Saline’s new non-profit organization, the Saline Community Addiction Prevention Task Force, is in the process of setting up its initial nine-member board of directors.
The former City of Saline committee, which was previously known as the Saline Community Substance Abuse Coalition, was spun off into the independent non-profit organization when city council approved the resolution to incorporate the task force at its June 20 regular meeting. The task force is still in the process of officially obtaining its 501(c)(3) status under the IRS tax code.
“We are non-profit, which is good. We certainly can do things now that we were never able to before,” said Police Chief Larry Hrinik, who is currently the co-chairperson of task force.
In its first meeting on July 21 after becoming a non-profit, the task force first sought to set the geographic boundaries from where the directors must come from. The task force wanted to include people beyond the City of Saline boundaries.
“There are so many of the students that are outside the city boundary. We want to tap into that as a resource and make sure we’re not excluding people,” said City Council Member Janet Dillon, who is also a member of the task force. “I want to make sure we can tap into the resources of other communities. We want to make sure Pittsfield, Saline Township feel like they are part of us.”
The task force decided it would like include at least two-thirds of the directors from within the Saline Area Schools boundaries, with the other third not required to reside within the school district. “It’s a way of addressing it that keeps it local-centric, but also gives us flexibility,” said Pastor Ken Gilmore, who sits on the task force.
The task force then looked to people that might serve as directors, wanting to include people from many different sectors of the community, including law enforcement, education, health and clergy as well as parents. Hrinik said having people across many sectors will assist in fundraising efforts.
The task force formed a list of nine people it would like to sit on the initial board of directors. They are: Craig Hoeft, Erin Woods, Steve Laatsch, Gilmore, Hrinik, Dillon, Suzie Antonow, Rosemary Blackman and Carole Buhl. The task force then staggered the terms for each potential director from one to three years.
The initial directors still need to be appointed by city council, which will likely confirm the task force’s recommendations at an upcoming meeting. Once the directors are in place, the new board’s first moves will likely be to appoint its officers and then look to hire a director to lead the task force.
The Saline Community Addiction Prevention Task Force aims to increase the awareness of substance abuse and mitigate the negative effects of substance misuse and abuse in the Saline community.