Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
DECEMBER 14, 2010
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 11-30-10 County Board Minutes (A.M. Meeting).
On a motion by Thelen, second by Russek, all voted to approve the 11-30-10 County Board Minutes (P.M. Meeting).
Mattson requested that Consent Agenda Item A2, “Approve Non-Union Salary Schedule For 2011, 2.5% Increase, Eff. 1-01-11” be moved to Item For Consid. #13. Mattson asked that Consent Agenda Item A3, “Set Mileage Reimbursement Rate At $.51/Mile, Eff. 1-01-11” be moved to Item For Consid. #14. Eichelberg made a motion to move the two Consent Agenda items to Items For Consideration as requested, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #15, “Posting For Lieutenant Relating To Restructure Of Sheriff Department” (Hagerty); Item For Consid. #16, “Aviation Report” (Mattson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke noted Item A6 reflects that Barb Gabrelcik has accepted the position of Wright County Recorder. The County Board extended appreciation to Gabrelcik. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda (Item A2 and Item A3 removed):
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: A. Pitzl, Atty.; J. Kirscht, Bldg. Care; J. Adelman, D. Martin, IT; J. Ahlm, J. Baker, B. Doney, C. Elness, A. Erickson, R. Ferguson, A. Habisch, K. Joerg, K. Klatt, M. Laurent, A. Myren, R. Nevala, C. Stine, L. Stine, C. Strand, Sheriff/Corr.
4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement With Teamsters Local 320, Implementation of a 2080 Work Schedule Plan (Laid Over From 11-30-10 Meeting).
5. Authorize Signature On Letter To The National Labor Relations Board RE: 2080 Plan For Civilian Communication Officers (Laid Over From 11-30-10 Meeting).
6. Appoint Barb Gabrelcik, County Recorder, Eff. 12-14-10. Authorize Advertising For Chief Deputy Recorder.
7. O/T Report, Period Ending 11-26-10.
8. Refer To Building Committee Reserved Parking Slots, West Parking Lot.
9. Employees Rejected Alternative Health Care Plan; Retain Current Health Care Plan Through Health Partners.
B. ASSESSOR
1. Approve Abatement, PID #206-049-001160, Terence & Linda Klein.
C. ATTORNEY
1. Approve Expenditure Of $75.00, Campbell Abstract, For Title Search On A Corinna Twp. Property, Section 18, Twp. 121, Range 27.
D. EXTENSION
1. Approve County Extension Committee Appointments (Three-Year Terms, Eff. 1-01-11):
A. Dick Behm (District 1, Annandale). The District 1 Slot Has Been Vacant.
B. Debbie Debeer (At-Large Member, District 3, Franklin Twp.), Replacing Jeff Burns Whose Term Expired.
E. SHERIFF
1. Approve Personal Leave Of Absence For Abigail Freiberg To Attend “Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) Skills Course,” Eff. 1-10-11 To 3-20-11.
Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty presented a retirement plaque to Sheriff Gary Miller, for dedicated service from 1978-2011. He will be retiring on 1-02-11. Miller was hired as a part-time Police Officer in Annandale in August, 1974. In 1975, he was hired as a part-time Wright County Deputy. He became a full-time Deputy in 1978 and worked patrol through 1985. In 1987, he was assigned to the Warrants & Transport Division, and then was placed in charge of daily operations in the Warrants and Transport Division in 1988. In 1990, he was promoted to interim Patrol Sergeant and the following year promoted to Lieutenant. In 1996, he was named the Wright County Employee Of The Year for his efforts in initiating fundamental changes to the Sheriff’s Office. Most of the procedures are in place today. He was sworn in as the Wright County Sheriff in May, 2000 and was successful in being re-elected in 2002 and 2006. Hagerty said after Miller became a full-time Deputy, there was a homicide case in Clearwater. Miller arrested the suspect a short time later due to an outstanding warrant. At the time of the arrest, Miller confiscated a metal bar. This metal bar was instrumental in the conviction of the homicide case years later. Sheriff Miller spoke of his career as an adventure, working every day to make a positive change in others lives. He acknowledged former Sheriff Darrell Wolff who taught customer service through care and empathy for citizens. Miller acknowledged former Sheriff Don Hozempa and described him as a mentor, friend, and advisor. Hozempa taught him how to run a large professional organization by hiring the best, training them well, providing clear expectations of their roles, and then letting them do their job. He said Hozempa also taught him to be proud of the uniform and the patch they wear, and to be a fierce defender of the Sheriff’s Office. Miller said Hozempa’s example has guided him this past 10 years. Sheriff Miller also acknowledged his fellow staff members and said it has been a privilege to have worked with some of the best people in the country. He cited a recent murder case in Wright County and how the employees and volunteers worked together to bring the suspects into custody 12 days later. He mentioned his co-workers in County government. He felt the employees in the public sector display great customer service and collaboration. Miller cited the work of organizations such as Safe Schools, Pay It Forward, MEADA, and Safe Communities of Wright County. He felt those organizations have proven themselves as a way to collaborate with citizens to solve problems. Sheriff Miller extended appreciation to the County Board for appointing him and for their faith and support. He said the County Board has helped the Sheriff’s Office become stronger and has held them accountable. He ended by extending appreciation to the citizens whom he felt it has been an honor to serve. The Board thanked Miller for his years of service and for being a team player.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said the cutoff for submittal of claims from the 2010 budget is 12-21-10 at 3:00 P.M. This was provided as an informational item.
On 11-09-10, the County Board discussed refinancing of the Subordinate Sewer District Bonds. At that meeting, they took action to set a bond sale date of 12-13-10 with award on 12-14-10. At today’s County Board Meeting, Hiivala stated that Bruce Kimmel, Senior Financial Advisor for Ehlers Inc., recommended a change in the bond sale date because of the recent increases in bond interest rates. Kimmel’s suggestion is to postpone the refunding from today to 1-10-11, with award on 1-11-11. Russek moved to change the date of the bond sale from 12-14-10 to 1-10-11. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, asked whether a specific time was needed for the bond sale. The motion and second were amended to include the time of the sale being set at the same time as when the bond sale was originally scheduled (12-13-10). The motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced the claims listing that was presented to the Human Services Board at their 12-13-10 Meeting. The Human Services claims listing included two pages of operating supplies purchased from Office Depot. His concern was that departments who have not used their entire operating supplies budget may look to purchase items for the upcoming year. He asked that Hiivala look into the purchases. On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, recognized Chase Philippi and Keith Triplett for receiving the Accredited Minnesota Assessor Designation from the Minnesota State Board of Assessors. Philippi and Triplett were congratulated by the Board.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, introduced discussion on the repeal of the Wright County Tattoo and Body Piercing Ordinance. The 2010 Minnesota Legislature adopted Legislation which became Minnesota Statutes Chapter 146B, regulating Body Art. The new laws allow counties and cities to continue their regulation of such establishments. Wright County Public Health has indicated they would prefer to have the Minnesota Department of Health take over licensing, inspections, etc. in this area. Wright County passed the Tattoo and Body Piercing Ordinance in 2002 for the purpose of regulating businesses of tattooing, permanent cosmetics, and body piercing so as to protect the general health, safety and welfare of the community. At that time, no State-wide regulation of those businesses was in place. The new law passed in 2010 regulates Body Art, the majority of which takes effect 1-01-11, and requires that body art establishments be licensed by the State, with periodic inspections to insure that health and safety standards are met. There are two tattoo establishments presently operating in Wright County, one in Monticello and one in Buffalo. The Buffalo establishment is licensed through the City. Asleson was unsure whether the City will continue with their licensing authority. Russek noted that there are a few more requirements to become licensed through the State than through the County Ordinance. It was felt that it would make no sense to duplicate the State’s efforts of regulation of these establishments. Sawatzke moved to repeal the Wright County Tattoo and Body Piercing Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Russek. Norman questioned the effective date. Asleson stated this action should be effective 1-01-11. The motion and second were amended to include the effective date of 1-01-11. Sawatzke said the reason the County adopted the Ordinance was because the State was not going to regulate this. As the State is taking over this function, he felt the County did not need to continue with its Ordinance. The motion carried 5-0.
Major Ed Suarez presented information on the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” Program through the Yellow Ribbon Community. The Program creates awareness for the purpose of connecting Service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources. Cities, counties, and corporations across the State are developing action plans and organizing groups to support military families. A Yellow Ribbon Community unites all areas within a community to create a comprehensive network that connects and coordinates agencies, organizations, resources and employers for the purpose of proactively supporting Service members and military families. Major Suarez said it is very important to Service members to have their families cared for while they are deployed. By developing a Yellow Ribbon Network, communities unite to honor and embrace those affected by military deployments. Each community develops their own action plan and includes volunteering by those in the community. The “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” Team contact information is at www.beyondtheyellow.org or 651-282-4284. Major Suarez hopes that Wright County will consider this Program.
The meeting recessed at 9:45 A.M. and reconvened at 9:50 A.M.
Noel LaBine, Executive Director for the Economic Development Partnership, asked for reinstatement of the subordinate lien position Wright County had on the Shark Industries Loan. Shark Industries has been a borrower of Wright County Enterprise Funds (Revolving Loan Fund) since 2002. They changed their operating line of credit to a new bank and the previous lender closed their account, resulting in an automatic positioning of the County’s lien position to first. The original intent was for our loan and our participating members (City of Rockford and the Initiative Foundation) to be in a second position. LaBine requested that the Board agree to reinstate the subordinated lien position on the assets of Shark Industries and to instruct the Wright County Economic Development Partnership to sign an agreement to that effect. Sawatzke said that Shark Industries has paid about 2/3 of their principal on the loan and has been consistent with their payments. The action is to correct an error made because of the shift in bank loans. He said the Partnership’s Finance Committee and Management Committee approved of this action. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #10-43, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Sawatzke announced that LaBine will be leaving the Partnership in 2011 and so the Partnership is in search of a new Executive Director. LaBine has held the Executive Director position for 8.5 years, and has done many things for the Partnership including increasing membership. There were previously 4 private businesses involved and now there are 30. This membership fluctuates annually and some businesses are no longer members as they have gone out of business because of the economy. The Board extended appreciation to LaBine for his efforts.
