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           STATE OF THE COUNTY ADDRESS-FEBRUARY 9, 2009

GOOD EVENING!

    IT IS MY PLEASURE TO STAND BEFORE YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME TO
REPORT ON THE STATE OF GENESEE COUNTY GOVERNMENT IN 2009.
      AS I BEGIN I WANT TO SAY “THANK YOU” TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS. I AM PROUD OF THE WORK DONE BY THE
MEMBERS OF THIS BOARD, PARTICULARLY DURING THE DEVELOPMENT
AND PASSAGE OF THE 2008-2009 BUDGET. THE TASK WAS EXTREMELY
DIFFICULT BECAUSE OF THE EFFECTS TO COUNTY GOVERNMENT BROUGHT
ON BY THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECESSION THAT HIT IN MID-
2008.
    BUT BY WORKING TOGETHER, WE GOT THE JOB DONE AND AGAIN, AS
ALWAYS, WE BALANCED OUR BUDGET. I WILL TALK MORE ABOUT THE
COUNTY’S BUDGET SHORTLY.
     AS ALWAYS, THANKS ARE DUE TO COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS, TO
OUR DEPARTMENT HEADS, AND TO OUR EMPLOYEES WHO WORK DAY-IN
AND DAY-OUT TO PROVIDE GENESEE COUNTY CITIZENS WITH QUALITY
SERVICES. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO RECOGNIZE THOSE COUNTY-WIDE
ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO ARE WITH US TONIGHT (ASK TO STAND).
    ALSO, ALLOW ME TO RECOGNIZE OUR STATE AND LOCAL ELECTED
LEADERS WHO ARE HERE TONIGHT (ASK TO STAND).
     THE PATH BETWEEN CITY HALL AND THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
BUILDING HAS BECOME OVERGROWN DURING THESE PAST SEVERAL YEARS,
BUT THE ONE-WAY SIGN POINTED EAST HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN AND THAT
PATH IS AGAIN SEEING SOME RECENT TRAFFIC. IN THIS WEEK ALONE THE
MAYOR AND I HAVE VISITED ON AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS AND MORE
TALKS ARE SCHEDULED AS THE CITY OF FLINT AND GENESEE COUNTY
AGAIN EXPLORE WAYS TO WORK TOGETHER TO TACKLE MUTUAL
PROBLEMS.
    MIKE BROWN, FLINT’S NEW MAYOR, IS HERE THIS EVENING.
WELCOME, MIKE, AND BEST WISHES AS YOU BEGIN YOUR SERVICE. PLEASE
STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED.
     NOTHING IN OUR LIFETIME HAS PREPARED US FOR WHAT WE ARE
SEEING IN TODAYS ECONOMY.
    NOT SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION HAVE WE SEEN THE TOTAL
ECONOMIC MELTDOWN THAT WE ARE NOW EXPERIENCING.
     THE STOCK MARKET HAS LOST NEARLY HALF ITS VALUE IN A MATTER
OF LESS THAN ONE YEAR. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY ARE SUFFERING. THE
MORTGAGE INDUSTRY IS IN FREE FALL WITH A RESCUE PCKAGE THAT
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PASSED CONGRESS ITS ONLY SALVATION. OUR AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY
IS STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE.
    THE RESULT OF ALL OF THIS ECONOMIC CHAOS IS THAT FAMILIES
AND INDIVIDUALS ARE SUFFERING, NOT JUST HERE BUT ALL OVER
AMERICA.
    LAST WEEK ALONE SOME 60,000 NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
WERE INITIATED NATIONWIDE.
    UNEMPLOYMNT NATIONALLY IS AT 7.6% AND IN MICHIGAN THE
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STANDS AT 10.6%. THE FIGURE IS MUCH HIGHER IN
GENESEE COUNTY AND EVEN HIGHER IN THE CITY OF FLINT.
     MILLIONS OF OUR CITIZENS ARE WITHOUT HEALTH CARE AS
BUSINESS DROPS COVERAGES BECAUSE OF LACK OF AFFORDABILITY. AND
YESTERDAY, DELPHI SALARIED RETIREES LOST THEIR HEALTH CARE
BENEFITS.
     PROPERTY VALUES ARE FALLING. EVERY DAY MORE FAMILIES LOSE
THEIR HOMES.
     THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS DEEPLY DEPRESSED WITH FORECLOSED
PROPERTIES REPRESENTING THE LARGEST NUMBER OF SALES ACROSS
GENESEE COUNTY, THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AND THE NATION. THE PRICE
OF EXISTING HOUSING HAS HIT A 15 YEAR LOW.
