a.m.

Also during the organizational segment of the meeting, commissioners voted to elect Reetz as the board’s chairman and Scott as vice chair.

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