AP NEWS

County’s VA office sees high traffic

May 15, 2019

Mason County Administrator Fabian Knizacky told the county commission during its regular meeting on Tuesday that the new veterans affairs office has experienced a lot of traffic since its recent opening inside the Lakeshore Resource Network in Ludington.

Knizacky said during his report at the Mason County Courthouse that, as he was leaving a meeting of the Promise Zone Authority at the Lakeshore Resource Network, a receptionist there said many citizens were stopping to see the new officer.

“People are quickly finding out that it’s in place and available,” Knizacky said. “We’ve seen a lot of people looking for assistance.”

The office is open Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other hours will be available by appointment.

Jim Wincek is serving as the first officer of veterans affairs; the county announced his hiring last week. The position and office were created and will be maintained longterm using grant funds.

Previously, the county had someone available to address veterans’ issues for five hours a week.

During the clerk’s report, Cheryl Kelly discussed the May 7 election that involved 11 of the 25 voting precincts in the county, and the first since the citizens of the state enacted Proposal 3 last November to allow for no-reason absentee voting and same-day registration, among other proposals.

“Almost every precinct reported same-day registration,” she said. “Our staff was used throughout the day.”

Kelly said it was good practice for the voting precincts ahead of elections in 2020, which will begin with the primaries in March of that year.

The commission also approved multiple resolutions unanimously on a voice vote, including:

• two separate resolutions for a consulting agreement with MGT of America for cyber security assessments for the Friend of the Court and the second with the prosecutor’s office;

• a pay increase for Diane Englebrecht from $2,000 to $7,000 per year for her responsibilities as the director of information technology. She is the county’s register of deeds;

• an agreement for patrolling the national forest in Mason County between the Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture;

• a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for a block grant to go to the Mason County Airport for runway rehabilitation, airfield crack sealing and rehabilitating runway airfield paint marking;

• an agreement with Spectrum Enterprise for the business to provide phone and internet services to the county.