      BUT REDUCED PRICES HAVE FINALLY BEGUN TO BRING OUT NEW
CUSTOMERS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A HOUSING BARGAIN. THE GENESEE
COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS REPORTED THAT IN 2008, PURCHASES
OF EXISTING HOMES SOARED AS MORE THAN 5,700 EXISTING HOMES WERE
SOLD.
     THE CURRENT STATE OF THE ECONOMY MEANS THAT MORE IS BEING
EXPECTED FROM GOVERNMENT AT A TIME WHEN THERE ARE FEWER
DOLLARS AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO PROVIDE THOSE
NEEDED PUBLIC SERVICES. THE GENESEE COUNTY BOARD SEES THIS WHEN
WE TRY TO BALANCE OUR BUDGET.
    THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COUNTY BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS IS TO PASS A BALANCED BUDGET. IT IS A REQUIREMENT
UNDER STATE LAW AND IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. BUT EVERY YEAR
SEEMS TO BRING MORE PROBLEMS WITH OUR BUDGET.
    THE 2007 BUDGET WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO BALANCE.
    WE STARTED WITH A 10 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.
AFTER MUCH HAGGLING THE NUMBER OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES WAS
REDUCED BY 38 POSITIONS AND SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC WERE REDUCED.
EVERY DEPARTMENT, EVERY DEPARTMENT, EVERY DEPARTMENT OF
COUNTY GOVERNMENT SAW A REDUCTION IN FUNDING. THEN CAME 2008.
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     IN 2008 THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ADOPTED A NEW WAY OF
DEALING WITH OUR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY. INSTEAD OF THE BOARD
BUILDING A BUDGET FROM SCRATCH, THE CONTROLLER NOW WORKS WITH
DEPARTMENT HEADS AND TOGETHER THEY DEVELOP A BUDGET FOR THE
BOARD TO REVIEW, MAKE CHANGES AND ADOPT.
    THIS HAS STREAMLINED THE BUDGET MAKING PROCESS, BUT THE JOB
CONTINUES TO BE VERY DIFFICULT.
     IN 2008, THE BOARD STARTED AGAIN WITH A 10 MILLION DOLLAR
DEFICIT. AGAIN, MUCH INTENSE DISCUSSION TOOK PLACE AS WE MADE
DIFFICULT DECISIONS. IN THE END, WE BALANCED OUR BUDGET.   AND
AGAIN WE DID AWAY WITH ANOTHER 28 COUNTY POSITIONS.
     THEN, IN NOVEMBER, 2008 WE FOUND OUT THAT GENESEE COUNTY
TAXABLE VALUES HAD FALLEN FURTHER THAN EVEN OUR CONSERVATIVE
ANALYSIS HAD ANTICIPATED. AS A RESULT, WE ARE NOW FIXING A 1.75
MILLION DOLLAR HOLE IN THIS YEARS BUDGET. THAT FIX IS NEARING
COMPLETION.
     IN SPITE OF ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS COUNTY EMPLOYEES
CONTINUE TO PROVIDE GENESEE COUNTY CITIZENS WITH NEEDED
GOVERNMENT SERVICES, AND WE ARE DOING OUR JOBS MORE EFFICIENTLY
AND EFFECTIVELY.
     INDEED, I AM HOPEFUL FOR OUR FUTURE, AND I BELIEVE GENESEE
COUNTY GOVERNMENT HAS A POSITIVE ROLE TO PLAY IN CREATING A
BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR OUR COMMUNITY. ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN.
    GENESEE COUNTY HAS A HOST OF VALUABLE RESOURCES INCLUDING
OUR LOCATION AT THE INTERSECTION OF TWO MAJOR INTERSTATE
HIGHWAYS, WITH AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND MAJOR RAIL LINES
RUNNING THROUGHOUT THE AREA.
      ADVANCED EDUCATION AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES ARE READILY
AVAILABLE, AND WE HAVE A VIBRANT CULTURAL COMMUNITY. STATE OF
THE ART HEALTH CARE IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE, AND WE HAVE HIGHLY
COMPETITIVE LAND AND BUILDING COSTS. BY FOSTERING THESE ASSETS
COUNTY GOVERNMENT CAN ENHANCE OUR CITIZENS LIVES. THIS IS
CALLED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MUST
BE FIRST ON OUR AGENDA.
    WE HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR
TRANSPORTATION RESOURCES BY WORKING TO DEVELOP AN INTERMODAL
TRANSPORTATION HUB IN GENESEE COUNTY.
     BISHOP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RECEIVED A NUMBER OF LOCAL,
STATE, AND FEDERAL GRANTS TOTALLING MORE THAN 18 MILLION
DOLLARS TO PURCHASE PROPERTY, FOR SITE DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FACILITIES AS THEIR PART OF THE INTERMODAL
TRANSPORTATION HUB.
