District Courts and Building Permits

This summer has given us at least four reasons for humility. The eclipse of the sun, two strong hurricanes that hit the mainland of our county, and the earthquake in Mexico. These put our existence and our place in life into a true comparison to the immutable forces we see in the universe. There are many things that one person, a group of people or the whole of humanity has no power to change. Many say these are only random occurrences. It makes more sense to me that an all-powerful God alone has the ultimate ability to control such events for purposes that we do not always understand.    

The constitution and the character of the American people have been blessed by God to give our country the greatest expression of liberty known in the world. Part of my goal in the office of Commissioner is to find ways that we can sustain liberty in our country not only now and in the near future, but also in perpetuity.

Livingston county has approved a request by the county courts to reconfigure the distribution of the courts. The request would change the present arrangement of two district court judges and two circuit court judges. The study indicated that the need in our county would be best met by having three circuit court judges and only one district judge. These type of changes are usually made only when a judges are “age limited” out of a position. Judge Carol Reader will not be able to run for her present position in November 2018.  There will need to be another level of approval, and we are anticipating it to be set in time for people to sign up to enter the race for the “new” position.

The commission has given our building department the green light to revise the fees charged for building permits. Because of the recovery of the economy, the funds received from permits has exceeded the amount of money needed to run the department. By law this excess cannot be transferred to other county needs. The only (and best) option is to lower the rate charged to permit recipients. There will be a decrease by a 25 per cent factor. Other individual rates have been adjusted (mostly downward). Some permits that are considered to be unnecessary will be eliminated.

Recently, the Sparrow Hospital announced that their charges for our medical examination and forensic pathology service would increase considerably. We chose to contract with the University of Michigan Department of Pathology for these services. This new contract is significantly more than we had been spending but considerably less than what we would have spent without this change.

If you have any comments or concerns, I would be happy to hear from you. 517 540-8717 or dhelzerman@livgov.com.