By Mike Kruzman /

Top Livingston County officials and staff have delivered the 2021 State of the County address.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Wes Nakagiri opened and hosted the annual address which can be found on the home page of the County’s website.

Nakagiri began by welcoming the 5 new commissioners who joined in 2021, commenting on their “deep commitment” to staying engaged, and bidding farewell to former commissioner Kate Lawrence. Elected officials including Clerk Betsy Hundley, Sheriff Mike Murphy, Register of Deeds Brandon Denby, Treasurer Jennifer Nash, and Drain Commissioner Brian Jonckheere were recognized for their leadership both locally and at the state level.

Nakagiri then turned attention to the County budget. He says they have established a reputation for responsible budgets and sound fiscal policy. Nakagiri said their AAA bond rating, which only 3% of counties in the entire nation can claim, was reaffirmed in 2021. Additionally, Livingston County already had the lowest tax rate in the state, and that rate fell slightly more last year.

County Administrator Nathan Burd talked about the efforts of the Livingston County Health Department, calling their tireless efforts to protect the community through the pandemic while also performing their usual public health services “extraordinary.” In 2021, the health department held more than 20 mass vaccination clinics and administered over 44,000 doses of the vaccine. Even through the pandemic, Burd says that according to the 2021 County Health Rankings, Livingston County remains the 3rd healthiest county in the state.

EMS Director David Feldpausch called this past year their busiest ever, as fielded almost 25,000 calls. EMS also submitted renewal for ambulance accreditation, something which they are only 1 of 2 in the state to currently have.

Emergency Management Director Therese Cremonte discussed updating the County’s Emergency Operations plan along with nine more local ones. She complimented her team’s efforts in helping to ensure two unique events that occurred in the County in 2021 ran smoothly and successfully- the Luke Bryan concert and President Joe Biden’s visit.

Animal Shelter Director Christy Peterson said they were able to update the dog kennel this past year, providing a more comfortable, safe, and fun space for the dogs. They received 1,500 animals in 2021, placed 200 underage kittens, and adopted 500 new pets while reuniting many with owners.

Veterans Services Department Director Mary Durst talked about the move into their new location in Genoa Township and her vision for the new office. In 2021, Durst says they held 2,500 appoints to help veterans get their earned compensation and benefits, completed 800 medical appointment transportations, and helped 165 families with financial assistance.

Nakagiri closed the address, thanking all for their devotion to making a positive impact on the community. He said it will always remain their top priority to serve the residents well, be resilient in the face of challenges, and ensure that the county continues to thrive.