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     THEY ARE IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING CONSTRUCTION OF A
CARGO RAMP AND IMPROVED DOCK AND LOADING AREAS AT THE FED-EX
FACILITY AT BISHOP TO HANDLE INCREASED TRAFFIC. IN 2008, BISHOP
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS INVESTED SOME 12.7 MILLION IN GRANT AND
AIRPORT FUNDS TO IMPROVE FACILITIES AS THE INTERMODAL
TRANSPORTATION HUB DEVELOPS.
    THESE IMPROVEMENTS HAVE CREATED CONSTRUCTION JOBS FOR
THE AREA AND HAVE KEPT CURRENT JOBS IN PLACE. NEW JOBS WILL
FOLLOW AS THE PROCESS CONTINUES AND GROWS.
     WORKING TOGETHER TO MARKET OUR AREA TO THE NATION AND TO
THE WORLD IS A COMMITMENT THAT WE ALL MUST MAKE. ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS IN GENESEE COUNTY ARE LED BY THE GENESEE
REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
      THEY LOOK TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO PARTNER WITH THEM IN
THIS IMPORTANT WORK. GENESEE COUNTY IS PLAYING ITS PART IN THAT
EFFORT.
     THE REGIONAL CHAMBER WILL SOON APPEAR BEFORE THE BOARD’S
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE TO UPDATE US ON THEIR 5 YEAR
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN AND WE WILL PLAY OUR PART
IN HELPING THAT PLAN TO SUCCEED.
     INDEED, GENESEE COUNTY IS A PRIME PLAYER IN DOWNTOWN
FLINT’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. WE HAVE A HUGE STAKE IN THIS
EFFORT.
    NOT ONLY IS GENESEE COUNTY AN OWNER OF A LONG LIST OF
DOWNTOWN PROPERTIES, BUT WE BRING HUNDREDS OF COUNTY
EMPLOYEES INTO DONTOWN EVERY DAY. COUNTY EMPLOYEES SHOP AT
DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES, AND PAY FLINT CITY INCOME TAXES.
     BEYOND OUR EMPLOYEES, CITIZENS WHO REQUIRE          COUNTY
SERVICES COME REGULARLY INTO DOWNTOWN FLINT.
    THE GENESEE COUNTY LAND BANK, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF
COUNTY TREASURER DAN KILDEE, IS MAKING A MAJOR IMPACT ON OUR
COMMUNITY THROUGH REDEVELOPMENT OF DISTRESSED PROPERTIES
ACQUIRED BY THE LAND BANK.       WE LOOK AT HIS EFFORTS AT
REDEVELOPMENT OF THE DURANT HOTEL, BERRIDGE HOTEL AND THE
GENESEE BUSINESS CENTER AS REAL SUCCESS STORIES THAT HAVE
PROVIDED NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN FLINT.
     OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS WE HAVE WATCHED DOWNTOWN
REDEVELOPMENT WITH NEW BUILDINGS REPLACING OLD, WITH NEW
BUSINESS MOVING INTO THOSE BUILDINGS, AND WITH NEW OPPORTUNITY
TO CONTINUE TO EXPAND BUSINESS OF ALL KINDS IN DOWNTOWN FLINT.
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     UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-FLINT BUILT A NEW DORM FACILITY
BRINGING HUNDREDS OF NEW PEOPLE TO LIVE ON CAMPUS IN DOWNTOWN
FLINT. OTHER PLANNED STUDENT HOUSING PROJECTS WILL BRING EVEN
MORE STUDENTS AND OTHERS INTO THE DOWNTOWN AREA.
     THE NEED FOR ENTERTAINMENT VENUES, EATING ESTABLISHMENTS,
AND OTHER BNUSINESSES CATERING SPECIFICALLY TO THIS NEW AND
YOUNGER POPULATION WILL HELP TO SPUR NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
IN DOWNTOWN FLINT. THAT HAS BEEN THE PLAN AND IT APPEARS TO BE
WORKING WELL.
     GENESEE COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
WITHIN GENESEE COUNTY AND ACROSS OUR REGION ARE CONTINUING TO
STUDY THE NEED FOR EXPANDED AND IMPROVED WATER RESOURCES. THE
AVAILABILITY OF WATER RESOURCES AT A REASONABLE COST ARE
IMPORTANT CRITERIA WHEN CONSIDERING THE LONG TERM ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS OF GENESEE COUNTY AND OUR REGION.
     AS EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM KNOWS, WE HAVE BEEN PURCHASING
WATER FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT. THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS OLD AND IN
DESPERATE NEED OF REBUILDING. WE KNOW THAT WE ARE GOING TO
BUILD A NEW WATER PIPELINE. THE ONLY QUESTION IS, WILL THAT
PIPELINE BE OWNED BY THE CITY OF DETROIT, OR BY A REGIONAL WATER
AUTHORITY IN WHICH WE ARE A PARTNER, AND NOT JUST A CUSTOMER.
