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Macomb Clerk Karen Spranger hasn't submitted a budget proposal

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger.

Problems continue to plague Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds KarenSpranger’s office.

Spranger was unable to present a proposed budget to Macomb County Commissioners as scheduled on Monday.

The County Executive’s office say that’s because she submitted an incomplete proposal weeks late.

But Spranger says she didn’t know her proposal wasn’t formally received. She blamed the misunderstanding on a computer glitch and communication issues.

But Spranger also said a number of things prevented her from submitting a complete budget for the upcoming fiscal year. She noted a number of vacant deputy and other positions in her office, which she has struggled to fill.

Spranger also wants an audit of her department before submitting final numbers, but told Commissioners she still wants a chance to bring them her “own figures.”

“I want to have an opportunity to bring the information to you, whatever format I can. Whether it’s paper, whether we get the computer fixed, my software issue, whatever it takes, we need to communicate more effectively,” Spranger said.

But Spranger said she couldn’t do that Monday, because she hadn’t brought a copy of her proposal to the Commission meeting. She said she didn’t know she needed to, again because of a “computer glitch.”

Commissioners were skeptical of Spranger’s explanations, noting her ongoing conflicts with nearly every other branch of county government.

“Sometimes you have to sit around and look at the big picture and realize that when everything is just happening to you, that maybe it’s not everybody else that might be the problem,” Commission Chair Bob Smith told her.

Spranger is currently suing other branches of county government, including the board of commissioners. Some are trying to remove her from office for allegedly lying about her address in election filings.

To continue with the budget process, Commissioners voted to continue Spranger’s departmental budget from last year for now. They suggested Spranger could make changes through budget amendments once she has complete information in hand.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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