The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gogebic County Board holds line on 2018-19 budget


September 27, 2018


Bessemer — A 2018-19 general fund budget of $7,095,467 that is up only about $50,000 from projected 2017-18 expenditures was approved by the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners Wednesday.

There was no public comment at a budget hearing and county clerk Gerry Pelissero said no one had submitted any written comments on the budget.

The budget estimates a fund balance of $939,053.

The tax levy specified in the budget is $3,497,303, compared to the 2017-18 taxes of $3,449,584.

After approving the budget, board members discussed whether it would be a wise move to return to a fiscal year that runs from Jan. 1 through the end of the year.

The fiscal year now ends on Sept. 30.

Board member Dan Siirila, of Ironwood, said it’s tough to pay a lot of attention to the budget when it’s hard to get members together for meetings in the summer. He praised county coordinator Julianne Giackino for the good job she did in compiling the budget.

It was pointed out that with a budget that ends on Dec. 31, it’s also tough to call budget meetings around deer season and Christmas, however.

Board members said they’ll discuss a possible switch in the fiscal year system with department heads at a committee meeting.

“It’s worth discussing,” said Joe Bonovetz, of Bessemer.

Effective Oct. 1, 2017, part-time employees do not receive any benefits. Retiree health care is not available to any new non-union hires and elected and appointed officials, a practice that began on Jan. 1, 2010.

Near the end of the meeting, Tom Hampston, of Ironwood, noted the seven-member fair board has two vacancies. He asked what a quorum would be with the five members, and board chair George Peterson, of Watersmeet, said it would take four members, since there should be seven seated on the fair board.

Hampston also said as of Oct. 1, there will be no official fair board secretary, although Sandy Richter has been filling in for 15 hours a week at $16 an hour just to take care of necessary business, such as answering the phone.

Board members agreed the fair board should be allowed to continue to pay Richter for helping out until a permanent part-time secretary can be hired, since money has been included in the budget for the position.

The personnel committee of the county board plans to discuss the fair secretary position at a meeting next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.


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