BAD AXE – Despite opposition from a member of the public, and a lack of agreement by all board members, the Huron County Board of Commissioners appointed Bob Tenbusch to the Huron County Planning Commission.
Tenbusch, of Sherman Township, was the final appointee suggested by board Chairman Sami Khoury, and was approved by a 4-3 vote at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting.
Voting in favor of the move were commissioners John Nugent, Ron Wruble, David G. Peruski and Khoury. Voting against it were commissioners Todd Talaski, John Bodis and Steve Vaughan.
During public comment, county resident Paul Holz gave the board paperwork that he said proved Tenbusch is involved with anti-wind development organizations.
Holz noted that Tenbusch said during his interview with the board last month, that he would act impartially and that he had no conflict of interest; and that if he did, he would resign.
Also speaking during public comment, Tenbusch countered by saying the only affiliation he has had with any anti-wind group was when he was involved with signing petitions to deny construction of wind parks that were voted down by county-zoned voters last May.
Tenbusch replaces Charles Bumhoffer, who resigned in February. Tenbusch will complete the remaining two years of the term.
The other candidates that the board considered were: Michael Lorencz, Bill McPhee and Bill Renn.
Robert Gaffke of Bloomfield Township and Sally Kain of Meade Township both said during public comment that Renn had spoken in support of wind energy development and DTE Energy at public meetings.
Renn’s appointment failed 3-4, with Talaski, Vaughan and Bodis voting in support of Renn; and Khoury, Nugent, Peruski and Wruble voting no.
McPhee’s appointment failed 2-5. The motion to appoint Lorencz received no support.
One seat remains open on the planning commission. It was vacated last week by Planner Robert Oakes, who resigned. The board approved advertising for that vacancy, as well as a vacancy on the Huron County Construction Code Board of Appeals and two vacancies on the Huron County Zoning Board of Appeals.
The deadline to apply for those vacancies is 5 p.m. May 2.
In other news, Wruble updated the board on the county’s 2017 budget, which he said should be turned over to auditors soon.
“Initial indications are that the county, from a financial standpoint, did very well last year,” he said.
As a result, funds will be added to the 2017 balance, which may then be put toward legacy costs, Wruble said.
Also Tuesday, Bodis reported that costly changes could be in the works at the state level for the county’s medical examiner and medical examiner investigator.
He noted the state might be trying to back out of paying for improvements it has required for the county’s indigent defense fund.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved pledging the full faith and credit of the county for a $170,000 project to improve the McKinley and Branch drains. The bonds will be paid back over 10 years.
• Approved the Huron County Road Commission’s request to seek funding to replace the Notter Road and Haist Road bridges over the Pigeon River in Winsor Township. The bridges will not be completely replaced, and each project is expected to cost $300,000. If grants are secured, construction would begin in 2021.
• Appointed Debbie Cunningham to the Huron County Economic Development Corporation.
• Hired Kellie Hiller as a full-time deputy clerk/assignment clerk in 73B District Court, with a salary of $29,656, effective April 23.
• Approved three PA 116 (farmland preservation) applications.
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