     THAT DECISION HAS YET TO BE MADE AND ALL OF GENESEE
COUNTY’S LOCAL GOVERNMENTS THAT HAVE A STAKE IN THIS PROCESS,
AND OTHER MUNICIPALITIES OUTSIDE OF GENESEE COUNTY, WILL BE
WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE THAT DECISION. THE GOAL IS TO PROVIDE
OUR CITIZENS WITH THE WIDEST AVAILABILITY OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY
WATER AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE COST.
     THIS BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HAS BEEN WORKING TOGETHER TO
DEVELOP A LIST OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
ACCOMPLISHED DURING 2009.      TO MY KNOWLEDGE, THE BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS HAS NEVER BEFORE COME TOGETHER AS A GROUP TO
IDENTIFY SUCH A SET OF GOALS. SEVERAL WEEKS AGO THE BOARD MET IN
PUBLIC SESSION AT THE REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO TALK
ABOUT WHAT WE WANTED TO SEE COME OUT OF THIS YEAR’S EFFORTS.
THE CONVERSATIONS WERE HELPFUL IN THAT WE TALKED FRANKLY
ABOUT WHAT WE AS INDIVIDUALS WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH.
     WE THEN TOOK THOSE INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIVES AND DEVELOPED A
SET OF BOARD GOALS TO WHICH WE ARE ALL COMMITTED TO WORK TO
ACHIEVE.
      I BELIEVE THAT THIS SIMPLE PROCESS HAS HELPED US WORK BETTER
AS A TEAM. SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BE DOING?
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     IN 2009, AMONG A HOST OF ISSUES AND CHALLENGES THAT COME TO
US ON AN ONGOING BASIS, WE WILL BE HIRING A NEW HUMAN RESOURCES
DIRECTOR. SINCE THE HR DIRECTOR LEFT IN EARLY JANUARY, TWO
INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN HANDLING OUR HUMAN RESOURCES DUTIES.
     THEY ARE DOING WELL. WE PLANNED FOR THIS CHANGE, AND HAVE
HAD SOME BUDGET SAVINGS THROUGH THE CURRENT OPERATION OF THE
DEPARTMENT.    HOWEVER, NEGOTIATIONS START WITH ALL OF OUR
COUNTY UNIONS IN EARLY 2010 AND WE NEED TO HAVE AN HR DIRECTOR IN
PLACE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE WORKINGS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO
LEAD THESE NEGOTIATIONS. WE PLAN TO HAVE THAT INDIVIDUAL ON
BOARD BY JUNE 1, 2009.
     WE ALSO PLAN TO HIRE A NEW PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER.       OUR
FORMER HEALTH OFFICER LEFT GENESEE COUNTY IN SEPTEMBER, 2008.
SINCE THAT TIME, JOHN MC KELLAR, A FORMER DIVISION DIRECTOR WITH
THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, HAS ASSUMED THOSE DUTIES AND HE HAS DONE
AN OUTSTANDING JOB OF LEADING THE DEPARTMENT.
      A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IS MEETING
TO INITIATE THIS PROCESS. WE WILL FILL THIS POSITION IN AN ORDERLY
WAY.
     THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IS REVIEWING THE SENIOR MILLAGE
ISSUE TO MAKE SURE THAT A FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF MILLAGE DOLLARS IS
PROVIDED.
    A SUBCOMMITTEE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO MAKE THIS REVIEW AND
REPORT TO THE BOARD ON ANY CHANGES THAT THEY BELIEVE NEED TO BE
MADE.
    A “GOVERNANCE” SUBCOMMITTEE WILL SOON START MEETING TO
DETERMINE HOW TO PROCEED WITH A DECISION REGARDING THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR COUNTY
GOVERNMENT.
     A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE BOARD IS ALREADY WORKING WITH JEFF
WRIGHT, GENESEE COUNTY DRAIN COMMISSIONER, TO FORMULATE A
POSITION AS TO HOW TO PROCEED WITH A POTENTIAL WATER PIPELINE
PROJECT.
    IN LATE 2007 THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS PASSED AN EMERGENCY
MEDICAL SERVICES ORDINANCE.
     THE NEW ORDINANCE BUILDS A SYSTEM THAT IS DESIGNED TO
PROVIDE MORE EQUAL ACCESS TO SERVICE FOR ALL COUNTY RESIDENTS,
PROVIDES FOR DIRECT DISPATCH OF AMBULANCES, AND IS COST
EFFECTIVE.
