Meeting security costs presented

Public comment will now be four minutes at end

CENTREVILLE — St. Joseph County commissioners, at their executive committee meeting Wednesday, Jan. 11, discussed the county commission meeting time as well as changing public comment time.
Commissioners had voted at their Jan. 3 meeting that for a trial period of six months, they would change the meeting time from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., so that more working people could attend. However, commission chairman Allen Balog had expressed concern about the cost for security, and Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite came to Wednesday’s meeting with numbers.
Lillywhite said security would cost $50.56 per officer per meeting, or $202.24 per month — two officers, one at the metal detector and one at the meeting, for each of two meetings.
Balog said the only advantage to the change would be that maybe someone would come who previously couldn’t otherwise, but there was no way of knowing if that would be a regular attendee or a one-time-only visitor. In addition, many attendees are county employees who stay after their workday, and he wasn’t sure if they would either sit in their office for an hour waiting or go home and not return.
“If I was a gambling man, I would say we would lose regular attendees,” he said.
Please see Friday's Commercial News or e-edition for full article.

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