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Three Shiawassee County commissioners plan to return bonuses

Three commissioners with larger bonuses haven’t said what they are doing with the money
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 7:36 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Shiawassee County commissioners spent $42,000 of the American Rescue Plan fund in bonuses for themselves.

Chairman Jeremy Root got a $25,000 bonus, which is 2.5 times more than commissioners’ base pay of $10,000. Brandon Marks and John Plowman each received a $10,000. Marlene Webster, Gregory Brodeur, Gary Holzhausen and Cindy Garber received $5,000 each.

Three of the seven commissioners told News 10 they don’t plan to keep the money.

“Shocked would be a good thing to say,” said Brodeur.

Brodeur wasn’t at Thursday’s Shiawassee County commissioner’s meeting, so he didn’t vote for the hazard pay that went to all county employees, including the commissioners themselves.

“It was mentioned in passing at some point and I couldn’t tell you exactly when, that we’re going to be doing this for our employees,” said Brodeur.

What Brodeur didn’t know was he was going to get a $5,000 bonus until it was deposited in his bank account.

“If I would’ve known about it even if I couldn’t be there on Thursday, I would’ve been yelling about it. I would’ve been very upset about it I would’ve said we can’t do this because it isn’t right,” he said.

Brodeur said he’ll give it all to a charity in Owosso next week.

Holzhausen voted for bonus because it was included in a package the way it was presented. However, he told News 10 over the phone he doesn’t plan on keeping the money.

“I’ll donate it to somebody that needs it more than I do. I don’t even take the health insurance,” said Holzhausen.

Brodeur said it discussed in a closed session during Thursday’s meeting.

“Even if you want to do this, we have to do separately, away from everything else as one thing, justify it and vote on it,” said Brodeur.

Root, Marks and Plowman didn’t respond to requests asking what they are doing with their bonuses. Webster told News 10 Wednesday she plans to give the money back to the county.

Garber planed to keep the money.

Other Counties

News 10 called commissioners from Clinton, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham and Jackson Counties. None are planning on giving bonuses to elected commissioners.

Ingham County plans to give bonuses to county employees based on their risk of getting COVID by going to work. Details on who will get how much are still being figured out before it goes up for a vote.

Status of Shiawassee County commissioners bonuses

  • Marlene Webster ($5,000) - Plans to return to the county
  • Gregory Brodeur ($5,000) - Plans to donate to charity
  • Gary Holzhausen ($5,000) - Plans to donate to someone in need
  • Brandon Marks ($10,000) - Unknown
  • Jeremy R. Root, Chairman ($25,000) - Unknown
  • Cindy Garber ($5,000) - Plans to keep
  • John Plowman ($10,000) - Unknown

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