The meeting recessed at 9:56 A.M. and reconvened at 10:15 A.M.
Thelen presented a draft of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between Corinna Township and Wright County. The draft reflects that,
“The purpose of this agreement is to provide coordinated planning and zoning services, building and sewage treatment code administration, and shoreland management administration within Corinna Township for the calendar year 2011”. During this same year, it is the intent of Wright County and Corinna Township to review and monitor the procedures, policies and financial arrangements contained with and ancillary to this agreement for the purpose of deriving a more permanent solution for the provision of the same services in following years. If requested by Corinna Township, Wright County will make a determination as to whether Corinna has ‘demonstrated to the county board that their proposed ordinance and administration is at least as restrictive as the county’s’ consistent with MN Rules 6120.3900, Subpart 4a. Such determination shall be made after October 15, 2011 and prior to December 15, 2011. Nothing in this agreement shall commit either party to any action not specified herein, or to any action following the expiration of this agreement, nor shall it constitute an abrogation of any authority granted to either party under law.”
Thelen said the JPA is the outcome of a series of meetings held since late August, 2010 and attended by Tom Salkowski (Wright County Planning & Zoning Administrator), herself, Charlotte Quiggle (Corinna Township Planning Commission Chair) and Ben Oleson (Corinna Township Planning Official). During this period of time, Salkowski and Thelen requested approval from the County Board on the direction and principles of the JPA, and to let the Board know that it was the intent to come up with this JPA by year end. The Agreement has been reviewed by Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney. Thelen said there is one change to Section 8 of the draft. If approved, the Agreement would then be given to the Corinna Township Attorney for review. Any changes would be sent to the next County Board Meeting. If the changes are not substantial, approval may be placed on the Consent Agenda. She asked the Board to review the draft, knowing there may be some small changes to wording or insertion of things as suggested by the attorneys. Because of insurance issues in the Township, it has not been determined if this will be a JPA, a Contract, or a Memorandum of Understanding. It was agreed with the Township that the JPA would be on a one-year trial basis and will outline the ways the County and Township will work together. All of these provisions are to be reflected in the JPA. Thelen said the Township will appoint the Wright County Building Inspector and the Environmental Health Officer to provide building and septic authority for the Township and to complete their building and inspection services. The Township has agreed to remit 75% of the fees they collect for building and septic services to Wright County. This does not include the surcharges that are remitted to the State. Corinna Township will administer the shoreland and flood plain management programs for the year. Wright County must provide final written approvals of the permits in the flood plain areas for insurance purposes. Corinna Township will be administering their subdivision and land use ordinances which, by law, have to be as strict as or stricter than the County’s. Wright County retains authority to approve final plats pursuant to State law. Thelen said rezoning remains with the County, who retains sole authority over amendments to the Wright County official zoning map. Final decision about shoreland administration will be brought to the County Board between 10-15-11 and 12-15-11 if Corinna so desires. There are provisions in the document regarding sharing of records and related documents. The Agreement can be terminated between either party with a 90-day written notice. The Agreement includes a clause that Wright County is not liable for actions taken by Corinna Township. Salkowski said he supports the draft Agreement. It is a compilation of a lot of hard work and perseverance. Given the history, he said there is probably not going to be an Agreement that both sides are perfectly happy with. Both the Township and the County have made compromises. This will be a one-year trial and he hopes it will work well.
Sawatzke said he presumed rezoning would stay with the County. Salkowski said this is addressed in the second full paragraph on the top of Page 2 reflecting “Nothing in this agreement shall diminish Wright County’s authority to approve or deny requests for amendments to the Official Wright County Zoning Map. Corinna Township recognizes Wright County as retaining sole authority over amendments to the Official Wright County Zoning Map.” Salkowski clarified that a rezoning is officially an amendment to the Zoning Map, not to the Plan. He said there has never been a question that the County is the Zoning Authority for rezoning map amendments. Sawatzke then said he understands that variances would go with the Township. Salkowski confirmed this was correct. Sawatzke said this would be both inside and outside of shoreland. He put forth a scenario where, for example, the County received an application a year or two ago for a variance on a property. After this Agreement is put into place, that same applicant makes application to the Township and the Township acts in a manner inconsistent with the decision of the Board of Adjustment. He asked how something could be included in the Agreement so this does not happen. He felt the Township would, in that case, be acting in a less strict manner than Wright County so it would be unlawful. Sawatzke asked if that has been discussed and whether Salkowski feels the Agreement addresses that. Sawatzke said there is one situation that has been such a point of contention that Corinna Township dumped hundreds, if not thousands, of yards of gravel to support it. Salkowski said the Agreement contains a couple of things. First, Salkowski agreed that to grant a variance already denied by the County would be an egregious act and make it clear that the Agreement is not working. He said he trusted the Township Board would have the wisdom not to do that. Second, the Agreement makes it clear that the County will receive notice of any hearings, the County will have the opportunity to provide input, and the County will be able to provide an opinion prior to the hearing. He felt it would be understood that any variance denied by the County has to be honored by the Township. Third, the County can appeal any variance approved by the Township. Sawatzke asked Ben Oleson, Planning Official for Corinna Township, if he agreed it would be inappropriate for the Township to grant a variance inconsistent with a denial by the County. Oleson responded yes, if it is the exact same application. Sawatzke said exactly the same or similar. For example, if someone asks for a 2000 sq. ft. or a 1980 sq. ft. home, he felt that was similar. Oleson said their practice over the past couple of years, when giving recommendations to the County, has been to prepare staff reports giving Wright County the opportunity to comment. Oleson said if they received the same or similar application, it would be pretty hard for them to approve it.
Sawatzke then referred to Park Dedication Fees. He understood that Statute reflects that 75% goes to the township and 25% goes into a county pool. In reading the Agreement, he thought it reflected that 100% would go to Corinna Township. His only issue is that funds from other Townships will be placed in the general pool but Corinna would not be adding to the general pool to be used by all townships. Salkowski did not feel they went that in depth on discussion of that topic. Currently, all funds from all townships are segregated for park dedication purposes and plat fees. He believes the County will have the option to take 25%. He felt that if Parks Administrator Marc Mattice felt Corinna had a project that would need funding from that pool, he would discuss this with the Township Board and County Board. Salkowski felt that if something came up for sale near one of the other parks in the Township, the dollars would be put into the broader fund. He said it has also been discussed that Corinna Township could develop their own parks system in the future. The Parks Administrator could have concern about recreational activities and how to best serve the public. Salkowski said the intent is to carry on the same practice as in the past and the funds will be segregated for use. They do not intend to do anything differently with the fees.
Sawatzke referred to the one-year pilot. At the end of the year, it appears there will be a review of whether the County will make a decision on shoreland management and Corinna Township’s ability to manage it. He asked Kryzer whether the County is giving up anything in that regard by stepping into this Agreement. Sawatzke said his view of the Agreement is that right now, the County is working with the Township in the shoreland. Therefore, he thought that without the County’s assistance, he would question the ability to meet the criteria in the law and the supporting documents of the Statutes. With the County’s assistance, he felt that perhaps they can meet that. He asked whether in a year from now, when the decision is before them, whether the County is giving up anything in the decision making process by stepping into this Agreement today. Kryzer responded that is his largest concern, what kind of review capability would the County have in a year. He said his safest recommendation to the Board at this time is whenever something is given, it is hard to take it back. The County can review this in a year but the standards will have to be raised a little higher. The last time this was reviewed, Tom Zins, Assistant County Attorney, made recommendations and the County Board denied the action based on SONAR recommendations and the shoreland management. Kryzer said if this is implemented for a year, it will be harder to approve a denial. The presumption would be that it would be in Corinna’s favor based on their being as strict as or stricter than the County. Sawatzke asked whether this would be despite the fact that this had been done with the assistance of the County. Kryzer stated that once they are given shoreland and manage it for a year, it is difficult to say they are not as strict when they have been doing it for a year. Kryzer proposed that Section 8, Administration of EAWs/EISs, read as follows:
“Corinna Township shall be the responsible government unit (RGU) for all Environmental Assessment Worksheets and Environmental Impact Statements on projects and applications where the Township has final review, permitting or decision-making authority.”
