Johnston establishes ad hoc committees during meeting

HARRISVILLE –Alcona County Board of Commissioners Chairman Craig Johnston set up two ad hoc committees, including one to proofread legal documents, during a board meeting Wednesday.

The first ad hoc committee will work with the U.S. Forest Service on its building shared with the county, which has been a topic of county discussion for several years.

Johnston told commissioners he wanted former Commissioner Kevin Boyat to serve with him on that committee.

“(Boyat) has been involved with this for 20 years,” he said. “It seems there is an indication that (the Forest Service is) coming to the point where they are willing to do something.”

The second committee concerned legal documents or resolutions that come through to the board. Often there are grammatical errors or other mistakes in the documents. Often Commissioner Kathleen Vichunas points out the errors and will ask to have them corrected before the legal documents take effect or are adopted by the board. This is often after review by the county’s prosecutor.

He asked Vichunas and Commissioner Adam Brege to sit on the committee with him.

“As the prosecutor finishes his review Vichunas and I are going to look at the contracts before they come to the board before we nitpick and look for grammatical errors and all this stuff,” Johnston said. “I would like it done before so we don’t have to do it at the meeting.”

Commissioner Carolyn Brummund asked if the committee would give the documents a legal review.

Johnston said no, legal review would remain with the prosecutor.

“This is simply for grammar and punctuation, it’s an English committee. For whatever reason we’ve had this issue on almost every (legal document),” Johnston said.

Brummund asked what documents would have to go through the committee for grammar. She asked whether proposals made by commissioners would have to be put through the committee before being adopted.

Johnston said no necessarily, but any legal documents, such as contracts, should go through the committee ahead of being presented to the board.

He said it should not be construed with being “grammar Nazis” or people who are hyper critical of language and grammar. He said documents that are adopted should be correct, however.

“In this business we want it right on these contracts,” he said. “It can get a little nitpicky on little things, for us to sit here and do this time after time, let’s get it right before it gets here so we don’t look like we failed seventh grade English.”

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.