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     AN EMS SUBCOMMITTEE WILL BE APPOINTED TO REVIEW THAT
ORDINANCE, AND WORK WITH ALL OF THE STAKEHOLDERS. THEY WILL
DETERMINE IF A SET OF PROVISIONS OF THE ORDINANCE CAN BE AGREED
UPON BY ALL OF THOSE INVOLVED AND BE PUT INTO PRACTICE AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE
     THE RECENTLY PASSED FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE PROVIDES
FUNDING FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF PROJECTS.
     GENESEE COUNTY HAS ALREADY SUBMITTED A LONG LIST OF
PROJECTS THAT ARE READY TO GO. THE BOARD HAS SOME IDEAS FOR
PROJECTS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE FUNDED BUT WHICH HAVE NOT
BEEN GIVEN TO THE STATE AS PART OF OUR INITIAL LIST OF “SHOVEL
READY” PROJECTS. A SUBCOMMITTEE WILL CONTINUE THAT REVIEW
PROCESS.
    THESE ARE THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THAT THE BOARD IS
COMMITTED TO ACCOMPLISHING IN 2009.
     SOME WILL BE EASIER THAN OTHERS, BUT ALL OF THESE MATTERS
ARE IMPORTANT TO THE BOARD AND TO GENESEE COUNTY RESIDENTS.
     FOR MANY YEARS THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSION REGARDING THE
POSSIBILITY OF CONNECTING THE I 475 AND US 23 EXPRESSWAYS TO
PROVIDE ADDITIONAL EXPRESSWAY ACCESS TO COUNTY BUSINESSES AND
RESIDENTS.
     THE GENESEE COUNTY METROPOLITAN PLANNING COMMISSION HAS
BEEN WORKING ON THIS PROJECT IN COOPERATION WITH THE GENESEE
REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. THE STUDY HAS BEEN FUNDED AND A
CONSULTANT IS ABOUT TO COME ON-BOARD TO BEGIN THIS IMPORTANT
FEASIBILITY STUDY THAT WE HOPE TO HAVE COMPLETED IN 2009. THE
STUDY WILL ALSO REVIEW ANY ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS THAT NEED
TO BE MADE IN THE FREEWAY SYSTEM.
     THE   PLANNING   COMMISSION IS  ALSO  OVERSEEING  THE
NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM THAT WAS APPROVED BY
CONGRESS IN 2008. GENESEE COUNTY WILL RECEIVE MORE THAN 7.5
MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS EFFORT.
    THE PLANNING COMMISSION IS PARTNERING WITH THE GENESEE
COUNTY LAND BANK, LENDERS, CONTRACTORS AND FORECLOSURE
COUNSELING AGENCIES TO CARRY OUT THE SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS OF THE
PROGRAM. LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT ARE ALSO WORKING WITH THE
PLANNING COMMISSION TO IDENTIFY THOSE AREAS WITHIN OUR
COMMUNITY WHERE THIS PROGRAM CAN MOST EFFECTIVELY BE
TARGETED.
     AS YOU CAN SEE, MUCH IS HAPPENING WITHIN GENESEE COUNTY
GOVERNMENT. YET THERE ARE ALSO A LONG LIST OF PROGRAMS AND
PROJECTS THAT ARE HAPPENING WITHIN OUR DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE
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     MAKING OUR EFFORTS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF GENESEE COUNTY
MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. LET ME SHARE SOME OF THOSE SUCCESS
STORIES WITH YOU.
     DOCUMENT STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BIG ISSUE
FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. A LONG LIST OF COUNTY DEPARTMENTS AND
AGENCIES MUST STORE AND RETRIEVE COPIES OF PUBLIC RECORDS UPON
REQUEST.
    OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS LOCAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN
ALLOWED BY THE STATE TO START COPYING AND DIGITALLY FILING
RECORDS THAT ARE MUCH MORE EASILY ASSESSIBLE WHEN NEEDED.
     COUNTY CLERK, MICHAEL CARR AND REGISTERS OF DEEDS MELVIN
MCCREE AND ROSE BOGARDUS HAVE LED THE WAY IN THIS NEW EFFORT,
MAKING DIGITAL DOCUMENT STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL WITHIN THEIR
OFFICES A TOP PRIORITY.
    NOW THE COUNTY HAS GONE FURTHER INTO THE PROCESS BY
DEVELOPING A DIGITAL DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WILL
EVENTUALLY BE ROLLED OUT TO EVERY DEPARTMENT OF THE COUNTY.
    SHERIFF ROBERT PICKELL INITIATED AN ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION
PROGRAM IN 2007.
     IN 2008 THE PROGRAM FOLLOWED UP ON SOME 400 COMPLAINTS
MADE BY SENIORS AND OTHERS THAT RANGED FROM MISDEMEANORS TO
ASSAULTS TO MURDER.     THE TASK FORCE PROVIDES EDUCATION ON
PREVENTION OF ELDER ABUSE, AND PROVIDES INFORMATION ON THE
REPORTING PROCESS FOR ELDERLY VICTIMS IN GENESEE COUNTY.
