By Jessica Mathews /

The Livingston County Veterans Services Committee is working on get some standard operating procedures in place and documented to make sure things are running smoothly.

At a recent meeting, some items placed on the agenda by Chairman Joe Riker were discussed. Among those include establishing standard operating procedures for Director Mary Durst and the Committee, so staff and future boards are all on the same page.

The Office has been dealing with staffing shortages as of late and increasing requests for services.

The Committee is working to get clear expectations, priorities and responsibilities laid out to help guide things moving forward. There were said to be some verbal policies and procedures but nothing really in writing. Another item was establishing a Committee standards and Expectations Agreement - which would lay out conduct members are expected to adhere to once appointed by the Board of Commissioners as well as attendance requirements.

Chairman Riker explained his various expectations in his current role, as well as for those who take on the volunteer position. He stated members need to notify him when they can’t make a meeting, which is out of general respect for the veterans attending, the director’s time and the members who do show up. Riker said he’s passionate about the work being done and wants to make sure that others are too.

Riker stated that if members are missing a certain amount of regularly scheduled meetings, then he would personally like to request their resignation. If that doesn’t happen, then Riker said he would be inclined to write a letter to the county board requesting they be removed from the Committee. He clarified that he understands situations can change and there can be extenuating circumstances and excused versus unexcused absences but if a member can’t commit, then they need to exit so someone else can come in.

Director Durst commented that she thinks future changes and set procedures will help with office morale. She said staff takes their job very seriously and sometimes when they ask for feedback and get no response; it can feel like their working hard but don’t have support. Durst clarified they’re not looking for micro-management from members but some guidance and feedback could be really helpful.

Additionally a new program policy manual is being developed, which Committee members will be offering feedback on for discussion at future meetings.