With that change, Kryzer said the County Attorney’s Office has reviewed the document and can pass on it as far as the legal standpoint. Kryzer said the recommendation today is to have a formal motion, either approving or denying the Agreement. The Agreement will then be sent to Corinna Township for review by the Township’s Attorney. Any changes can be discussed and placed on the next County Board Agenda if needed. The Township Board will review the Agreement at their 12-21-10 Meeting. Sawatzke asked how the County got to the short timeline of looking at granting shoreland authority to Corinna Township, which could be as early as 10-15-11. Thelen said that was part of the negotiating piece. The Township wanted shoreland authority and the County wanted a trial period. Sawatzke felt a longer trial period might be better. Thelen said it is almost a year and a process will be followed. She did not know if they would want to put something into an Agreement beyond the extent of this Agreement. Salkowski stated this whole topic was the most difficult thing to talk about and negotiate. Salkowski said they have agreed to work together and share the responsibility and power, without making any decisions at this time about the County being the shoreland management authority. Although they have no idea what will happen over the next year, the Township may ask again for it to be designated for the County to make decisions pursuant to shoreland rules about shoreland management. What they will have to go on are the past couple of years of experience when that decision is made. They tried to build in language in the Agreement that reflects no decision on that is being made at this time. This is to keep the County Board’s options open. Salkowski referenced comments made by Kryzer and said he understands these. Salkowski is trying to be an optimist that things will work out well. He agreed that the trial possibly should be for a longer period of time, particularly in this economy. However, without the Agreement, the Township could ask the County to make a decision tomorrow. He felt it was more advantageous to work together for a year to gain a better understanding and then bring a decision to the Board. Sawatzke asked Oleson if the Township would have a problem with a longer trial period since the County is trying to cooperate. Oleson said this is something they discussed at length. He did not feel he could speak for the entire Township Board. He said the Agreement is not ideal for either side. He felt the Township and County could work together to build trust and confidence. The trial period will allow time to give the Agreement a try. He did not view the Agreement as tying either the County Board’s or Township Board’s hands at the end of the year. This was discussed along with the timeline and the draft Agreement is based on those negotiations. Thelen reiterated that this has been a good faith effort to collaborate and coordinate activities. There has been a Corinna Township Planning Commission for the past couple of years so there is a record of activities for that time period. Over the next year, she said they will work hard to make sure there are checks and balances in place. Thelen said the January 1st effective date relates to the Township’s contract with Metro West expiring at that point. She said they would like to be able to have the building and septic services taken over by the County at that time. Thelen hopes that particular provision can be kept in as written. Russek asked about when Corinna Township will meet on this. Kryzer explained that the Corinna Township Board meets on 12-21-10, so the County Board will not have obtained Township approval by next week’s County Board Meeting. However, the County should know the opinion of the Township’s Attorney by then. If needed, this could be placed back on the Agenda. Thelen said the Township has agreed to these elements and now it is a question of review by the attorneys. Thelen made a motion to approve the JPA between Wright County and Corinna Township subject to final revisions by the County Attorney to Section 8. The motion includes approving the signatures of the Board Chair and Coordinator and directing staff to forward the final document to Corinna Township for approval. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke moved to amend the motion to change the Agreement to a two-year period. The amendment failed for lack of a second. Salkowski clarified that minor revisions may be needed to the Agreement. It is his understanding that the Chair and Coordinator will not be signing until it is verified that the language is acceptable. Salkowski did not expect substantive changes. It is his understanding the attorneys for the Township and County will work out the minor language changes and the Agreement could be revised. Eichelberg and Thelen agreed this was part of the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-09-10. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke made a motion to acknowledge the minutes as being accurate but not the recommendations as those recommendations changed at a later date. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0:
I. DISCUSS 2011 SALARIES OF ELECTED DEPARTMENT HEADS.
Norman stated that State Statute reads: “County Board sets the salary after considering the extent of the responsibilities and duties of the office, and the elected official’s experience, qualifications, and performance.”
A. Tom Kelly, Attorney.
Kelly clarified that Norman referred to Statute 388.18, of which the County Board is to sufficiently take into account an elected official’s experience, qualifications, and performance. He stated that according to the Statute, “The County Board should not act in an arbitrary, capricious, oppressive, or unreasonable manner.”
Kelly stated that in March, 2010, he started his 27th year with the County Attorney’s Office. He has been with the Wright County Attorney’s Office since 1984 and was Chief of Criminal Division between 1990 and 1998. He was elected County Attorney in the fall of 1998. He has an office of 29 staff: 1 County Attorney, 1 Chief Deputy County Attorney, 13 Assistant County Attorneys, 1 Office Manager, 1 Victim/Witness Coordinator, 1 Paralegal, 1 Investigator and 10 Secretaries. He supervises the Assistant County Attorneys and support staff, establishes policy and guidelines to be used by them, and performs an administrative role with supervisory and disciplinary duties. He conducts media relations, completes employee evaluations, and is responsible for the flow charts for 10,000-15,000 court cases a year. Kelly stated that he keeps an active caseload while performing all duties and responsibilities of a County Attorney.
Kelly stated that he is proud of his work with the schools, and enjoys working with law enforcement and the public. He described his success with the Bad Check Restitution Program, his speaking and training ventures, and his committee and Board participation. He has served as the President of the Law Library Board and MEADA. He stated that he was a founding member of MEADA which is now tackling educating about underage parties and Ks (synthetic marijuana). He has connected with 10,000 students in Wright County to educate about sexting and underage drinking. The County has nine Safe School Committees. He described how he receives feedback on his performance through the public, his employees, and law enforcement. He has experience prosecuting criminals and has mandated a team approach with law enforcement. He stated not every county has the credibility that the Wright County Attorney’s Office has. As part of the MN County Attorneys Association, he has received feedback about the County’s rapport with victims, witnesses, and cities.
Kelly then listed his office’s highlights during 2010. He stated that he is assisting in the criminal vehicle suicide involving the death of a Buffalo High School senior. He is working on the assault case that took place in Monticello, and Sherburne County’s shooting within its courtrooms. He has assisted with the DAMION tracking system and facilitated in the BCA’s eCharging process. This has been a huge undertaking and the eCharging process will go live in December.
The County has been involved in a major litigation with the source code. He was personally involved with rewriting three job descriptions within department. He worked with Safe Communities to launch the first sober cab, and is working on a coordinated community response to domestic violence.
Kelly stated that he would like to request a 2.5% wage increase. He feels it is reasonable to ask for the same increase as other employees will receive in 2011. He stated that with 2.5%, he would be asking for a salary increase of $3,034 for a total salary of $124,376. He feels this is a reasonable request based on his performance and job duties. Kelly stated that he has been pleased with his working relationship with the County Board with regard to making cuts in his Department’s budget. He stated that he was able to trim his budget by taking in additional revenue, not backfilling a staff member on maternity leave, and not backfilling a secretary position. Due to these efforts, he was able to trim 4% from his budget for a net amount of $98,000. He also used his Department’s Drug Forfeiture monies to purchase equipment for his office (i.e. computers) and seminar attendance costs. He stated that the Bad Check Restitution Program will receive over $50,000 of revenue with no cost to the taxpayers. This revenue is turned over to the General Fund. He stated that he has worked hard to decrease the Department’s budget for 2011.
Norman distributed a copy of Resolution #09-54 which was passed on 12-15-09. The Resolution sets the salary of the County Attorney. Norman explained that Kelly’s request for the 2.5% increase is on the total amount of $116,533 and the $4,809 additional salary in recognition of the extra responsibilities associated with administering city law enforcement contracts. Norman stated that it is his opinion that the 2.5% increase should be calculated on the base salary amount alone. If the County Board were to grant a 2.5% increase, the amount would be $119,446 plus the $4,809 in additional salary. This would come to a total amount of $124,255; a difference of $121 from Kelly’s request. Kelly stated that the $4,809 amount was a result of a lawsuit from 2008. He stated that he didn’t realize that this number would always stay the same.
Sawatzke stated that he has a lot of respect for what Kelly does. He stated that his Office runs very well and he has always assisted the County Board when it needed his aid. He stated that the attorney population must recognize that he is doing a great job, therefore, he has run unopposed in his elections. He stated that his comments today, regarding salary increases, are a result of the current economic situation. He stated that Kelly has not always advocated that he receive the same percentage increase as other staff in years past. Sawatzke stated that he can recall when other employees received a 2-3% increase while Kelly requested and received an 8-9% salary increase. He stated that the County Board cannot do anything about the union negotiated salary increases for 2011. The County Board is stuck with the decisions that were made in regard to the labor contracts. However, he is not going to support 2.5% increases for the elected officials today.
Kelly stated that it is his opinion that the County Board is comparing apples to oranges. He stated that the litigation regarding his salary increase dealt with how his salary compared to other County Attorneys. He stated that it is his opinion that the County Board is acting arbitrary and capricious.
Sawatzke stated that he knows other County Attorneys did not receive salary increases last year. He stated that he does not think that a lot of County Attorneys would be receiving increases this year either. He stated that he respects the work Kelly does and cannot say anything negative about the County Attorney’s Office. He stated that based on the economy, receiving the same salary amount as last year is a reasonable decision.
Eichelberg stated that this is a tough economy. He stated that last year, there was discussion about the non-union employees not receiving wage increases. The union contracts were settled at the wrong time. He stated that he could support Norman’s proposed amount.
Mattson stated that he feels Kelly is doing a great job. However, his concern remains in regard to how the County is going to cut its spending. Mattson stated that the County Board will be meeting on 11-30-10. He stated that he is not happy with the proposed levy amount and would like to see it drop another percent. Mattson stated that he would be voting no on the levy.
Kelly stated that he understands in the years to come that union negotiations are yet to come. He stated that in an effort to work with the County Board to cut his Department’s budget, he has subsidized items that would have normally come from levy dollars. As a result, his Department turned back approximately $90,000 in savings.
Mattson stated that he was in the bussing business for 47 years. He drove all of the charter trucks so that the company could operate within its means. He stated that he didn’t complain, and he didn’t talk about all of the things he did to save the company money. He stated that he didn’t think he should get more money just because he performed extra tasks.
Kelly stated that the union employees would be receiving a 2.5% salary increase. He stated that he would be saving the County more money than what he would be receiving in his proposed salary increase. He stated that he appreciates what the County Board is saying, however, under the circumstances; he feels his request is very reasonable.
