OCC chair reflects on Osceola County’s 2016 accomplishments

December 29, 2016

By John Raffel

Osceola County Board of Commissioners approved last week at its final meeting of the year having technology coordinator J.T. Burgess purchase I.T. Backup and Disaster Recovery equipment and licenses from I.T. Right for $3,660.

“Were doing some contracting and J.T. does an excellent job,” commission chairman Larry Emig said. “He’s the only one we have. He’s been with us for awhile. It’s grown so much in the technology world. We were concerned that it was a lot for one person. We felt this company we’re contracting with could (provide backup help).

“It was to take the pressure off our IT person and have this group we contracted with as a backup,” Emig said.

As he looks back at 2016, Emig feels good about what the commission was able to accomplish.

“We’ve been able to work with our budget and not have too many issues,” Emig said. “I was talking to some of my colleagues in the Ionia County commission area and they’re like $2 million in the hole and they have to lay off some folks,” he said.
“We’re very pleased we’ve held and our department heads have held to their budgets and we’ve been able to have a fund balance and a good next year’s budget.

“We went through a wage classification study and we felt (the official) did a good job with us. Not everybody agreed but a majority of our staff agreed and felt it was worthwhile and appreciate what we did. Because of the (wage) classification system we approved, we made adjustments with a certain numbers of employees.”

Among the 26 county employees recognized in December by the commission who hit benchmarks in years of service were Nancy Crawford from the register of deeds office for 40 years, David Turner from the Emergency Medical Services for 35 years, Sandra Lockhart from the Commission on Aging for 25 years and Elona Miller with the Friend of the court, Justin Halladay of the sheriff’s department and Ketha Yencer of the equalization department for 20 years.

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