     A GPS TRACKING SYSTEM FOR ALZHEIMERS AND DEMEMTIA
PATIENTS IS IN FULL SWING. THIS EFFORT IS A HUGE STEP IN PROTECTING
THE SAFETY OF THOSE ELDERLY WHO MAY WANDER AWAY AND EXPOSE
THEMSELVES TO SERIOUS INJURY OR WORSE.
     THE SHERIFF’S POSSE IS A MULTI JURISDICTIONAL TEAM MADE UP OF
THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL FROM GENESEE COUNTY, CITY OF
FLINT, LAPEER COUNTY SHERIFF AND FLINT TOWNSHIP.
     THE POSSE TARGETS MID AND UPPER LEVEL DRUG TRAFFICKERS.
THIS CONCEPT IS SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT TAKES OUT THE SUPPLIER AND
NOT JUST THE THUG ON THE STREET.
     THE POSSE WORKS CLOSELY WITH THE FBI AND THE PROSECUTOR.
THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL IN TAKING DOWN THE MOST VIOLENT AREAWIDE
GANG WHOSE BUSINESS WAS DRUG DEALING AND INTIMIDATION. THIS
GANG WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 15 HOMICIDES.
     N 2008 THE POSSE INITIATED AN UNPRECEDENTED INVESTIGATION
INVOLVING PHARMACISTS AND PHYSICIANS OPERATING A CONTROLLED
SUBSTANCE DISTRIBUTION RING. 19 SEARCH WARRANTS WERE EXECUTED,
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     MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WERE SIEZED, AND THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF
PAPER EVIDENCE WERE COLLECTED. SOME OF THOSE INVOLVED WERE
OPERATING ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL WITH TIES TO MIDDLE EAST
COUNRTIES.
    IN 2008, PROSECUTOR DAVID LEYTON REORGANIZED HIS OFFICE BY
CREATING A SPECIAL CRIMES DIVISION. THIS NEW DIVISION FOCUSES ON
THOSE CRIMINALS IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO REPRESENT THE GREATEST
THREAT TO OUR CITIZENS.
     THROUGH A JOINT EFFORT WITH LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, A MAMMOTH PROSECUTION WAS UNDERTAKEN
OF 40 MEMBERS OF THE “PIERSON HOOD GANG.” THEY HAD BEEN
INFLICTING HAVOC ON CITIZENS IN OUR COMMUNITY FOR MORE THAN
FIVE YEARS THROUGH THE COMMISSION OF DOZENS OF MURDERS, VIOLENT
ASSUALTS, WEAPONS VIOLATIONS, DRUG DISTRIBUTION ACTIVITIES,
TERRORISM AND INTIMIDATION.
    THE AGGRESSIVE PURSUIT OF THESE GANG MEMBERS HAS TAKEN
DRUGS, GUNS AND THUGS OFF THE STREETS AND HAS HAD AN IMMEDIATE
IMPACT ON THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS.
    IN 2008, SPECIAL CRIMES DIVISION ATTORNEYS TRIED 15 COMPLEX
MURDER AND VIOLENT ASSAULT CASES, AND WON ALL 15 TRIALS.
THE PROSECUTORS OFFICE WORKS TO COMBAT HIGH PROFILE CASES. BUT
THEY ALSO TARGET ELDER ABUSE, HOME INVASIONS, CAR THEFTS, AUTO
INSURANCE FRAUD, AND A HOST OF OTHER CATEGORIES OF CRIMES
PERPETRATED UPON CITIZENS ALL OVER GENESEE COUNTY.
     GENESEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT IS A LEADER IN DEVELOPING
SPECIALTY COURTS TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF ADULTS AND YOUTH.
     JUDGES BEAGLE, GADOLA AND YULE PRESIDE OVER DRUG COURTS
DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE THOSE CAUGHT IN THE GRIP OF DRUG USE TO
SEEK TREATMENT AND RETURN TO THE COMMUNITY AS PRODUCTIVE
CITIZENS.
    JUDGE BEAGLE AND JUDGE NEWBLATT PRESIDE OVER INNOVATIVE
COURTS RELATING TO TRUANCY, AND MALTREATED INFANTS AND
TODDLERS, KNOWN AS BABY COURT.
     JUDGE THEILE CREATED PACT COURT, DESIGNED TO BRING FATHERS
AND MOTHERS TOGETHER TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES SO THAT
VISITATION AND CONSISTENT SUPPORT ARE REINSTATED.
