County executive gets contract extension
Kent County commissioners recently gave their top executive a unanimous vote of confidence by extending his employment contract for three more years.
County Administrator and Controller Daryl Delabbio will continue in his current post through 2016. He has held the position for 15 years and this extension was the sixth he has received over his tenure with the others coming in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010.
Without the extension, his contract would have ended Dec. 31.
Commissioners weren’t the only ones impressed with Delabbio’s performance, as members of his staff had similar feelings.
“I have worked with Daryl for 14 years. He has been a great mentor and is a good friend,” said Darius Quinn, county human resources manager.
The new agreement doesn’t include an increase in his current salary of $157,558 or raise his annual vacation time of 25 days. However, the county will make an annual contribution of $5,500 into his Roth IRA for each of those three years if Delabbio decides not to enroll in the county’s health insurance program.
Delabbio will also see his monthly car allowance rise from $675 to $800. He voluntarily dropped his monthly allowance to $675 for his last contract, so the increase takes the amount back to the level of three years ago.
“Given Daryl’s tenure and consistent solid performance and dedication to the organization, the proposed changes are relatively modest,” said Commission Chairman Dan Koorndyk.
Delabbio has been with the county for 18 years and served as an assistant administrator under then County Administrator and Controller Melinda Carlton for three of those years. Prior to joining the county, he was the city manager of Rockford.
Grand Valley Metro Council Executive Director John Weiss told commissioners his organization has been named the region’s fiduciary for the governor’s Regional Prosperity Initiative, a new voluntary competitive grant program that was created to encourage economic collaborations across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
The program, which Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled earlier this year in his budget address, has divided the state into 10 regions; the West Michigan region has 13 counties.
“We are the largest group in the area. We have 35 governments,” said Weiss as to why GVMC was selected.
Weiss said state lawmakers have allocated a total of $2.5 million statewide in the FY2014 budget for the RPI grants, which Commissioner David Bulkowski pointed out is a fairly small amount for an entire state. Bulkowski wondered what the 13-county region could accomplish with a grant of, say, $250,000, an amount that would be an equal share among the 10 regions.
Weiss said there isn’t a guarantee that each of the 10 regions would receive $250,000. He also told commissioners he will ask them to endorse the council’s role as the region’s RPI fiduciary in November.
“I’ve been very encouraged by the direction we’re heading under your leadership,” said Commission Vice-Chairman Jim Saalfeld, who has represented the county on the GVMC board for nearly three years.
It wasn’t that long ago that the county was seriously considering pulling out of the Metro Council. The Village of Sand Lake and Ada Township are GVMC’s newest members, both having joined within the last two months.