Mason County Michigan


Fabian Knizacky was appointed by the Mason County Board of Commissioners to be the County's first administrator effective February 1, 1994.  He can be reached by phone at 231-843-7999, fax at 231-843-1972, and e-mail at  He is assisted by his administrative assistant Rita Copenhaver.

Duties of the County Administrator
What responsibilities do county administrators have?  The title implies perhaps greater authority than most of these county employees actually exercise, at least in a formal sense.  Their duties and responsibilities range widely among counties, depending on the circumstances within a county and the wishes of the board itself.  County administrators direct or assist budget development and monitoring, purchasing, building operation and maintenance, personnel, and other staff functions.  They assist the boards in defining administrative and other problems and developing policy alternatives.  In many ways, then the scope of influence of a county administrator, whatever the position title, is a function of personality, knowledge, and leadership skills.

The Mason County Board of Commissioners, by a majority vote of its members elect, appoints a County Administrator and sets his or her salary.  After his or her appointment, the Administrator holds his or her office at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners and may be removed in the manner provided by law for the removal of County officers, within terms of any employment contract, and by a majority vote of the Commissioners elected to office.  All requests by the Board or committee members for information or action shall be directed to the County Administrator.  The County Administrator is the chief administrative officer of the County.  The functions and duties of the County Administrator shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

  1. The Administrator may request at any time that County officers or employees furnish information respecting any or all County matters in their charge.

  2. The Administrator may approve line item budget amendments within county budgets as long as they do not increase the total amount of the budget.

  3.  After receiving reports from and holding conferences with the various departments of the County, the Administrator shall prepare a proposed budget for the consideration of the Finance Committee, and recommend to said Committee the expenditure and revenues requirements to assist the Committee in formulating the tax needs of the County for allocation purposes.

  4. The Administrator shall have authority to approve change orders on County projects up to a maximum of $5,000.00 with the concurrence of the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners as long as funds are available in the project budget.

  5. The Administrator shall receive annual reports from the Equalization Director, Maintenance Supervisor, Animal Control Officer, Zoning & Building Director, Airport Manager, Emergency Management Coordinator, and MSU Extension Director and facilitate their presentation to the County Board.

  6. The Administrator shall, at his or her sole discretion, have authority over and be responsible for hiring, disciplining, and reviewing the employees in positions which are designated to report directly to the Administrator, provided that the Administrator shall not have the authority to hire for any position unless that position has been approved and budgeted by the Board of Commissioners.  The Administrator, with the approval of the Personnel Committee, may discharge from employment those employees in positions, which are designated to report directly to the Administrator.

  7. Equalization Director, Maintenance Supervisor, Animal Control Officer, Zoning & Building Director, Airport Manager, and Emergency Management Coordinator shall be designated to report directly to the Administrator.

  8. Reviews pertinent legislation and develops recommendations for new programs, revisions, policy modifications, and ordinances for presentation to the County Board of Commissioners.

  9. Interprets Commission policy for county officers, employees, and the public.  Ensures its application in all decisions and in speaking for the County Board of Commissioners.

10. Prepares agenda and attends all meetings of the County Board of Commissioners to advise, counsel, and present pertinent data or information to aid in initiating and establishing policy and making decisions to guide management.

11. Represents the County Board of Commissioners at meetings with township, city, and state officials.  Speaks in behalf of the Commission at public or social meetings.

12. Consults with and directs the central administrative staff and department heads in carrying out policy and meeting program objectives.  Holds regular meetings with staff to coordinate activities and responsibilities within the County.

13. Monitors and collects financial information for budget development and administration.  Designs and implements budgeting process with Finance Committee approval.  Compiles and analyzes department budgetary requests for Committee consideration.

14. Researches availability and conditions of grant funding.  Advises commission and department heads of available funds and grant conditions and prepares and assists in preparation of applications.

15. Assists in labor negotiations, researches compensation, fringe benefits, pending legislation and personnel rules.  Makes recommendations to the County Board of Commissioners on these matters.

16. Manages all of the County's real and personal property.

17. Oversees the County's health, workers compensation, liability and property insurances.

18. Oversees the County's retirement plans.