    THE COURTS CONTINUE TO USE TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS TO
    SERVE THE PUBLIC MORE EFFICIENTLY. IN 2008 OVER 36,000 CITIZENS
    WERE SELECTED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR JURY SERVICE IN GENESEE
    COUNTY COURTS. CIRCUIT COURT HAS A 2-DAY JURY SERVICE TERM,
    WITH REPORTING REQUIREMENTS NOW POSTED ON THE WEB, AS
                                                          10


    WELL   AS  AVAILABLE    EVENING    CALL     THAT   MINIMIZES
    INCONVENIENCE FOR THOSE CALLED TO SERVE.
     FINALLY, OUR HISTORIC GENESEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE RECEIVED A
NEW ADDITION TO ITS PUBLIC ART COLLECTION WITH THE ADDITION OF
THE LAVARNE ROSS HISTORICAL MURAL SERIES.       THIS SERIES OF
PAINTINGS WAS RELOCATED FROM DELPHI EAST, WHERE FUTURE
GENERATIONS CAN APPRECIATE THEM.
    THE 67TTH DISTRICT COURT IS ALSO USING TECHNOLOGY TO PROVIDE
MORE EFFICIENT SERVICE.        THEY ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH
ENHANCEMENTS TO VIDEO CONFERENCING FOR COURT HEARINGS.
67TH DISTRICT COURT WAS THE FIRST COURT IN MICHIGAN TO USE VODEO
EQUIPMENT FOR ARRAIGNMENTS. WITH THE ENHANCEMENTS THE COURT
WILL BE ABLE TO CONDUCT ARRAIGNMENTS, PRE-TRIALS, PLEAS AND
SENTENCINGS WITH INCARCERATED DEFENDANTS IN THE JAIL, AND WILL
ALLOW FOR SOME VIDEO TESTIMONY. THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY WILL MAKE
THE COURT MORE EFFICIENT BY PROCESSING CASES IN A TIMELIER
MANNER.
    THE GENESEE COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
CONTINUES TO PROVIDE OUR CITIZENS WITH A PARKS SYSTEM THAT IS
SECOND TO NONE.     IN 2008, GENESEE COUNTY PARKS COMPLETED A
BARRIER FREE, NON-MOTORIZED TRAIL.
     THIS NEW TRAIL ENABLES PEOPLE WHO USE WHEELCHAIRS,
BICYCLISTS, WALKERS, RUNNERS AND IN-LINE SKATERS TO TRAVEL SAFELY
THROUGH A BEAUTIFULLY WOODED NATURAL AREA FROM THE CITY OF
LINDEN THROUGH LINDEN COUNTY PARK AND ALL THE WAY TO OWEN
ROAD.
    THE TRAIL WAS FUNDED USING GRANT DOLLARS FROM MDOT, OUR
PLANNING COMMISSION’S TIP PROGRAM AND MATCHING FUNDS FROM THE
PARKS COMMISSION.
     THE GENESEE COUNTY GIS DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO PARTNER
WITH 32 OF OUR 33 LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT AS TOGETHER WE
DEVELOP OUR GRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM.         MORE THAN 150
WORKSTATIONS ACROSS GENESEE COUNTY IN CITIES, TOWNSHIPS, FIRE
AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS, AND 9-1-1 AGENCIES CONTINUE TO USE THE
SECOND PHASE OF OUR IMAGERY SYSTEM ON A VERY REGULAR BASIS. THE
SYSTEM ALLOWS MANY WORKERS TO DO THEIR JOBS MORE EFFICIENTLY.
     OUR MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM DEPARTMENT CONTINUES
TO IMPROVE ITS SERVICES AND OFFER NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR COUNTY
EMPLOYEES TO BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE.
     MIS IS WORKING WITH PROBATE COURT, FRIEND OF THE COURT,
PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE AND THE GENESEE COUNTY CLERK TO IMPLEMENT
THE NEW DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. THEY ARE WORKING TO
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    DEVELOP A “PAPERLESS” PROCESS FOR DEALING WITH THE BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS COMMITTEE AGENDAS AND RESOLUTIONS.
    THEY ARE ALSO LOOKING AT NEW APPLICATIONS FOR THE MEDICAL
EXAMINER’S  OFFICE,  CONTROLLERS,   AND    HUMAN    RESOURCES
DEPARTMENT.
    GENESEE COUNTY HAS 40,000 VETERANS IN OUR AREA, AND OF THAT
TOTAL, THE GENESEE COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES DEPARTMENT
PROVIDES DIRECT SERVICES TO 24,000 LOCAL VETERANS, SPOUSES AND
DEPENDENT CHILDREN THROUGH THEIR VERY SUCCESSFUL “OUTREACH
PROGRAM.”
     IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS THE WORKLOAD FOR THE OFFICE HAS
MORE THAN DOUBLED BECAUSE OF THE WEAK LOCAL ECONOMY. IN 2008,
THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS SERVICES EXPENDED MORE THAN 62
MILLION DOLLARS FOR CLAIMS MADE IN THE OFFICE OF VETERANS
SERVICES FOR COMPENSATION, MEDICAL BENEFITS AND INSURANCE.