Sawatzke stated that the tax payers paid Kelly over $120,000 in 2010 to look for ways within his Department to save money. He stated that Kelly is paid more than any other employee within the County. Thelen stated that she feels she is unique in her feelings. She stated that she is impressed by the level of competency and professionalism within Kelly’s Office. She stated that she knows that the staff within the County Attorney’s Office are happy and have been long-term employees. She is impressed with the degree of innovation that the Office is able to facilitate. She stated that the County cannot underestimate the value of having a good County Attorney’s Office. She stated that it is her opinion that the County should not realize its savings by denying the increase Kelly is asking for. She stated that she has always said that the County does need a process in realizing savings, but it should not be at the expense of its employees. She stated that she would be in favor of rewarding his fine work by granting his request for a salary increase.
Russek stated that he has listened to both sides. He stated that Kelly’s salary is $121,342. He stated that this is a pretty good salary. He stated that things are tough. The members of the County Board didn’t take a salary increase in 2010. He stated that he would not be in favor of a salary increase for the County Board in 2011. He stated that he would be voting for a zero percent increase. Russek stated that he would not argue with the fact that Kelly does a good job.
Kelly stated that the County is not going to solve its budget crisis by not approving his raise. Sawatzke stated that he doubts Kelly will lose any sleep over the County Commissioners not taking a salary increase.
Mattson stated that the consensus of the Committee is to maintain Kelly’s salary at $121,342. Sawatzke stated that this amount is a lot of money. Kelly stated that he would keep Sawatzke’s comments in mind. He stated that in hindsight, he should have kept the Bad Check Restitution Program within his Department. He stated that the law would have allowed him to do so. He stated that he has saved the County over $180,000 over the last three years. He stated that he will continue to do what is best for the County. He stated that he feels the County Board’s approach for denying him an increase is arbitrary and capricious.
RECOMMENDATION: In 2011, County Attorney Tom Kelly will receive a 0% salary adjustment.
B. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer.
Hiivala stated that he is asking for the same 2.5% increase that other employees will be receiving. He is not looking for anything above that.
Sawatzke told Hiivala that he announced during Kelly’s agenda item that he is against a salary increase for the elected officials based on the current economic situation. He would advocate a zero percent increase for all elected officials. He clarified that his comments about zero percent increases does not diminish his feelings about the good work being done by Hiivala and his Office. He stated that he would assume that everybody would agree that things are running well within his Office. The functions and duties of his role within the Office are being carried out. He stated that based on current global issues as it relates to salary increases, a zero percent salary increase is reasonable for good work in these times. Hiivala stated that it is nice to hear that his Office is doing a good job.
Mattson reiterated how empty the Dura Supreme parking lot was last Friday afternoon. He stated that the economic troubles are not over in Wright County. He stated that he is in favor of zero percent increases.
Russek stated that the Commissioners didn’t take an increase in 2010. He stated that he assumes the Commissioners won’t take an increase in 2011 either. He stated that he would hope the Department Heads would understand this decision. He stated that he voted for an increase last year, however, this year, he would not be voting in favor of an increase.
Thelen stated that it would be her hope that the Commissioners would not balance the budget by denying salary increases for staff. She stated that she is the minority on this point.
Mattson stated that the consensus at this time is to deny salary increases for 2011. Russek commented that today’s decision is not reflective of the work being completed in the Auditor/Treasurers Office and by its staff. Russek stated that he has always felt that Hiivala has done a good job from day one.
RECOMMENDATION: In 2011, Auditor Treasurer Bob Hiivala will receive a 0% salary adjustment.
C. Joe Hagerty, Sheriff Elect.
Norman distributed Resolution #09-55, passed 12-15-09, which set the salary for Sheriff Gary Miller for 2010. He also distributed the 2010 Non-Union Salary Schedule and Resolution #10-02, passed on 1-05-10, which set the minimum salaries for elected Department Heads. Russek noted that the minimum salary amount for County Sheriff is $83,441. Norman stated that Hagerty’s current salary as Chief Deputy is $91,256. He is at the top of the salary scale. Sawatzke noted that Hagerty is the first Sheriff in a long time that ran unopposed and didn’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to win the election. He stated that this is one thing that the County Sheriff would bring in as an argument for his salary. Norman also distributed a memo from Lee Kelly, Special Projects Administrator, who researched what other counties are paying their Sheriffs. The current Wright County Sheriff is making $113,686. Russek noted that Hagerty’s new position is like a promotion. The County Board can’t set his salary any lower than what he is currently earning as Chief Deputy. Sawatzke noted that County Auditor/Treasurer Hiivala worked his way to the top step. Sawatzke stated that Hiivala is at Step 10, $110,109.
Hagerty noted that this is his first time going through this process. He discussed his education, qualifications, and history with the Wright County Sheriffs Department. He stated that he is POST licensed as a peace officer (which is a requirement to run for election). He stated that he is not new to an elected office as he has served three terms as a St. Michael City Council member. He has been with the Wright County Sheriffs Office for 25 years in virtually all of the positions within the Office. He stated that as Chief Deputy, he has assumed the duties of the Sheriff in his absence and has been involved in command decisions. He stated that management meetings occur every Monday to discuss current events and relevant issues. He stated that he has been involved heavily in personnel duties such as hiring, promoting, firing, and grievances. He is in charge of timesheets so he is able to scrutinize overtime. He stated that they are projecting that the Department will come 15% under budget on its overtime line item. He stated that training will also come in under budget because the Department is doing more in-house training. He stated that the Sheriffs Office has been “a hit with the public”. The public has demonstrated they have trust and confidence in him, the Sheriffs Office, and the County. He stated that he received 99% of the vote on the 11-02-10 election. He stated that there are over 200 peace officers that reside in Wright County and nobody chose to run against him. He stated that he has the backing of the Department.
Hagerty stated that the responsibilities of the Office do not change as a result of him being the new Sheriff. He stated that the Department is responsible for over 100,000 citizens. It has 13 cities it contracts with and five school districts. Wright County has one of the largest patrol divisions, and it has a state-of-the-art communications center. He stated that he has some new ideas he’d like to present at the 11-16-10 Committee Of The Whole meeting. He would appreciate if everyone was on the same page so he can hit the ground running in January.
Hagerty discussed how he would be forfeiting his sick leave, vacation time, and catastrophic sick bank as a result of taking his new position. He was maxed out in his accrued sick and vacation time. He stated that as County Sheriff, he is bringing his love for his work, will continue toward bringing people together, and proposes to continue his work on special projects which were performed under Sheriff Miller (i.e. subsidized housing, neighborhood meetings, quality of life issues, etc.).
Hagerty stated that he is not asking for an increase in salary. He is asking for the same salary as the outgoing County Sheriff’s current salary. He stated that the learning curve won’t be huge. He stated that he has been an integral part of the organization, and as Chief Deputy, he has “driven the bus” on several occasions.
Sawatzke stated that although Hagerty feels as if he is forfeiting his accrued sick and vacation time, he can have unlimited hours off as an elected official. He stated that he also has catastrophic sick time built in as part of the new role. He discussed how former County Auditor/Treasurer Doug Gruber suffered from cancer and received a paycheck until his death. He stated that this is a benefit that is built into the four-year term.
Sawatzke stated that Sheriff Miller was appointed to his position. He received $5,000 less than former Sheriff Hozempa. He noted that Hagerty’s request would be unusual. Hagerty stated that Hozempa had argued and received a seniority bump. Sheriff Miller took the same base salary but didn’t take the seniority increase. Sawatzke clarified that Sheriff Miller started $5,000 less than his predecessor.
Sawatzke noted that obviously the County Board has to agree to an amount higher than what he is currently making as Chief Deputy. He stated that he would not advocate that Hagerty receive the same amount that Sheriff Miller is currently making. He stated that he would propose a starting salary amount at less than what Hiivala is currently making. He noted that Hiivala has been working up the salary scale. Sawatzke stated that Hiivala followed County policy and received the next highest step when he was promoted. He stated that the County Board knows Hagerty will do great work.
Hagerty stated that he does not feel that an elected official belongs on a points-to-pay scale. He stated that he has studied the pay scale and believes there is some reasoning for using the scale. He stated that he does not believe that his duties as County Sheriff can be compared to that of the Auditor/Treasurer. He stated that he is more than ready for this new role. He stated that the County would not see a drop in productivity. He stated that he has been in training for this position for 25 years. He stated that in Sheriff Miller’s last salary negotiation, an additional salary was built in as acknowledgement for the work relating to law enforcement contracts. He stated that law enforcement contracts are a lot of what his Office does. He stated that due to the economy, a lot of cities are proposing cutting their contracted hours with the County.
He stated that if the County Board were to drop his base pay for the reasons stated, he would have an issue with their reasoning.
Thelen asked whether Sawatzke had come up with a base salary amount. Sawatzke stated no. He stated that it is his opinion that Hagerty should not get what Sheriff Miller or Auditor/Treasurer Hiivala is currently making. However, Hagerty should be making more than what he is currently making as Chief Deputy. He stated that these are awkward conversations. He stated that these discussions are the most distasteful parts of being on the County Board.
Norman clarified that he is merely speaking in an advisory capacity. He proposed that the County Board consider using the 2010 Non-Union Salary Schedule as a guide in determining a starting salary. He stated that Hagerty said he is essentially on a four-year probationary period. He would propose, in order to start a conversation, to set the starting salary at an amount where he would reach top step in the fourth year. He stated that using Step 6, $99,312, as a discussion point would offer a salary significantly higher than what Hagerty is currently making as Chief Deputy.
Sawatzke again commented that Hagerty ran unopposed for County Sheriff. He had the support of five Commissioners. Russek stated that Hagerty’s experience carried through the recent election process. Russek stated that he thinks that there should be room for movement on the salary scale.
