The Macomb County Board of Commissioners passed a balanced $685 million budget, $226 million of which was General Fund dollars, on Sept. 10, 2015, with the legislative intent being to continue to strengthen and support services offered to the residents Macomb County.
Specific values supported through the Fiscal Year 2016 budget are:
Educating students on domestic and sexual abuse: Turning Point will be able to staff domestic and sexual abuse education programs throughout Macomb County’s K-12 schools to assist in prevention through monetary support from Macomb County.
Supporting veterans: A total of 11 laptops and a printer will be provided the Macomb/St. Clair County MiWorks Office to assist additional veterans through the Veteran Employability Bootcamp in completing their resumes and applying for jobs.
Strengthening senior services: A part-time position will be created to support the Meals on Wheels program, guaranteeing all recipients will receive their expected service.
Ensuring access to community mental health programs: The Board set aside funds in contract services to fund the Survivors of Suicide program and the Macomb County Crisis Response Unit. Additionally, the Macomb County Community Mental Health program will now have a full-time employee dedicated to jail diversion programs, which opens up jail space.
Enhancing regional and collaborative opportunities: A regional partnership between the Macomb County and St. Clair County Conservation Districts was established through the budget process to increase the reach of agricultural and environmental services to area residents and businesses.
Increasing cyber security: As the digital age continues to grow, so do threats, which is why the Board funded an IT Security Administrator position. This is a new position that will work to safeguard sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, from potential cyber-attacks.
Protecting citizens and law enforcement agents: The Board wanted to ensure both the citizens of the County and its law enforcement agents are further protected by funding the Macomb County Sheriff Department’s request for bodycams.
“Through hours of meticulously reviewing the requests and needs of each Macomb County department the Board of Commissioners has adopted a financially sound budget that directly supports the residents of this County,” said Board Chair Dave Flynn. “As our budget review process has evolved over the last several years I am pleased to see how it has better allowed us to close the gap on the growing needs of our diverse population.”
While the Board further supported County programming and mission driven initiatives, it was also able to add an additional $138,000 to the General Fund through strategically allocating funds and cutting $508,000 from the recommended budget.
"This 2016 budget supports important priorities like reliable services for seniors, helping veterans find work, and securing taxpayers' sensitive data, among other things," said Commissioner Fred Miller, Chair of the Finance Committee. "Macomb County is in strong financial shape and we're working to continue to position the county and its residents for success into the future."
The Board’s budget process is methodical and performance-based in nature. This year the process took place through 21 public meetings totaling over 40 hours, and was guided by the legislative priorities resolution adopted on June 11.
The digital age is here and the Macomb County Board of Commissioners are seeking to further embrace the technology it has brought to our fingertips. Beginning this month your 13 Macomb County Commissioners will be taping "Connect with your Commissioner" segments, which will feature highlights specific to Macomb County and your community.
On a monthly basis, Board Chair Dave Flynn will provide updates through this news outlet via YouTube and local cable access channels. Additionally, on a bi-annual basis your County Commissioner will provide district specific updates through the same medium.
Macomb County's Medical Care Facility Celebrates 65 years of Success
In the 65 years that the Martha T. Berry Medical Care Facility has been in existence it has touched thousands of lives. From the residents who call the state-of-the-art facility their home to the families whose minds can be at ease knowing their loved ones are being cared for, this facility fills what could become a gaping hole in so many people’s lives. But, there was a time when questions circled around the facility and if it would even make it to its 60-year anniversary, let alone its 65th.
Throughout the 2000s, this County medical care facility faced adversity as some officials questioned whether or not it should continue to be a Macomb County organization. At that time, the facility’s budget was being supplemented by General Fund dollars and there were suggestions to privatize it. It was through these discussions and the continued support of the Board of Commissioners though that a Joint Operating Agreement between the BOC and the Social Services Board was created. This agreement, which still stands today, gave the Social Services Board to ability to have direct oversight over the facility’s budget, amongst other administrative tasks. And, within two years of the agreement the County’s General Fund was no longer subsidizing the facility; it was able to remain a place where some of the County’s most vulnerable residents could find solace.
Dr. Henry G. Berry left the remainder of his estate to Macomb County in 1949 with the instructions that the money be used to provide a medical care facility for the less fortunate. Providing quality care to those who may not have been able to afford it otherwise was Dr. Berry’s mission as a doctor, and by remaining a county-owned medical care facility today that mission continues to be met.
Just as the Macomb County connection and Dr. Berry’s mission are key parts of the facility’s identity, so is the staff that makes the day-to-day operations possible. It is their compassion, resilience and attention to detail that truly makes the Martha T. Berry Medical Care Facility one of Macomb County’s gems. It is these individuals who fight for the residents’ health, who ensure they find comfort in their new home and who put action behind the facility’s mission