February 10, 2016

Applicants will be sought for clerk position at the Friend of the Court office

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com

ARENAC COUNTY – The Arenac County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 at its afternoon meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6 to seek applications to fill a part-time clerk position at the county Friend of the Court office.

Commissioner Jeffrey Trombley voted against the motion.

Commissioner Robert Luce brought up the issue, pointing out that funding existed for the position in the proposed 2012 budget, so opening it up to new applicants would not require any financial tweaking.

The position is 20 hours a week, with four-hour shifts around noon five days a week. The former holder of the position left, according to Commission Chairman Michael Snyder.

The position pays around $9 per hour, and is budgeted for $11,652 yearly, he added. No benefits are included in those numbers.

The friend of the court office did not plan to post the position right away. According to Office Director Michael Friedgen, it would be posted the week of Dec. 11 or later. He hoped to have the position filled by the second week of January.

Friedgen said they intended on taking applicants primarily through Michigan Works, adding it is the first time they have gone through the organization.

“We send a lot of clients to Michigan Works,” he said. “We want to practice what we preach.”

During the public comments, Arenac Township resident Glen Rice warned employees hired through Michigan Works are temporary, citing losing people at the Standish Depot because they ran out of time.

The clerk position was created in 2009. Snyder said at the time, the office had no one covering the service window during the noon hours due to the court schedule. Both the commission and the court wanted someone covering the window.

Friedgen said the 23rd circuit court had to approve getting someone new for the position and recommend it to the board of commissioners.

“The commission approved the position with a court recommendation,” Snyder said.

Bill Borushko, employee relations contractor, said the position initially was created as a one year opening.

“It was only to be renewed if the board was satisfied with the value,” Borushko said. “To the satisfaction of the board, it was renewed.”

Snyder said friend of the court representatives presented information to the commission justifying the position’s continued existence the morning before the afternoon vote.

However, Trombley’s opposition stemmed from concerns the position was not improving service enough to be worth the cost based on information delivered with the presentation.

“Statistically, there has been no improvement in the service with an extra person,” Trombley said. “Things are tight at the county, so if there’s no improvement, why have it?”


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