Hagerty stated that one bargaining chip he has for his salary is that most Sheriffs (Carver County is the exception) don’t deal with contracts like Wright County does. He stated that his Department works with mayors and council members. Selling the County’s services takes a lot of time. The County’s relationship with its cities and townships is like a marriage. He stated that a goal of his is to improve communications with the public. This entails a redesign in some of the technology the Sheriff Department utilizes.
Sawatzke noted that Sheriff Miller’s additional salary amount of $3,577 for contract work was driven because the County Board was sued. He stated that due to the economy, the County is operating within a different atmosphere now. He suggested that perhaps Hagerty may be able to obtain this additional amount for city contract work in the future when the economy has turned around.
Hagerty stated that with the population being what it is in Wright County, the contracts add a lot more work for the Sheriff Department. The County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for running a jail, recreation enforcement, and a communications center. He stated that he feels it is personally important to have some acknowledgement for the extra duties over and above the handling of the contracts.
Mattson proposed a starting salary of $100,929. Eichelberg stated that he would feel comfortable with Step 7, $102,788, and not adding an additional salary amount for administering the city law enforcement contracts. Sawatzke stated that Eichelberg’s number would be comparable to Norman’s suggestion.
Thelen questioned why the County Board wouldn’t use the past practice of starting Hagerty at an amount $5,000 less than Sheriff Miller. Sawatzke stated that it was not past practice.
Thelen stated that the contract work is relevant to the amount of County staff and time involved with its cities. Stearns County is aided by the City of St. Cloud and its police force. The City of St. Cloud nearly covers half of the Stearns County population. She stated that she would be in favor of Step 8, $106,385, which would place Hagerty at approximately $5,000 less than Sheriff Miller’s current salary.
Eichelberg stated that he would be comfortable with a number between Steps 7 and 8. Russek stated that he would be in favor of Step 7, $102,788. Hagerty stated again that he does not feel that a points-to-pay scale applies to elected Department Heads.
Sawatzke stated that he would be in favor of an amount no higher than $104,000. This would equate to $50/hour. This would place Hagerty’s starting salary between Steps 7 and 8. Hagerty stated that with Sawatzke’s scenario, he would be taking a $9,000 reduction from the current wage of the current County Sheriff. Sawatzke argued that Sheriff Miller has been in office for ten years and it cost him approximately $45,000 to win his first election. He stated that it is his opinion that $104,000 is a good number.
Russek stated that starting at $102,788 would give Hagerty room to advance each year. In three years, Hagerty would be at the top of the pay scale. Eichelberg stated that he now agrees with Sawatzke’s proposal of $104,000. Norman asked whether it is Sawatzke’s intention to take Hagerty off the salary schedule. Sawatzke stated that it does take him off the schedule, but gives him a starting salary. Thelen asked whether Sawatzke would consider adding an additional amount for the administration of the city law enforcement contracts. Sawatzke stated no. Norman stated that he would like the County Board to keep this position on the salary schedule.
Norman clarified that Hagerty would receive a severance equaling 35% of his accrued sick time and 100% of his accrued vacation time. Sawatzke stated that Hagerty would still have vacation and sick time at his disposal in his new position as well as a cash payout of his accrued sick and vacation time.
Russek stated that he understands that Norman would propose Step 7 with an additional $1,212 to total $104,000. Norman stated yes.
Hagerty stated that he appreciates the negotiation efforts but still does not understand why there would be a $9,000 discrepancy from what the current Sheriff makes. Sawatzke stated that Sheriff Miller has more experience in the position that Hagerty. The starting salary is based on experience. Hagerty stated that his predecessors made the same wage as the outgoing Sheriff. Sheriff Miller negotiated an additional $3,577 in 2008 in recognition of his work with city contracts. Hagerty stated that if $104,000 is going to be his base salary, he’d like to add something for the administration of city contracts.
Russek stated that he would be in favor of Step 7 with an additional $1,212 for the contracts. This would total $104,000.
Sawatzke stated that Hagerty would be getting the largest increase of any County staff. Hagerty stated that there are 87 Sheriff jobs. He qualified for the position and will meet the responsibilities of County Sheriff. He stated that although he may not have the experience as Sheriff, he has been Chief Deputy for four years and has more experience than his predecessors when they received the same salary as the outgoing Sheriff. Thelen asked Hagerty how long Sheriff Miller has been with the County. Hagerty stated that it is about the same as his number of years with Wright County.
Hagerty stated that he would be doing the same job as Sheriff Miller, but at a lower base. He stated that a lot of what the Sheriff’s Office does is contract based. He stated that its Deputies are here as a result of that contract work. More employees produce more work. Norman stated that these employees impact the work of other departments (i.e. Auditor/Treasurer, payroll, Personnel, and Administration).
Hagerty stated that the contracts cause more stress on the Sheriff’s Department.
Thelen stated that she does not understand why Hagerty would be starting at a salary that is $9,000 less. He has a large department and a big job.
Russek stated that $104,000 is the consensus.
Hagerty asked what his recourse would be if he is not satisfied with the starting salary. Norman stated that he would suggest that Hagerty refer to the Sheriff Statute regarding the issue. He stated that it is his recollection that Hagerty would have a number of days from the action date (County Board adopts the resolution) to repeal the decision.
RECOMMENDATION: In 2011, Sheriff Hagerty’s starting salary will be $104,000.
(End of 11-09-10 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty was sworn in as the newly elected Wright County Sheriff by Gloria Gooler, Elections Supervisor.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-23-10. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as being accurate but not the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0:
I. Elected Department Head Salaries, 2011.
Norman stated that at the 11-17-10 County Board Meeting, a motion carried 4-1 (Sawatzke casting the nay vote) to lay the 11-09-10 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes over until after today’s meeting. Thelen stated that she asked to schedule today’s meeting so that the County Board could meet with Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney. She stated that she wanted to seek Madden’s opinion regarding compensating the elected Department Heads at a lower rate than the union employees.
Sawatzke stated that it is his opinion that having Madden at today’s Committee Meeting is good, however, he didn’t realize that the topic regarding the salaries of the elected Department Heads would be discussed again. He stated that the words “arbitrary” and “capricious” have been used repeatedly in recent discussions. However, sometimes unions get a different amount than non-union employees, and elected Department Heads don’t necessarily get the same thing. He noted that his paycheck is similar to what it was a year ago. It is his opinion that there is no correlation between what union employees and elected officials receive for salary increases. Mattson stated that there was a unanimous decision made at the 11-09-10 Personnel Committee Of The Whole (PCOTW) Meeting following an extensive discussion. He stated that the decision was not made without thought or process. Sawatzke stated that there was a good discussion at the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting. He stated that he does not understand how the decision could have changed since then.
Madden stated that there is a specific statute in regard to setting the salary amounts for the County Attorney, Sheriff, and Auditor/Treasurer. The County Board is obligated to make its determination setting the salary of the three elected Department Heads by considering qualifications, experience, and performance of the elected official. This determination is not to be made arbitrarily or capriciously. He stated that these are the magic words of the Statute. The court hearing process is an option that an elected official may use if they feel that the decision was made arbitrarily. He stated that this standard is unique in that there aren’t any other offices that have these rights. He stated that there is an entire body of case law that has evolved over time in regard to the meaning of this Statute. The elected Department Head’s right to an appeal is part of that Statute language.
Madden stated that the County Board is at a point of making a determination of the salary amount and possible increase for its elected Department Heads. He stated that in the past, he has urged the County Board to be careful in its consideration of an elected Department Head’s responsibilities, duties, and performance. He stated that the County Board has to ask itself what it means to offer a zero percent increase to an elected official as it relates to the context of the Statute. He stated that he understands the elected Department Heads requested a 2.5% increase. This percentage is the same amount the union-employees will receive due to their negotiated contracts for 2011. He clarified that legally, as he understands the law, he would question whether setting the salary increase amount at zero percent is causing a risk of exposure for the County. He stated that he would question whether setting a salary increase at zero percent, when it is approved for others, would be deemed arbitrary, capricious and in contrary to the Statute. Madden told the Commissioners that it is not his intent to nullify their concerns. He stated that it is his intent to give a straight-forward and qualified opinion.
Sawatzke stated that the County Board went over the scenarios, experience, and qualifications of each of the positions at the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting. He stated that the County Board understands the process. He stated that in 2008, the elected officials were referring to the salaries of elected officials in comparable counties. He stated that he has read how other counties are giving zero percent increases to their elected officials. He stated that he does not understand how a few years ago, the salaries of Wright County’s elected officials were based on other counties, and now the salaries are being held to the union contract amounts. He stated that he is unclear on what is used as a consideration in determining an elected official’s salary.
Madden stated that based on case law, market comparison is a relevant criterion for the County Board to use in setting salaries. He restated that if the County Board were to look at the terms arbitrary, capricious, and oppressive, granting the elected officials the same increase as the other union positions is a reasonable consideration. He noted that the courts would ask the County Board to consider what it gave to everybody else. The Courts would likely use this as a determining factor that meets the standards as set forth in the Statute. The County Board is raising a quotient of exposure by holding the salaries of the elected Department Heads at below the 2.5% amount others are receiving.
Madden clarified that he has not discussed this topic with any of the County’s elected officials. He is trying to maintain neutrality. He stated that he saw a draft of the 11-09-10 PCOTW minutes. Based on what he read, he is giving his best judgment. He stated that this will not work out in the County Board’s favor. He stated that a number of counties in 2010 may have granted zero percent increases for their elected officials. However, in a number of those counties, everybody else received zero percent increases. He stated that this is a consideration when looking at other counties. The elected officials in other counties recognized that other employees got a zero percent increase and were comfortable with a zero percent increase. If everyone gets a general increase, and the elected officials are willing to take the same amount, then it would be considered capricious to grant them a zero increase. He stated that he would have trouble arguing this to the court. He has argued these cases before and is hoping that this would not have to be brought to the court level.
