WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JANUARY 18, 2011
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, and Thelen present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent.
The minutes of 1-11-11 were corrected as follows: Page 5, last paragraph, 6th line should read, “Thelen said she would go along with the Committee recommendation with the proviso that where all other things are equal, geographic equity might be a good way to prioritize the applications for funding.” The next sentence was deleted, “She felt geographic equity may be a good way to prioritize.” Thelen moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consideration #4, “Wetland Conference” (Mattson). Sheriff Joe Hagerty asked if he could add an item to the Agenda. Russek stated as long as it is non-controversial, it could be added. Russek said if we decide it is too controversial, we will Agenda it next week. Sheriff Hagerty said he needs to know if the Board acknowledges the Sheriff’s ability to restructure his office. Hagerty said there is a pay grievance that is bleeding into his ability to run his office. It is a para-military structure for reason, order, and discipline and the employees need to know who they are answering to. Hagerty said it seems like the Chief Deputy Sheriff and two Captains did not receive their promotions per last Friday’s payroll. He said he is wondering where he is at, whether he has a command staff, and whether the Board recognizes he has a Chief Deputy and Captains. Russek asked whether that was too controversial to be added to the Agenda. Sawatzke said the Board would need to ask County Coordinator Richard Norman whether those people have been officially put in these new positions by virtue of being offered a job and accepting the job and starting in a new position. Sawatzke said if they are talking about grievances as it relates to O’Malley and Pippo, he felt they are both working in the newly promoted positions. He asked Norman to affirm this. Norman said he believed they are. Sawatzke said if they are talking about those two, he felt they had been promoted. Sawatzke said those are the only two grievances that he is aware of being filed. Sheriff Hagerty said those have been filed. He stated he is talking about what he came to the Board with, in November, and then reiterated at the December 14th meeting with being able to post for Lieutenant, which still hasn’t happened. Hagerty said he desperately needs to get moving on this and needs to know the Board’s position on it so he can figure out what route he has to take to run his Office. Thelen asked whether the two positions were not what he was talking about. Russek said no, that he is talking about the Chief Deputy and two Captains. Hagerty said it also involves a Lieutenant. He felt the grievances seem to have really bled into his ability to promote people and they are not being acknowledged as such. He said they are within their Office, but as of Friday, payroll hasn’t acknowledged this. Norman said he felt this is controversial because the promotional appointments of the people in question goes hand-in-hand with the salary offer from the County Board to fill these positions. He said none of them have accepted the salary being offered so they are not recognizing them as being promoted yet. Sheriff Hagerty asked whether that included his Chief Deputy. Norman said he does not believe he has signed the salary sheet provided by the Administration Department. Sheriff Hagerty said he believes he can appoint the Chief Deputy and then send in writing who the Chief Deputy is, which he did. Hagerty said he believed he was within the Statute. Norman said he believed the Chief Deputy is appointed by the Sheriff and right now, he is working at the same salary as he was making as a Captain. Sheriff Hagerty said he just needs to know the Board’s position. Sawatzke said that until such time as the Board tells the Personnel Office they are not doing it accurately, the Personnel Office acts on the Board’s behalf for Personnel issues. Hagerty said he appreciated that. Thelen asked when that will be determined. Russek said letters were sent out to all three asking them to accept the job offer or not. Norman confirmed this was correct. Russek thought that so far, a signed letter had not been received from the Chief Deputy and the others were modified versions so the County is in limbo too. Sawatzke said they are getting very close to adding something to the Agenda that hasn’t even been added to the Agenda, by virtue of the discussion that has gotten lengthier and lengthier. Thelen said the question is whether it can be on the Agenda. Sawatzke said this was correct. Russek felt this might be pretty controversial. Sawatzke moved to approve the Agenda with the addition Commissioner Mattson requested. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: R. Miller, Parks; K. Hoyne, M. Triechler, Sher./Corr.
