Thursday, July 24 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:14:49 GMT
Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening.More >>
Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening. More >>
The Berrien County administrator has been fired and won't be replaced.
Like many local governments, the county is struggling financially.
County commissioners say they'll have to take a more active role in county operations to get back on sound financial footing.
Berrien County Commissioner Steve Roberts tells us County Administrator Elaine Shiver didn't do anything criminal.
"As far as people asking about funds being misappropriated or any wrong doings with money in the county, there's not any," said Roberts. "She is a very honest person. We just felt like we needed to go in another direction."
Commissioners voted unanimously to fire her on July 20 at a special called meeting. The chairman was quoted in the Berrien Press saying it was a "lack of confidence in her ability to move the county forward and to turn around the financial situation of the county." We've tried to get in touch with Chairman Steve Sumner but we're told he's out of town until Monday.
"The county owes quite a bit of money but we are surviving," said Roberts. We approved a millage rate yesterday. We did not raise taxes. The millage rate is the same as it has been. The school board did not raise taxes on their part.''
The commission says they won't hire a new Berrien County administrator.
"We're going to operate between these board members and the clerk. We're going to operate it ourselves for a while," said Roberts.
They say departments have scaled back some last year but more progress needs to be made.
Commissioners say they're meeting with county departments and may combine some offices.
If workers leave, they may also leave those positions open to save money.