Mattson stated that if the County Board is going to be forced to give 2.5% increases to the elected officials, it is his opinion that the departments are going to have to find a way to cut an additional 2.5% from their budgets. The budget hasn’t been settled yet. He stated that if he didn’t have 500-600 persons without jobs in his district, then he wouldn’t be so adamant about this topic. He stated that if the money isn’t there, the money isn’t there. He urged the County Board to go back and look at its budget.
Eichelberg stated that he sees this subject a little differently than Mattson. He stated that the County Board has asked Department Heads and its employees in those departments to “hold it down”. He stated that there has been an increase in turn back dollars from Departments over the past few years. He stated that during these tough times, the Department Heads have responded. He stated that to deny the elected Department Heads a salary increase while everybody else is getting a 2.5% increase is not fair. He stated that it is his opinion that these Department Heads are finding ways within their budget to more than cover their 2.5% increases.
Sawatzke stated that he is not comfortable telling the citizens that the County Board is going to grant a raise to the elected Department Heads at the threat that they may sue the taxpayers. He stated that it is his interpretation that the Statute grants the County Board the authority to consider the salary of an elected Department Head. He stated that a majority agreed on a number. He stated that he cannot predict whether the three elected Department Heads will accept those numbers. He stated that he believes that there has got to be some sensitivity. He stated that based on what he heard Madden say today, the elected Department Heads can use whatever justification they want to get whatever pay they want. He stated that he doesn’t agree with this methodology.
Russek stated that after listening to Madden, he would ask the County Board the following question, “Would you rather spend $10,000 to go to court, or give $3,000 to the elected official and save $7,000.” He stated that he went along with the zero percent increase at first. He asked Norman whether the 2.5% increases were included in the proposed budget. Norman stated yes. Russek stated that if the salary increases are included in the budget, he feels it is a threat to the County to go to court.
Thelen stated that the Commissioners have made good points. She stated she agrees with Mattson in that the County does have to develop a better way to make cuts within its budget. However, she doesn’t feel that this should be done by denying someone a raise or at the expense of its employees. She stated that cuts should be made where it makes sense.
Thelen stated that the Committee has arrived at three votes to grant a 2.5% increase to the elected Department Heads. Sawatzke stated that he votes “no”; however, if there are three votes in favor of the 2.5% increase, there is no reason to debate this further.
RECOMMENDATION: In 2011, County Attorney Tom Kelly and County Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala will receive a 2.5% salary adjustment.
NOTE: Thelen had to attend a phone conference and left the meeting at 1:55 p.m.
Norman stated that there was a recommendation at the last meeting relative to Sheriff-elect Hagerty. He asked whether the item is open for further discussion or if the recommendation from the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting stands. Russek stated that a compromise was made and a recommendation was developed out of that discussion. He stated that the Commissioners voted 5-0 on the recommendation. He stated that the compromised amount was higher than he was willing to go, but he went along with it. Norman noted that the recommendation was for $104,000. Hagerty asked whether he would have a chance to discuss this topic further because he feels Madden would have some serious concerns. Russek stated that an agreement was made. Norman stated that the recommendation was derived by selecting Step 7 on the salary scale and making an adjustment of $1,212 for the city contracts.
Sawatzke asked Hiivala what his salary was when he was appointed to the Auditor/Treasurer position. Hiivala stated that he was placed at Step 5 at the time of the appointment. After winning the election, he was placed at Step 6. Sawatzke noted that the Commissioners recommended starting Hagerty 2-3 steps higher than what Hiivala started at. Hagerty stated that the County Board cannot compare him to the Auditor/Treasurer. He stated that he should be compared to his peers.
Norman stated that the appeal process, by the elected Department Head, starts once the County Board passes the resolution setting their salary. He noted that the resolutions haven’t been presented to the County Board yet. He stated that due to the Thanksgiving holiday this week, and short County Board Agenda the following week, the minutes of today’s and the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting would not be presented until the 12-14-10 County Board Meeting. He stated that the resolutions would also be presented at that time.
Hagerty stated that he wishes to revisit the comment made by Sawatzke. He stated that the last thing any of the elected Department Heads want to do is sue the County. He stated that the discussion and resulting recommendation to start Hagerty at $9,000 to $12,000 less than the current Sheriff is by definition arbitrary. He stated that he didn’t feel as if he had an opportunity to argue for his salary and was hoping that there would be some negotiation regarding the salary for his new position. He stated that the Commissioners decided to cut the compensation of the city contracts amount from $3,577 down to $1,212. The $3,577 was originally negotiated for during litigation with Sheriff Miller. He stated that the contracts are going to create more work in 2011 because cities have tightened their budgets.
Sawatzke stated that Hagerty had discussed his experience and history with the County. There were a lot of numbers that were proposed and discussed. Quite a few of the proposed salary amounts were smaller than what was finally recommended. There was negotiation. The Commissioners at the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting came up with a number that was based on discussion and negotiation. The negotiated amount included an amount for the administration of the city contracts.
Hagerty stated that he asked for a copy of the minutes of the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting from Personnel and was told that the minutes are not available to the public until the County Board approves them. He stated that based on his notes from the meeting, he recalled the Commissioners had referred to the state of the economy in determining his starting salary amount. There was also discussion about placing him on a salary grid. Hagerty stated that Sawatzke told him that he didn’t have to spend $40,000 for the successful election bid. He stated that it is his opinion that the Committee did not look at the responsibilities of the position and his performance. He explained that he has more experience than his two predecessors had when they were first elected; yet they were brought in at the top salary. He noted that Sheriff Hozempa did receive a senority bump of $5,000. It is his opinion that the Statute was not followed and he is glad Madden is present today. He stated that there is case law dating back to 1987 from Stevens County regarding this subject. He stated that the Sheriffs Department is the primary responder to the citizens of Wright County. He stated that he is looking for reasoning behind why the salary for the Sheriff’s position in 2011 is being cut.
Sawatzke asked how much Sheriff Miller currently makes. Hagerty stated that Sheriff Miller’s current salary is approximately $113,000. Sawatzke noted that Sheriff Miller has been the Sheriff for ten years more than Hagerty. He stated that the County Board is proposing to give him 92% of Sheriff Miller’s current salary. Hagerty stated that he should be treated the same as Sheriff Miller and his predecessor. He stated that he has four years experience as Chief Deputy; neither of his predecessors had Chief Deputy experience.
Eichelberg stated that Hagerty’s position is different than that of the County Attorney and Auditor/Treasurer. He asked whether Madden could make a statement regarding the topic. Madden stated that the standards are the same as mentioned earlier in the meeting. He stated that the County Board’s determination should be based on the discussion at the 11-09-10 PCOTW Meeting. He stated the County Board should determine whether it discussed and listened to Hagerty’s arguments relative to the responsibilities and duties of the office, as well as his experience and qualifications. He stated that a determination should be made based on the spirit of the Statute. He clarified that he does not have sufficient information regarding the topic, however, based on the draft of the minutes from that meeting, he would ask the County Board to question whether they are comfortable in their decision based on it’s examination of the criteria. He stated that based on his review of the draft minutes, he saw that the County Board acknowledged Hagerty has done a good job in the roles he has had in the Sheriff’s Department. He stated that there were multiple salary amounts discussed and there was logic behind the various proposed salary amounts. He stated that it is not his role to take a position on this topic. Madden explained that the County Board has to determine whether it feels comfortable with its process and decision. He stated that the burden of proof is on the challenger. He stated that he recognizes this is a new position for Hagerty, however, he has an extensive background. He clarified that the topic at hand is significantly different than the first question he answered earlier in the meeting.
Mattson stated that it is his opinion that the Committee discussed the topic thoroughly which was documented in the pages of the meeting minutes. He stated that he is comfortable with what the Committee settled at that time.
Russek stated that the Committee did follow through the entire process. The County Board members did look at Hagerty’s qualifications and recognize that he is a new Sheriff. He has been Chief Deputy for four years; however, the two roles are different. He stated that he feels there will still be some sort of learning curve to the new role. He stated that he is satisfied with what the Committee is recommending. Sawatzke stated that he feels comfortable that the Comittee was thorough in its process. Mattson stated that a consensus has been reached.
Hagerty thanked the Committee for the opportunity to raise his concerns.
II. Non-Union Employees Salaries, 2011.
Eichelberg stated that it is opinion that non-union employees should receive the same increase amount as union employees.
Mattson asked whether the motion during this same discussion last year was passed on a 3-1 vote. Sawatzke stated it was passed on a 3-2 vote (Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay vote).
Russek stated that he is not going to expect the non-union employees to be singled out by not taking an increase when it was negotiated for the rest of the employees. He stated that if the County Board did not approve 2.5% increases for the non-union employees, some of them would be making less than some of the employees they supervise. He stated that he is in favor of a 2.5% increase for all.
Thelen briefly returned to the meeting and she stated that she would vote yes for a 2.5% increase for non-union employees.
Mattson stated that he heard many comments during his campaigning regarding the sacrifices the private sector is making to stay afloat. He stated that he would hope that people would recognize the citizens’ concerns.
RECOMMENDATION: Approve a 2.5% salary adjustment in 2011 to all Non-Union employees.
