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Members present at roll call: Commissioners Walker, Lindeman, Retzloff, Johansen, Baker, Carr, Caris and Kellenberger. Members absent: None. Others present: Chris Hyzer, Kristen Millard, Jackie Champlin and Dorinda Kirshman. Moved by Commissioner Caris, supported by Commissioner Lindeman to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried. Public comments were offered. Commissioner Baker commented on the Montcalm County Housing Commission and gave each member a scoring sheet from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which shows that the Montcalm County Housing Commission is a high performer. Commissioner Lindeman stated that he has 20% coupons available for Clifford Lake Inn for tomorrow evening. A portion of the proceeds from tomorrow night will go to support the Trail Side Community Gardens. The purpose of the meeting is to interview candidates for District 5 County Commissioner due to the vacancy created by Carl Paepke’s passing. Discussion took place on the method in which a candidate will be selected. It was decided that following interviews the board will make nominations and vote until a final candidate is selected. The first candidate interviewed was Steven R. DeWitt from Coral. Mr. DeWitt introduced himself to the board and gave them an overview of his background and experience. Mr. DeWitt has been in public service for 22 years. He is currently serving as Chief of Police for the Village of Howard City. Mr. DeWitt has filed his nominating petitions for the position. The second interviewee was Jeffrey Rebman. Mr. Rebman is a blueberry farmer in the Pierson area and also drives school bus part time. Mr. Rebman has not filed nominating petitions. This interview is his first interaction with county government. The next interviewee was Thomas Porter, Coral. Mr. Porter introduced himself to the board and informed them that he ran for District 5 County Commissioner in 2008. He is a retired business owner, former Plant Engineering Manager, and is currently a famer and fruit tree grower. Mr. Porter indicated that he does have intentions of filing for the position although he hasn’t filed yet. Carole Lynn Petersen, Trufant, was the next applicant interviewed. She stated that she has 30 years of experience in finance and 4 years as a Township Trustee. Ms. Petersen stated that she has not submitted her petition to run for the position at this time. She stated that if there is someone more qualified for County Commissioner than she, then she will file petitions for Maple Valley Township Supervisor.
The next interviewee was Patricia Ann Hinrichs, Trufant. Ms. Hinrichs introduced herself to the board and explained why she is interested in the position. She stated that her previous employment in stress management would be beneficial to the board. She stated that she has filed nominating petitions for the position. Brenda Hansen Hatch was the next candidate to be interviewed. She is currently taking accounting classes through MCC. Ms. Hatch is self employed through Gary’s Barbershop in Trufant. She has experience in Real Estate and also managed a large restaurant and was in charge of the ordering and managing staff. Ms. Hatch stated that she has filed nominating petitions for the position. Commissioner Baker nominated Thomas Porter to fill the District 5 County Commissioner Seat. Moved by Commissioner Johansen, supported by Commissioner Baker that nomination be closed and a unanimous ballot be cast for Thomas Porter for District 5 County Commissioner. Roll vote: Ayes: Commissioners Baker, Kellenberger, Walker, Lindeman and Johansen. Nays: Commissioner Caris, Carr and Retzloff. Motion carried. Public comments were offered, none were given. Moved by Commissioner Retzloff, supported by Commissioner Johansen to adjourn at 2:41 p.m. Motion carried. ___________________________________ ____________________________________ Kristen Millard, County Clerk Patrick Q. Carr, Chairman