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Washtenaw County, MI - As their first order of business at their first meeting of 2021, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners held an election to select their Board Chair and four-person leadership team. The meeting, held on Wednesday, January 6 was called to order by County Clerk Lawrence Kestenbaum and then quickly moved into the nominations for leadership. The Board voted unanimously to elect Commissioner Sue Shink as Chair, Commissioner Andy LaBarre as Vice-Chair, Commissioner Justin Hodge as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and Commissioner Jason Maciejewski as Chair of the Working Session Committee.
This annual organizational meeting gives the nine county commissioners the opportunity to appoint their peers who will then provide leadership and guidance to the Board, set the culture of the organization and serve as conduit for our community partners over the course of the next 12 months. Additionally, the Board welcomed two newly-elected commissioners to the Board, Justin Hodge (District 5) and Caroline Sanders (District 4). The beginning of this Board session marks the second time in history that the Board of Commissioners seated an all-Democratic Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Shink will serve as Chair of the Board of Commissioners. She previously served as Chair of the Working Session Committee. Her top priorities, in addition to good government and excellent public service, are the elimination of systemic inequities and community resilience.
“For as many strengths as we have in Washtenaw County, for too many people, the weight of living in a county where systemic racism and inequity has wreaked havoc, is too heavy”, says Board Chair Shink. “I pledge to do everything I can to work with everyone who will work with us to address these challenges in our community.”
Commissioner LaBarre will serve as Vice Chair and hopes to continue efforts to enhance Washtenaw County’s human service capacity. He has served four terms on the Board and previously served as Chair of the Board, as well as Chair of the Ways and Means and Working Session Committees.
Commissioner Hodge is serving his first term as Washtenaw County Commissioner and will serve as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. His top priority is addressing systemic inequities to make Washtenaw County a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and be successful.
Commissioner Maciejewski will serve as Chair of the Working Session Committee. Jason is serving his second term as commissioner. His top priorities include strengthinging the quality of life for our senior residents’ and access to affordable, high-speed broadband internet for all.
The Board of Commissioners also includes returning commissioners, former Chair Jason Morgan, former Vice-Chair Ricky Jefferson, and former Ways and Means Chair Katie Scott, along with Commissioner Shannon Beeman.
“I am thrilled with the election of our new Board leadership team”, stated outgoing Chair Jason Morgan. We’ve elected outstanding individuals who represent a mix of experience and new perspective. I have every confidence that Chair Shink will lead our Board with integrity, passion and commitment to further our bold, progressive vision for the future of Washtenaw County.”
The Board of Commissioners now consists of the following Commissioners:
District 1 – Jason Maciejewski (Chair of Working Session)
District 2 – Sue Shink (Chair of the Board)
District 3 – Shannon Beeman
District 4 – Caroline Sanders
District 5 – Justin Hodge (Chair of Ways and Means)
District 6 – Ricky Jefferson
District 7 – Andy LaBarre (Vice-Chair of the Board)
District 8 – Jason Morgan
District 9 – Katie Scott