Government Matters: Kent County commissioners lists 2016 accomplishments

News of Your Government

WKTV Staff

Last year was a big year for the Kent County Board of Commissioners with 2016 including such accomplishments as the approval of the 70 cents per month increase in dispatch surcharge to improve dispatch services and the .44 mill property tax increase for the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the John Ball Zoo.


The new financial support for the John Ball Zoo was one of the accomplishments of the Kent County Board of Commissioners last year. (Supplied)

Board Chair Jim Saalfeld and County Administrator/Controller Daryl Delabbio, in a recent press release, recently detailed several other major tasks achieved by the board and county staff during the year, as well as upcoming 2017 efforts and plans.


“While there will certainly be other issues that we face during the course of a year, as you can see, it is already shaping up to be a very busy 2017,” Saalfeld said in supplied material. “This Board remains committed to providing effective services to our residents while operating transparently and with a balanced budget. We look forward to great results in 2017.”


Along with the dispatch and the museum/zoo millage, those tasks include implementation of a “space needs” study for the detention facility, correctional facility and new Circuit Court courtrooms; a Lakeshore Regional Partnership; successful negotiations of the corrections officers and court employees contracts; receiving a triple-A credit rating; creating the first Renaissance Zone to enable Switch to move into the area; and transitioning the airport from a county department to an airport authority.


Several items will continue in 2017, including the “space needs” study, the Agri-Business Work Group, the Lead Task Force and the FOC Engagement Task Force. Also this year, the board will appointing a new administrator/controller as Delabbio will be retiring on July 1. This is the first time since 1998 that the Board of Commissioners will be faced with the selection of a county administrator/controller.


Also up for 2017 is more collective bargaining; discussions of the potential merger of the Area Community Service and Employment Training Community Action Agency with the County’s Department of Community Development and Housing; a review of the board’s standing rules; and the 2018 budget.


Secretary of State details ExpressSOS advantages to citizens


Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and a rapping kangaroo are teaming up to encourage Michigan residents to hop online to do their Secretary of State business as part of an online effort to spread the word about its website.


The “Kangaruth” video is being aired at or


Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and a rapping kangaroo are teaming up to encourage Michigan residents to hop online to do their Secretary of State business. (Supplied)

“I am asking you to help out and share the video and the message of hopping online at with as many people as possible to help shorten the wait times at Secretary of State branch offices,” Johnson said in supplied material. “The more people that know about using the online services the shorter the wait times are for those who must visit an office in person.”


Residents can renew their registration/tabs for your car, truck, motorcycle and watercraft. Most people can renew or replace a standard driver’s license or state ID. And with its Print ’N Go feature, customers can print their receipt and drive legally until they get their card or sticker in the mail. (Every eight years, customers need to visit an office to get an updated photo).


Customers can get a duplicate vehicle registration or title, and change/update their address and personal information. You can even join the organ donor registry, all from the comfort of your home, library, office or on the go., launched in 2011 and having conducted 9.6 million online transactions, saves customers the trip and avoiding standing in a line.


Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).