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Ingham County Board of Commissioners taking applications to fill vacancy

A photo of the Ingham County Courthouse in Mason
WKAR file photo
The Ingham County Courthouse in Mason is the seat of county government. Voters will consider three millage proposals on August 7th.

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications until Jan. 9 to fill a vacancy. The board is looking to appoint a new commissioner for its 13th district.

The Board of Commissioners oversees the functions of the county government, including the health department as well as certain parks and roads.

The group will be working with one empty seat at the beginning of next year. Democrat Amy Salisbury, who won the election for District 13 commissioner, resigned earlier this month citing personal issues. The district contains portions of Meridian Township.

Chairperson-elect of the board Ryan Sebolt, who has served as commissioner since 2017, said the Democratic caucus will review the applicants to ensure they reside in the district. He added the group plans to interview each of the candidates after the deadline has passed.

Sebolt noted that each commissioner is looking for different criteria in the applicants. But he wants the next commissioner to have experience in civic engagement.

"We are looking for people who are involved in the community who have some sort of connection, have maybe a little bit of understanding of how local government functions and operate so that we know that they will come in and kind of be a good fit,” Sebolt said.

The board doesn't have much time to make their decision: Sebolt says state law gives the group 30 days after the resignation date to appoint a new commissioner. If a commissioner isn’t appointed by February 1, the county would be forced to run a special election.

“Special elections can be costly," Sebolt said. "We will be doing our due diligence to within that 30-day timeframe make an appointment in order to avoid those additional costs to the taxpayers.”

The commissioner-elect said the Democratic members will rank their choices before presenting a final candidate before all members of the board.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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