2. Authorize Participation In the Minnesota Cities Participation Program (First Time Homebuyer) For 2011.
1. Approve 2011 Tobacco License Renewals for: Emma’s Express, Geez Sports Bar & Grill (Albertville City); Kirk’s Travel Plaza (Cokato City); Lake Center Bar & Grill (Corinna Twp.); Fallah Tobacco (Delano City); Roger’s Amoco (Maple Lake City); Cub Foods #1632 (Monticello City); Marohn’s St. Michael Marketplace (St. Michael City).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Hiivala referenced a claim on Page 5, MN Bookstore ($821.87), Attorney’s supplies line item. Hiivala explained that the claim has been pulled and is not included in the signature copy. On a motion by Mattson, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 1-12-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the minutes: Paragraph 2, change the last sentence to read, “Employees that park their vehicles in Lot 3 must enter through the West entrance of the Government Center” (Norman); Last Paragraph, the Recommendation should read, “Authorize Court Services to park their van in Slot #16 in Lot 2 or in an end slot in Lot 3” (Norman). Mattson moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 4-0:
I. RESERVED PARKING SLOTS, WEST PARKING LOT.
Norman stated that the Building Committee met on 7-08-09 to discuss and assign reserved parking spaces in the parking lots surrounding the Government Center. Since the Sheriff’s Department moved into their new facility, the slots reserved for Dispatch and Corrections became available.
Norman stated that Court Services has a work crew van that has an assigned space (#5) in the West Parking Lot. He stated that Court Services would like the County Board to consider their request to switch their assigned #5 slot with the #6 space for easier parking maneuverability. Parking at the end of a block of reserved parking spaces will make it easier to back the large van in and out. Norman stated that he would propose moving the Court Services van to either an end slot in Lot 3, or the #16 slot in Lot 2. It meets their need for more maneuverability. Employees that park their vehicles in Lot 3 must enter through the West entrance of the Government Cente.
Mattson asked whether a sign would have to be dedicated for the Court Services’ van. Norman stated that there are signs already posted in each of the parking lots that designate each space as a reserved slot with an assigned number. Norman stated that the 4-14-09 County Board Minutes are the source for determining how each space is assigned. Norman stated that he will ask Lee Kelly, Special Projects Administrator, to monitor who is parking in the reserved spaces. Employees should not be parking in these spaces since the slots are reserved for a reason. He noted that the Assessors are parking their County-owned vehicles in the garage during the evening of snow events so that the Lot can be easily cleared.
Mattson asked that Kelly test parking the Court Services stretch van to determine which spot would be best for parking maneuverability.
Eichelberg noted that the minutes should be updated to reflect current assigned parking since Planning & Zoning is no longer parking in Lot 4. Eichelberg stated that the main concern in meeting the request from Court Services is parking maneuverability and snow removal. He stated that perhaps the reserved parking spots should be revisited after Kelly does his research.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Court Services to park their van in Slot #16 in Lot 2 or in an end slot in Lot 3. (End of 1-12-11 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 1-12-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 4-0:
I. POSITION OPENINGS.
A. Corrections Officers (3).
O’Malley stated that his Department has three vacant Correctional Officer (CO) positions. One CO was promoted to Sergeant, another became a Deputy, and another submitted his retirement letter which will occur on 2-25-11. O’Malley noted that they would not fill the CO vacancy for retirement until after 2-25-11. He stated that background checks have been performed on the potential new hires, but no offers have been made. He stated that it typically takes 4-6 weeks to fill a position after a vacancy has occurred. In addition, the incoming CO also has to complete three months of training. The three positions are included in the 2011 budget. He noted that his Department averaged 4.2 vacancies per month in 2010 due to FMLA, vacancies, and military leave. These types of vacancies are on unpaid status. He did not think that the average number of vacancies per month would be any different in 2011.
O’Malley stated that the Jail is required by the DOC to have a certain number of positions every day. Absences are filled by temporary employees, part-time employees, or by utilizing overtime. Norman stated that the County underwent a jail staffing plan to account for absences prior to building the Jail/LEC. O’Malley discussed how the Jail is proactive in meeting staffing needs by denying some vacation requests and making scheduling adjustments. He clarified that when there are vacant positions in the Jail there is no cushion to fill absent positions. January and February is a slow period for vacation requests, however vacation requests increase by April each year.