(End of 11-23-10 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
The Board reviewed a draft resolution setting the County Attorney’s compensation for 2011. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #10-44, seconded by Thelen. Mattson referenced discussion with other counties at the AMC Conference. He didn’t learn of another county that hasn’t frozen or lowered their budgets, frozen wages, or had any new hires. He felt it was embarrassing that Wright County is discussing a 2.5% COLA for employees. Russek referenced the comments made by Sheriff Miller earlier in the meeting about how Wright County employees work together. He felt that unless the unions agree to a 0% COLA, he did not feel that the Board should impose 0% to department heads or non-union employees. Russek felt all employees should be treated the same. He thought if the unions would agree to less, the rest would follow. Next year, the County will enter into negotiations with the unions and, at that point, the County can look to lowering these percentages. Russek stated many department heads could have spent money that would have otherwise been turned back. He did not feel they should be singled out to take less. He felt doing so would create discord. Sawatzke referenced the County Attorney’s salary. In 2008, he said the County Attorney challenged the Board legally as he did not want the salary adjustment that everyone else was getting. He wanted three times more. Ultimately, because the County got pushed into a legal challenge and did not want to spend a lot of money in court, the Board gave the County Attorney a salary of three times more. Sawatzke said three years ago the County Board was not supposed to base the Attorney’s salary on what everyone else got. He did not view it as a big deal for that position to now take 2.5% less when times are tough. Sawatzke said he would vote against the Resolution. He felt if the vote was put to the taxpayers, it would be an overwhelming “no.” The motion to adopt the Resolution carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay votes:
RESOLUTION #10-44
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Tom Kelly, Attorney
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2011 salary shall be $119,446;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners shall provide $4,809 in additional salary in 2011 in recognition of the enhanced responsibilities he has for administering the city law enforcement contracts.
(End of Resolution #10-44)
Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #10-45 setting the Sheriff’s compensation for 2011. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
RESOLUTION 10-45
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Joe Hagerty, Sheriff;
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2011 salary shall be $104,000.
(End of Resolution #10-45)
Thelen moved to adopt Resolution #10-46 setting the Auditor/Treasurer’s compensation for 2011. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay votes:
RESOLUTION 10-46
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer;
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2011 salary shall be $112,862.
(End of Resolution #10-46)
The Board reviewed the draft resolution which would set the Wright County Board’s salary for 2011. Norman stated the draft reflects a 2.5% increase. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #10-47 setting the County Board’s salary for 2011 at the same rate as that of 2009. Norman stated the amount is $36,527. Mattson said he supports this and this reduction will reflect a $4,000 savings to the taxpayers. Mattson said the private sector is in trouble with losing homes and jobs. There would be a savings of about $2 million through the 2.5% increase for employees. He felt there was no balance between the thinking. Russek restated that the unions would have to agree to a 0% increase. He said the action through approval of the other resolutions will not make up a $2 million difference. Three years ago, the County thought the union contracts settled upon were good. He referenced McLeod County who had to provide a 4.5% COLA this year, as they had negotiated the contract two years ago. Russek said many may think employees are overpaid. He stated that Wright County is notably one of the lowest in the State, and also about 6th from the bottom on levy per capita in the State. It is not that the Wright County Board wastes money or overpays the employees. He also stated that the amount of service required does not go down with the economy. It increases and it is being provided with fewer employees. Russek said he would also like to come in with a 0% increase, but there are union contracts in place. Unions would have to agree to this. Sawatzke said he would dispute that Wright County employees are paid lower relative to their counterparts in other counties. He said the unions like to tell the County that and if they tell it to the County long enough, they hope the County will believe it. Sawatzke said when he has seen wage comparisons from non-bias sources, he has found the pay in Wright County very competitive relative to other counties. The motion to adopt Resolution #10-47 carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
RESOLUTION 10-47
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes, Section 375.055, provides the procedures for fixing the County Board compensation for the next year;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that as of January 1, 2011 members of the Wright County Board of Commissioners shall have an annual salary, exclusive of per diem payments, of $36,527. Said salary shall continue in effect until such time as this Resolution is amended or otherwise modified.
(End of Resolution #10-47)
Thelen moved to adopt Resolution #10-48 setting the Wright County Board per diem rate for 2011 at $50. This is the same rate as 2010. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #10-49 appointing Dr. Quinn Strobl as the Wright County Medical Examiner for the period of 1-01-11 through 12-31-11. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Norman said two separate resolutions were drafted relating to setting of the 2011 Budget and Certified Taxable Levy. The first draft resolution is based on the work completed during Budget sessions in 2010 and would set the total Budget at $99,818,418 and the total Certified Taxable Levy at $50,063,412. Norman said at the 11-30-10 evening Board Meeting, Sawatzke asked that Norman provide an analysis of the savings which will be realized because of lower health insurance rates than anticipated. Norman referenced a handout entitled Single Coverage Comparison that reflects a savings of $253,421. This figure is based on the reduced insurance costs and the County not having to budget an additional $50 for those employees with single coverage. The second draft resolution reflects these savings, with a total Budget of $99,564,997 and a total Certified Taxable Levy of $49,809,991. The second draft would reflect a .5% decrease in the total Budget compared to 2010 and a 2.5% increase in the Certified Taxable Levy. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #10-50 which includes the reduction in figures from the savings in health insurance. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
RESOLUTION #10-50
BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2011 Budget as follows:
GENERAL REVENUE $ 51,150,002
ROAD & BRIDGE 17,700,685
HUMAN SERVICES 23,293,234
DEBT SERVICE 7,377,656
LAKE PULASKI L.I.D. 30,000
MINK-SOMERS L.I.D. 13,420
TOTAL BUDGET $ 99,564,997
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2011 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:
BUDGET AMOUNT
GENERAL REVENUE $24,291,517
ROAD AND BRIDGE $ 7,913,510
HUMAN SERVICES $ 9,123,834
SUB-TOTAL $41,328,861
LESS: COUNTY PROGRAM AID
$ 4,710,428
NET TAXABLE LEVY $36,618,433
PLUS SPECIAL LEVIES:
CORRECTIONS $ 6,746,340
DEBT SERVICE $ 7,377,656
Less Sales Tax Rebate $ 0
800 MHz Reimbursement $ -300,000
Transfer-In $ -1,082,458
Use of Excess Debt Funds $ 0
MATCHING REQUIREMENTS
$406,600
UNALLOTMENT $ 0
LAKE PULASKI LID $ 30,000
MINK-SOMERS LID $ 13,420
TOTAL CERTIFIED TAXABLE LEVY
$ 49,809,991
(End of Resolution #10-50)
Appointments to the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment were discussed. Members of these Boards serve three-year terms. It has been tradition and courtesy that the five Board of Adjustment members are appointed by district, and that the Planning Commission is also five by district, with one at-large member and one County Commissioner. The 2010 County Board member serving on the Planning Commission is Russek. The County Commissioner on the Planning Commission is appointed annually. State law requires one member of the Board of Adjustment also be a member of the Planning Commission. The terms of the following members expire at the end of 2010 and will need to be reappointed or replaced by January, 2011:
Board of Adjustment
Lawrence Baumen (3rd District)
Planning Commission
Gordon Weber (4th District)
George Bakeberg (5th District)
Russek moved to re-appoint the members as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
Russek provided a Crow River Watershed update. At the last meeting, it was announced that $495,911 is available through grants for projects in the Crow Watershed. An additional grant for $1.2 million was awarded for septic system upgrades. Wright, Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties are eligible for septic system loans in the amount of $400,000 each. Russek said if residents need septic upgrades, they should contact the SWCD and the CROW. He said it is fortunate to receive these grants which will assist in improving the water quality. Russek thought one of the reasons the grants were secured is that the water runs into the Mississippi River near Dayton and is treated as drinking water for metro residents. This was provided as an informational item.
At the 11-30-10 County Board Meeting (A.M. Meeting), Norman was asked to research the Regional Crime Laboratory Joint Powers Agreement. Today, Norman presented a memorandum dated 12-10-10 outlining the Articles and Sections of the JPA that he found to be the most pertinent to the discussion that occurred at the last meeting. His conclusion is that there are some material weaknesses in the administration of the Joint Powers Agreement. One avenue to deal with this would be to refer discussion to the Ways & Means Committee and to send correspondence to Anoka County on the concerns. Sawatzke asked that prior to the Ways & Means Committee Meeting that Wright County ask for a compilation of the data, specifically the quantity of what is being processed by the Crime Laboratory and who it is from (member counties and those who they contract with for a specific use). Russek moved to refer the Regional Crime Laboratory Joint Powers Agreement to the Ways & Means Committee. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty said he attended a Tri-County Lab Meeting yesterday with Sheriff Miller. They did not discuss budgets. At that meeting, Sheriff Miller requested that Anoka County direct correspondence relating to the Crime Lab to the Sheriff’s Office and to the Administration Office as a means to make sure all are informed. Hagerty said Anoka County holds regular meetings on the Crime Lab and minutes were taken of the meeting yesterday. Sheriff Miller also asked that Anoka County compile an Annual Report on the Crime Lab reflecting budget items. Sawatzke said Anoka County should be requesting approval of the budget from those involved in the Joint Powers Agreement. This is reflected under the “Duties of Committee” information that Norman provided.
