Village, county to collaborate

The Village of Spring Lake has entered into six-month trial agreement with Ottawa County to share its fiscal services director.
Marie Havenga
Jan 6, 2014

Marv Hinga will work three days a week, replacing longtime Village Clerk/Treasurer Maribeth Lawrence, who is retiring at the end of the month after 13 years in that capacity.

Hinga will be paid $61.55 per hour and work 24 hours a week for the village — that's $1,477 per week. He will continue to serve as the county's assistant fiscal services director.

Hinga had previously served in various financial capacities for the cities of South Haven and Hudsonville, and Allegan County. Prior to that, he worked in private sector accounting.

“We are eager to obtain his expertise in the municipal finance arena,” Village President Jim MacLachlan said. “His experience and expertise will be invaluable as we prepare to tackle some critical financial issues in the new year.”

The contract employee hire is similar to the approach the village used when former Zoning and Planning Administrator Kathy Staton retired several years ago. The village contracted with Spring Lake Township and City of Grand Haven employees to fill Staton’s duties.

Lawrence has not been to work in the past few weeks after slipping on ice at her home and breaking her shoulder. She was not available for comment.

Village Manager Chris Burns said before Lawrence got hurt, she had planned to retire this past Dec. 20.

“We’re extending it out until the end of January so she can keep some health insurance,” Burns explained.

The Village Charter dictates that the clerk/treasurer is elected by Village Council and that the positions cannot be separated, according to Burns.

Burns said Lawrence’s retirement was a “mutual decision," and the arrangement with Ottawa County was also in the works before her fall.

“Marv spent some time with Maribeth before she got injured, learning where everything is at and getting the lay of the land,” Burns said. “He was here two weeks working with her."

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



The retirement was a "mutual decision?" I smell a rat.


$61.55 an hour?!?!? Holy Mary mother of god, that's gotta be a typo right??? many citizens of Spring Lake are making $1,400 a week, even working 60 hours??

And again.....they've had to import someone from outside the area to do the job??? Do we not have any people in this area that could handle the arduous task of counting money?? Heck I've got an accounting degree from Baker and I'm pretty darn good at squeezing a penny for maximum effect and I'd certainly be available for that wage, even if it was 40 hours!! Amazing.

Reminds me of the old cartoon where the two characters are counting out the spoils of the robbery.....that's one for you, two for me, one for you.....three for me........

Spring Lake sure has some interesting ways of doing business. That's a lot buck for the bang!


"Special thanks goes to Maribeth Lawrence, Village Clerk/Treasurer and to the entire Budget Team consisting of Roger DeYoung, Police Chief and Doug Whitley, DPW Director." These are a few of the people from Ryan Cotten's thank you list from his last budget. Two of these three are gone via Burns. Look out Chief DeYoung, looking for a "mutual decision?" Whitley was replaced by Bellknap who worked with Burns in Cedar Springs. Lawrence was replaced by a contract employee disguised as a collaboration savings plan that Lawrence can't comment on without losing much needed insurance. With an approximate salary of $62,155 and $20,244 in benefits, that gives the Village a whopping $5,500 in savings. Is ole Marv going to handle the elections, the collection of taxes, etc.? Is it a conflict that he is supposed to be handling the "contracted out info tech services"? They are going down as fast as the trees in our little Village.

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