    THE GENESEE VALLEY REGIONAL CENTER HOUSES TROUBLED YOUTH,
BOTH MALE AND FEMALE, OF OUR COMMUNITY.
    SINCE 2000, WHEN GENESEE COUNTY TOOK THIS PROGRAM OVER
FROM THE STATE, THAT PROGRAM HAS SERVED HUNDREDS OF GENESEE
COUNTY YOUTH AT HALF THE COST OF THE OLD STATE PROGRAM.
    THE BUILDINGS HOUSING GVRC ARE AGED AND NEED TO BE
REPLACED.
     THE COUNTY HAS INCLUDED WITHIN OUR REQUEST FOR STIMULUS
DOLLARS A PROJECT TO REBUILD AND MODERNIZE GENESEE VALLEY
REGIONAL CENTER.
     THE GENESEE COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION IS NOT THE USUAL
COUNTY DEPARTMENT, YET WE HAVE A CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE ROAD COMMISSION.
     AS JUST ONE OF ITS EFFORTS TO MODERNIZE ITS OPERATIONS, THE
ROAD COMMISSION HAS UPDATED ITS COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC
RELATIONS EFFORTS.     DURING THE MILLER ROAD RECONSTRUCTION
PROJECT THEY IMPROVED THEIR WEBSITE BY OFFERING A DEDICATED
MILLER ROAD PAGE, DEVELOPED AN E MAIL NOTIFIER, AND PROVIDED A
REGULAR E MAIL UPDATE, “THE BLAST,” TO INFORM MOTORISTS AND
BUSINESSES OF THE PROGRESS ON THE PROJECT.
     THEY ALSO PROVIDED FREQUENT PRESS RELEASES TO KEEP
MOTORISTS AND MERCHANTS ALONG MILLER ROAD INFORMED.
NUMEROUS PUBLIC MEETINGS AND PESRONAL VISITS WITH BUSINESS
OWNERS, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS, WAS ALSO A
PART OF THE NEW STRATEGY.
                                                            12


     THE ROAD COMMISSION’S EFFORTS AT IMPROVING THEIR
INFORMATION FLOW AND PRESS RELATIONS WAS THE KEY TO A
SUCCESSFUL PROJECT WITH A MINIMUM OF COMPLAINT.
     AND FOR THEIR EFFORTS, THE ROAD COMMISSION EARNED TWO
DISTINGUISHED AWARDS, AND WE APPLAUD THEM FOR THE
IMPROVEMENTS THAT THEY HAVE MADE.
     FINALLY,     OUR      GENESEE      COUNTY      EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT/HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICE CONTINUES TO WORK WITH
ALL OF OUR LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT, AS TOGETHER, WE PLAN AND
PREPARE TO MEET ANY DISASTER THAT MAY BEFALL US.
       AND OUR GENESEE COUNTY HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESPONSE TEAM
CONTINUES TO BE A GREAT ASSET FOR OUR COMMUNITY. FIRE, LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE PERSONNEL FROM
ACROSS GENESEE COUNTY WORK TOGETHER AS PART OF THE TEAM. IN
2008, THIS UNIT RESPONDED TO 14 DIFFERENT CALLS FOR ASSISTANCE. THE
HAZMAT TEAM GOES TO A PROBLEM, AND BRINGS THAT PROBLEM UNDER
CONTROL. A PRIVATE CLEAN UP COMPANY IS THEN CALLED IN TO CLEAN
UP THE PROBLEM. AND THE POLLUTER PAYS THE BILL.
     WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUCH A TEAM IN PLACE RIGHT
HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY.
     WHILE TIMES ARE CHALLENGING, WE HAVE THE WILL TO MAKE
THINGS BETTER. GENESEE COUNTY HAS SEEN TOUGH TIMES BEFORE. AND
WE HAVE ALWAYS MET AND OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES. WE CAN DO NO
LESS NOW.
      THE GENESEE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS RENEWS ITS
PLEDGE TO WORK WITH OTHER LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT, WITH
PUBLIC AND NON-PROFIT AGENCIES, WITH OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY,
WITH LABOR, AND WITH OTHER OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY LEADERS TO
FIND SOLUTIONS TO THE MANY ISSUES THAT AFFECT OUR CITIZENS. FOR
AS WE WORK TOGETHER, WE MAKE GENESEE COUNTY A BETTER PLACE TO
LIVE, WORK AND RAISE OUR FAMILIES.

THANK YOU!
SOC0209MEMO
FAMILIES.

THANK YOU!
SOC0209MEMO

				
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