Board of Commissioners
Kent County Mission Statement
The mission of Kent County government is to be an effective and efficient steward in delivering quality services for our diverse community. Our priority is to provide mandated services, which may be enhanced and supplemented by additional services to improve the quality of life for all our citizens within the constraints of sound fiscal policy.
What Does the Board of Commissioners Do?
The chief legislative and policy-making body of Kent County Government is the 19-member Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners are elected to 2-year terms from districts that are roughly equal in population. A chair and vice-chair are elected at the first meeting of each new year by the Commissioners. The chair appoints each Commissioner to one of two standing committees: the Finance and Physical Resources Committee or the Legislative and Human Resources Committee.
The 2018 Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Board are:
Board Chair – Jim Saalfeld (District 11)
Board Vice-Chair and Legislative and Human Resources Committee Chair – Mandy Bolter (District 5)
Board Minority and Finance and Physical Resources Committee Vice-Chair – Carol Hennessy (District 14)
Finance and Physical Resources Committee Chair – Diane Jones (District 4)
Legislative and Human Resources Committee Vice-Chair – Stan Stek (District 6)
Among the Commissioners' other duties are:
Approving a mission statement for the County.
- Adopting the annual County budget, which for 2018 is $417,646,111.
This includes approving the annual budgets of other, independently elected, County officials: the County Clerk, the Drain Commissioner, Judges of the 17th Circuit Court and 63rd District Court, the Prosecutor, and the Treasurer.
Raising the money to fund the County's operations by levying property taxes, setting fees, selling bonds or borrowing.
Appointing citizen members to County boards, commissions and committees, which provide oversight for significant County services. These include the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board, the Community Health Advisory Committee, the Community Mental Health Authority Board (Network180), the Road Commission, and the Veterans Services Committee.
Selecting a County Administrator/Controller to supervise the day-to-day operations of County departments.
Determining the sites of County buildings, and purchasing or disposing of County-owned property and facilities.
Representing the County, and managing its property and business by adopting rules, regulations, ordinances and policies.
Now in Session ... Board Meetings
Regular, public meetings of the Board of Commissioners are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the Board of Commissioners' Room (Room 310) on the third floor of the County Administration Building.
The Board welcomes area residents to express their ideas or concerns about issues affecting Kent County Government during the beginning of the meeting agenda called "Public Comment." Speakers are requested to state their name and address, with individual comments being limited to the time limits established by the Board Chair, usually three minutes. When a group wishes to address the Board, the Chair may offer a spokesperson for that group be allowed additional time.Public Comment Guidelines
Copies of the Board's agenda are available by calling the County Clerk's office at (616) 632-7640. Minutes of past meetings also are available by calling the County Clerk's office.
See the Kent County For a complete list of upcoming meetings and times.
Standing Committee Meetings
Items that appear on the Board of Commissioners' agenda usually are first considered by one of two standing committees. Finance Committee meeting minutes and Legislative Committee meeting minutes are reviewed and approved by each respective committee.
The Finance and Physical Resources Committee is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Board of Commissioners' Room (Room 310) on the third floor of the County Administration Building. The committee's duties include:
- Reviewing the County's operating and capital budgets, and department performance measures.
- Approving the County's annual financial statement.
- Has supervision over the maintenance and operation of all buildings or portions belonging to or leased by the County.
- Supervising the County Administrator in carrying out County policies.
The Legislative and Human Resources Committee is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in the Board of Commissioners' Room on the third floor of the County Administration Building. The committee's duties include:
- Determining salaries for County officials whose pay is not fixed by law.
- Examining matters of public safety and law enforcement.
- Planning the County's formal legislative program.
- Recommending revisions to the Board of Commissioners' standing rules.
- Reviewing County department's performance measures.
Each standing committee welcomes residents to address concerns or issues involving County government during the beginning of the meeting agenda called "Public Comment." Speakers are requested to state their names and addresses, with individual comments being limited to the time limits established by the Board Chair, usually three minutes. When a group wishes to address the Board, the Chair may offer a spokesperson for that group be allowed additional time.
Copies of the agenda and minutes for either standing committee are available by calling (616) 632-7580.
Persons who wish to attend a standing committee meeting, and who need reasonable accommodation to participate, are asked to contact the Executive Assistant to the Board at (616) 632-7580.