County looking to fill committee openings

ALPENA –There are going to be several vacant seats that need to be filled on Alpena County boards and committees, but applicants are running out of time to apply for them.

There are expected to be about seven open positions and the deadline to apply is Monday at 4 p.m. People who are interested can fill out an application at the county’s website or at the courthouse in the commissioners office.

Executive Manager Tammy Sumerix-Bates said there are going to be four openings on the planning commission, a pair on park and recreation and another on Health and Human Services board. She said having all of the seats filled is important because many of the committees and boards help to decide the direction the county takes.

She said on the planning commission one position is needed to represent environment and nature, another for tourism and recreation, one for arts, culture and entertainment, as well as public health and human services. Sumerix-Bates said the planning commission is important because it helps to be sure the City of Alpena’s master plan as well as plans from the townships mesh with the county’s.

“The planning commission is very important because its mission is to have an overall master plan and to review other plans to be make sure they will all work in conjunction with one another,” she said. “It helps plan the future, which is important.”

Sumerix-Bates said a planning commissioner is a volunteer who will serve a three-year term. The commission meets monthly on the fourth Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

The parks and recreation committee is the primary decision makers for county owned parks outside of the board of commissioners. Bates said maintaining and improving the parks is key to keeping vibrant and well used. It meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., or as needed. Its term is three years.

“They are responsible for four county parks, three of which have campgrounds,” she said. “They are the governing body that dictates what is done, spent and who is hired to work in them.”

Whoever is selected on the health and human services board will sit on it with two others. Sumerix-Bates said there are only three people on the board and one is placed on it by the state. She said it is a three-year term as well.

After the deadline passes candidates will begin receiving calls and interviews with the personnel committee will be set up. The committee will make a recommendation to the full board, which will vote on the candidate.

Sumerix-Bates said the county has been fortunate because it normally has a lot of quality volunteers who want to be placed on boards, committees and commissions. She said without those types of people, setting goals and directions for the future would be challenging.

“People want to step up and help,” she said. “Many find it is rewarding because if someone doesn’t plan for our future, plan what is going to happen and care about it, then who is going to?”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.