Laid over from the last meeting, the Board discussed the Great River Regional Library Board term expirations of Jim Shovelain and Earl Dierks. Mattson was in contact with Dierks, who would like to serve again. Eichelberg has not been in contact with Shovelain. Sawatzke said Shovelain has only served one year and is a very good member. He assumed he would be interested in serving again. Eichelberg moved to appoint Jim Shovelain and Earl Dierks to the Great River Regional Library Board. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion, the Board discussed approving the Non-Union Salary Schedule for 2011. Mattson said there have been many discussions on salary adjustments. He restated he is concerned with residents who have lost jobs in his District. He hoped his message would have gone some place but it has not. Eichelberg said the Board has approved a 2.5% increase for union employees and elected officials and he did not see a reason to do something different in this case. Eichelberg moved to approve a 2.5% increase for non-union employees. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay votes. Russek said there has been discussion about lowering the Budget and Levy. He said the County had a Levy Stabilization Fund and with those funds bought overpriced park land. He said the funds could have been used to lower the budget instead of doing it at the expense of our employees. Russek said he feels employees should be treated the same.
The Board discussed the mileage reimbursement rate at $.51/mile, effective 1-01-11, which was also removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion. Mattson said just because the Federal Government says the rate should go up a penny does it mean the County should increase the rate. Those in the private sector are not getting a penny more. He was opposed to increasing the rate. Russek recalled that the Board previously moved to follow the Federal Reimbursement Rate so that motion may have to be amended. Norman said the Board did take this action. Sawatzke said the County Budget includes a rate not to exceed $.50/mile. He questioned whether there is one union contract that includes reimbursement at the Federal Rate. Norman said he recalled the contract reflects they will be reimbursed what the State reimburses their employees. He thought the State Rate followed the Federal Rate. In response to Sawatzke, Hiivala stated it would not be a problem to have different rates for different departments. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the Mileage Reimbursement Rate for 2011 at $.50/mile, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty said he presented information on restructure of the Sheriff’s Office to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole on 11-16-10. The Sheriff’s Office is currently interviewing for the Captain position. The last piece of the restructure would be the backfill of the Lieutenant position. It is not an extra position. If the filling of the Lieutenant position would need to go back to the Personnel Committee for discussion, it would circumvent his efforts of completing the restructure by 1-03-11. Hagerty asked for approval to backfill the Lieutenant position in the Command Staff. That will complete the Command Staff but they will eventually need to backfill a Sergeant position. Sawatzke said the request is consistent with what Hagerty discussed at the Committee level. There may have been some miscommunication that followed on what had to be done to fill the positions and in what order. Although the Personnel Committee meets on 12-15-10, adding this position replacement to that Agenda will not allow for the three-day posting period. The next time the position replacement could be addressed would be mid-January. Norman did not have a problem with filling the position if posting of the Lieutenant position takes place following the acceptance of the Captain position and salary by the employee selected. Sawatzke felt this was a good point given the recent situations that have occurred with filling of positions in the Sheriff’s Office. Norman said that Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney, advised the County that the Administration Department should generate letters to the individuals accepting positions outlining the terms and conditions of employment. This should be done whether there is a new hire or promotion. The individual would then sign off indicating they are accepting the position for what the offer is being made at. Sawatzke clarified that at such time a letter of agreement with the offer is signed, the Personnel Office will post the position that is being requested today. Norman said this is correct. Sawatzke made that motion, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Mattson provided information on Aviation in Minnesota. Minnesota has the following airports: 8-Commercial, 5-Paved with Seaplane Base, 100-Paved, 15-Lighted Turf, and 7-Turf. Local airports socially and economically impact communities in many ways that make it a better place to live. This was provided as an informational item.
Hiivala said earlier in today’s meeting, the Board passed a motion setting the Subordinate Sewer District Bond sales date for 1-10-11 with award at the 1-11-11 County Board Meeting. The motion included setting the sale time the same as it was scheduled for on 12-13-10. Hiivala clarified that the resolution passed previously was silent on the time. He contacted Ehlers Associates and they suggested that the motion not include a sale time.
Bills Approved
3D Specialties Inc. $22,165.94
Abrahamson/Brian 226.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 2,480.21
Allina Hospitals & Clinic 17,073.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 479.44
Allina Hospitals & Clinics Sp 351.05
Allina Medical Transportation 500.00
American Institutional Suppl 205.27
American Messaging 209.96
American Tower Corporation 3,601.80
Ameripride Services 185.72
Anselment/Daniel 199.99
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv 5,585.76
Aramark Services Iinc. 19,413.51
Asplin Travel Plaza/Kirk 159.80
Association of MN Counties 325.00
Bachman Printing 530.02
Barker Co./Bob 337.67
Barnes Distribution 454.88
Beaudry Propane Inc. 2,089.19
Befort/Stephan F. 1,679.70
Bergquist/Kevin 125.00
Bergstrom/Janice 100.00
Borell/Ralph 429.31
Braun Intertec Corporation 972.50
Bryan Rock Products 305.40
Buff N Glo Inc. 130.00
Buffalo Cleaners and Laund 227.86
Buffalo Floral & Landscap 160.00
Buffalo/City of 60,328.61
Burdas Towing 197.72
Cardiac Science 2,364.61
Catco Parts Service 782.97
CDW Government Inc. 1,866.20
Cenex Fleetcard 534.90
Center Point Energy 290.43
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 44,126.10
CenturyLink 175.99
Chicago Mounts 923.48
Climate Air 1,364.33
Contech Construction Prod 450.16
Cottens Buffalo 531.88
Cottens Inc. 2,970.38
Cragg Co/H M 4,494.68
Delano Sports Center Inc. 216.69
Delano/City of 2,506.73
Dell Marketing LP 1,144.11
DeMatteis/Mario 100.00
Design Electrical Contract 812.00
Diers/Carter 267.00
Durst/Jerald L. 125.00
Dustcoating Inc. 14,151.59
Dynamic Recycling 2,886.76
Election Systems & Software 2,205.00
Elk River Municipal Utilities 120.57
Emergency Physicians Prof 291.00
Employers Association Inc. 2,695.00
Engel/Dale L. 625.00
Evident Crime Scene Produc 202.50
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. 6,623.04
Fingalson/Wayne 245.96
Franz Reprographics 251.58
Fred Pryor Seminars Inc. 149.00
FS3 Inc 1,670.33
Glunz/Raymond 120.00
GoodPointe Technology 2,250.00
Gopher State One Call 120.35
Government Training Serv 615.00
Grainger 1,915.68
Granite Electronics 4,357.45
Greater MN Regional Parks 150.00
Help Systems IL LLC 5,130.00
Hennepin County IT Dept 1,800.00
Herc-U-Lift 2,664.75
Hewlett Packard 6,636.77
Hiivala/Robert 208.87
Hillyard Inc. – Minneapolis 3,947.48
Holiday 254.21
Howard/Jolanta 300.00
HSBC Business Solutions 408.30
International Assn. of Asses 200.00
Interstate Battery Systems 777.63
Jahnke/Chris 197.50
Karels Towing 253.83
Keeprs Inc. 209.45
Kustom Signals Inc. 181.88
Labor Arbitration Institute 325.00
Lantto/Lilia 100.00
LaPlant Demo Inc. 450.37
Laurent/Michael 160.40
Lebovsky/Gary 194.00
Loberg Electric 141.17
Lostetter/Carol H. 500.00
Maple Lake Lumber Company 164.17
Maple Lake/City of 1,786.94
Marco Inc. 3,099.75
Mares Excavating 2,500.00
Martin-McAllisters Consult 800.00
Matt/Cynthia 100.00
McLeod County Auditor/Tre 105.51
Menards - Buffalo 491.74
Meyers/Dr. Peter E. 2,375.00
Midland Corporate Benefits 997.75
Midwave Corporation 375.00
Midwest Machinery Co. 169.66
MN CLE Inc. 670.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 8,538.08
MN Sheriffs Association 405.00
MN Society of Prof Surveyo 430.00
MN State Bar Association 275.00
MN Supreme Court 1,316.00
Monticello Times Inc. 135.60
Monticello/City of 19,058.66
Montrose/City of 1,015.38
Morries Parts & Service Gro 1,520.06
MSPE 318.00
MTI Distributing Inc. 467.17
Neopost Inc. 1,102.58
North American Salt Co. 54,670.47
North Metro Realtors Assoc 114.00
Office Depot 9,257.98
Olsen Companies 376.47
Peavey Company/Lynn 554.40
Pfiffner Htg. and A/C 9,500.00
Postmaster-Buffalo 1,000.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co 150.69
Pts of America LLC 1,661.40
Qwest 2,734.20
Ramacciotti/Frank 500.00
Reich/Cathy 1,943.70
Royal Tire Inc. 6,612.77
Ruffridge-Johnson 13,194.83
Russell Security Resource 382.92
Ryan Chevrolet 309.40
Scenic Signs 255.80
Scharber & Sons Inc. 101.38
SHI International Corp 653.05
Solarz/Tammi 186.50
Sprint 9,111.83
State of MN-Office Enter 1,335.00
Stearns County Treasurer 330.00
Subway-Annandale 100.00
SW Recycling Inc. 4,175.00
Thorsett/Ronald L. 200.00
Tires Plus 171.11
Tools Unlimited 535.50
Total Printing 1,316.49
Uniforms Unlimited 1,439.86
Unlimited Electric Inc. 1,720.17
Utility Truck Services 1,028.71
Varitech Industries Inc. 13,817.89
Village Ranch Inc. 5,027.70
Voss Lighting 309.62
Walker Trucking/C 1,600.00
Walmart Community GEMB 228.10
Waste Management TC-West 1,956.79
Waverly/City of 2,919.23
Wisecarver/john 100.00
Wright County Highway Dept. 384.53
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 676.75
Xcel Energy 123.42
Xiotech 24,228.56
Zep Sales & Services 1,439.01
53 Payments less than $100 2,404.41
Final total $503,022.06
The meeting adjourned at 11:37 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 10, 2011.


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