Sawatzke asked O’Malley what his overtime expenditures were in 2010. O’Malley responded that $90,000 was budgeted in 2010, and $110,000 was expended. He noted that this was due to a change in requiring an additional 15 minutes at shift change. The overage in overtime was also due to position vacancies. He could not recall the exact amount of budgeted overtime for 2011. Sawatzke asked O’Malley how often he leaves a shift open. O’Malley stated that it happens on a very rare occasion due to DOC requirements. He clarified that the Jail needs the same number of positions no matter whether there are 90 inmates or 150 inmates. If the County were to close an area of the Jail, then some positions could remain vacant. Sawatzke asked whether the area of the Jail that recently received new furniture was being utilized. O’Malley stated no. Sawatzke stated that the Sheriff’s Department is supposed to inform the County Board of its intent prior to opening that pod. O’Malley stated that this was understood.
Norman asked how many inmates the Jail is housing. O’Malley stated that its average daily population in 2010 was 124 inmates. This met the goal of 120-130 inmates which was planned prior to the building of the new facility. He stated that the Jail doesn’t expect the numbers to decrease in 2011.
Norman asked whether the County Jail is boarding any inmates under the DOC contract. O’Malley stated yes, the County does have a couple of inmates that are housed under the DOC contract.
Eichelberg stated that it is his understanding the Jail is looking to maintain its staffing numbers. He asked O’Malley whether he would fill the vacancy resulting from a retirement prior to the employee’s final day on 2-25-11. O’Malley stated that he would not.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize filling two vacant Correctional Officer positions immediately and another vacant Correctional Officer position after 2-25-11.
(End of 1-12-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
The Board reviewed a request from Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, to set a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss options and directions for the Planning & Zoning Department upon
Salkowski’s retirement on 3-31-11. Thelen moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 1-25-11 at 11:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, submitted a request to schedule a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting for 1-24-11 to discuss the City of Otsego’s request for future CSAH 37 (70th Street). The City has requested to meet to discuss new developments in the proposal since the 1-04-11 TCOTW Meeting. Sawatzke moved to schedule a TCOTW meeting for 1-24-11 at 2:30 P.M. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously.
Mattson stated the Annual Drainage, Wetland and Natural Resources Regulation Conference will be held at the St. Cloud Civic Center on 2-03-11. The Conference is presented by Rinke Noonan, Attorneys at Law. Mattson moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0.
Abrams & Schmidt LLC 175.00
All Safe Inc. 640.00
Allina Hospitals & clinics 580.27
Allina Medical 897.39
Ameripride Services 189.92
AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 1,850.00
Annandale/City of 916.60
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv 457.56
Aramark Services Inc. 6,018.91
Braun Intertec Corporation 3,493.83
Breezy Point Resort Inc. 767.94
Buff N Glo Inc. 117.00
Buffalo Township 771.80
Center Point Energy 13,456.14
Central MN Mental Health 200.00
Chamberlain Oil co 3,087.21
Climate Air 331.06
Commissioner of Transport 390.00
Culligan of Buffalo 596.83
CWP Enterprise Inc 168.27
Delano Sports Center Inc. 7,614.61
Elk River Ford 65,470.92
Engel/Dale L. 700.00
Farrell/Joyce B 2,113.00
Gould Towing 149.63
Hanover/City of 899.00
Herald Journal Publishing 1,551.82
Hillyard Inc. - Minneaolis 3,513.43
Indianhead Specialty Co. Inc. 118.00
Integrated Fire & Security 1,191.22
International Assn. of Asses 175.00
Lakedale Telephone Co-Wind 297.12
LaPlant Demo Inc. 2,142.51
Larson Allen LLP 16,900.00
Midwave Corporation 450.00
MN Assn. of Assessing Offic 825.00
MN Oral and Maxillofacial 341.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 384.74
Monticello/City of 247,400.00
Morries Parts & Service Grp 1,346.92
North American Salt Co. 39,537.82
Office Depot 957.46
Otten/Harriet E. 8,348.00
Precision Prints of Wright C 472.39
Royal Tire Inc. 170.40
Russell Security Resource 421.94
Sam Hendrickson Plumbing & 895.00
Scenic Signs 594.65
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc. 172.78
St. Michael/City of 200,000.00
Star Tribune Media Co LLC 243.88
State of MN-Office Enterp 1,335.00
SW Recycling Inc. 112.63
Toms Towing Service 165.56
Trueman Welters Inc. 381.85
Uniforms Unlimited 951.54
West Payment Center 925.50
Wright Hennepin Electric 174.15
Wright Lumber & Millwork 140.91
24 Payments less than $100 1,137.74
Final total $657,022.79
The meeting adjourned at 9:26 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 21, 2011.