Future of Berrien County Road Commission remains unclear

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Dozens of people packed a meeting about the Berrien County Road Commission's future Thursday night.

The county board is considering taking the commission over after a report by County Administrator Bill Wolf, which detailed a long list of problems.

Many people spoke out Thursday about those issues. Employees and taxpayers say they want the human resources mess within the road commission handled first.

"It is unhealthy and unacceptable to allow this environment to continue any longer," said road commission worker Lindie Delk. "I pray that the board uses due diligence in making your decision."

For quite some time, the commission's been running without a managing director or finance director.

Employees say that's resulted in a mess. They've had to pickup the slack without any additional training.

And, some have made accusations of a hostile work environment.

Last year, 13 workers filed a grievance against the former managing director and other managers.

Even after the shakeup that followed after their dismissals, employees say the road commission hasn't improved much.

The road commissioners did speak out during the meeting, admitting there are some serious issues that need to be worked out. But, they say they've been trying to help workers in the few ways they can.

"The manual sends them to the person they were complaining about, so it all fell on deaf ears," said Commissioner Jess Minks. "And, I've tried to help them and been told you can't butt the chain of command, they got to go through the chain of command."

After listening to people speak out, the county board voted to hold a special meeting on Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. to discuss what to do next with the road commission.

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