WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MAY 1, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Russek moved to approve the 4-24-12 County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg , all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Fox, M. Fox, Sher.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 4-14-12.
3. Tri-County Forensic Lab Monthly Report.
1. Approve Abatement, PID #114-174-001220, Christopher & Sandra Mulder (City of St. Michael).
1. Renewal Of Seasonal 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Olson’s Campground (Silver Creek Twp.).
1. Acknowledge Receipt Of $30,000 Homeland Security Grant For Reimbursement Of 800 MHz Radios Purchased In 2009. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, received a Large Group Assembly Permit Application from Jurgen Preugschas for a Deer Lake Orchard Festival on 6-09-12 (10:00 A.M. 9:00 P.M.) and 6-10-12 (12:00 P.M. 5:00 P.M.). The permit fee has been received and everyone has signed off. The Festival is to promote local art and food. Mattson questioned whether the Sheriff’s Office is aware of the proposed event. Sheriff Joe Hagerty stated that Brian Johnson, Sheriff’s Office, is aware of the event but has not yet been contacted by the applicant. The Sheriff’s Office will be able to provide enforcement for the event. Mattson moved to approve the Permit Application. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, referenced his email to the Auditor’s Office outlining the four provisions that must be followed by the applicant. Asleson said the Highway Department has not required anything additional but the Sheriff is requiring that one off-duty officer be present at the event, at the cost of the applicant. Mattson amended the motion to include the four conditions:
1. The requirements for fenced grounds (Section 5.02), public telephones (Section 5.09) and a fire protection plan (Section 5.14) is waived.
2. The applicant should provide for solid waste disposal (Section 5.06) and off-road parking (Section 5.08) as required by the ordinance.
3. Assuming the applicant can provide proof of insurance coverage as required by Section 5.16 of the ordinance, the bond amount under Section 5.17 could be set at $5,000 to cover costs incurred during the assembly.
4. The Sheriff’s Office is requiring one off-duty officer to be present during the hours of the event. The Highway Department may have additional requirements for traffic control.
The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Hiivala requested the Board schedule a Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting to discuss a classification of a property. The Auditor’s Office has received a request from the previous owner of a property. Mattson moved to schedule a Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting on 5-08-12 at 8:30 A.M. The meeting will be held in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Conference Room. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
The claims listing was discussed. Russek referenced Page 7, MN Attorney General’s Office ($184.52), for Mileage Reimbursement, Level 3 Sex Offenders. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said that it has been some time since this type of claim has been paid. However, this is a reimbursable expense when the County requests members of the Attorney General’s Office to come out for hearings. If the trial extends beyond one day, there could be lodging costs involved. Sawatzke asked whether the County Attorney’s Office is involved with the work. Asleson said Terry Frazier of the County Attorney’s Office is very active in these types of hearings. However, this is one that the State chose to handle. Russek referenced page 8, Prairie Country RC&D ($8,353.00), 2012 Allocation. Russek said this involves the annual C.R.O.W. dues. Prairie Country has been the fiscal agent but that is ending. Russek is working to coordinate either receiving the payment back or for it to be transferred. Hiivala stated that the bill is being paid and a meeting has been set up to discuss options. Russek said the C.R.O.W. has done great things for Wright County and he wanted to make sure the $8,000 was not lost. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, requested a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 5-29-12 at 10:30 A.M. for a Tri-County Regional Forensic Lab presentation and to review a revision to the Tri-County Lab Joint Powers Agreement. Mattson moved to schedule the Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 5-29-12 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 4-23-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Russek said he would abstain from the vote as he was not present at the Committee Of The Whole Meeting. The motion carried 4-0 (Russek abstaining):
I. REVIEW PROPOSED COMMISSIONER DISTRICTS.
Thelen said the purpose of today’s meeting is to evaluate ten redistricting Options and narrow them down in preparation for the Public Hearing on 5-01-12. The County Board will make a final decision on that date. She mentioned that a number of letters and emails were received from County residents advocating their preferences for redistricting. An anonymous person also sent an Option outlining seven Districts. (See attached letters, emails and map). Hiivala said the Surveyor Office created a colored map of the option with seven Districts. He added that none of the ten Options have been eliminated since the Public Hearing on 4-17-12. The Committee has also not made a decision regarding whether to change to seven Commissioner Districts or stay with the status quo of five.
Thelen remarked that the population deviations between the proposed seven Districts are significant. She asked whether the Seven-District Option could be considered in light of this data. Kryzer clarified that the County Board has two decisions to make regarding a Seven-District Option. First, the Board must decide whether they want a five- or seven-member Board. If the Board felt seven Districts were a viable option, staff would redraft maps and the Seven-District Option before them could be considered. If the Board chooses to stay with five Commissioners, the proposed Seven-District map will not be evaluated. Kryzer said if the Board decides to expand to seven Districts, they must still adhere to the redistricting guidelines that limit population deviations between Districts to 10 percent or less. However, Kryzer said after talking with the Surveyor he learned it is not possible to stay within a 10 percent deviation for Otsego with a seven-District configuration. Thelen responded that the guidelines also state that a deviation exceeding 10 percent could be adopted with a Seven-District plan if there were no alternatives. Kryzer agreed.
Thelen said County Board members present at the 4-17-12 meeting did not express much interest in the seven-member Board. Eichelberg said the first ten Options stay within the 10 percent deviation guidelines. He was not interested in considering other Options.
Sawatzke said population deviations are one issue with a seven-member Board. The other is that Wright County is much less populated than other counties in Minnesota with seven Commissioner Districts. Those counties have substantially higher average populations per District than the average of 24,500 in Wright County. Thelen added that Ramsey County Commissioners each represent 75,000 people in their respective Districts. She thought it unnecessary to add two more Commissioners, which would also increase the County budget by approximately $100,000 per year.
Thelen said she talked with people in her District who indicated they favored Options 7 through 10. Constituents from Clearwater did not want to be in the same District as Monticello, as the latter is a much larger City with different issues than their City. Constituents from Annandale did not want to be linked with Buffalo for the same reason.
Mattson said he preferred Option 5 to be able to continue to represent his current constituents. Thelen asked Kryzer whether Commissioners may consider how changes in District boundaries may affect them personally, and whether it is allowable for them to try to retain their Districts. Kryzer said the policy adopted by the Board earlier this month indicates that incumbent issues are secondary to every other consideration. Thelen said Option 5 would present a disadvantage for the people in her District. Options 7 through 10 better represent the character, populations and joint interests of her District. Sawatzke said he finds good and bad with every Option. He has no strong opinion at this point. He recognized the points made by both Thelen and Mattson.
Eichelberg favors Option 5. District E on the Option 5 map has the second lowest population. If the last ten years are any indication, and if the economy does not improve, Eichelberg said there will be less growth in that predominantly agricultural area. District B on the Option 5 map has the highest population. Eichelberg predicted that if the economy improves, population will most likely increase on the eastern side of the County. He said St. Michael and Buffalo will probably grow as much or more than Otsego or Monticello. He feels representation will be more equal with Option 5.
Thelen said communities like Annandale and Clearwater have strikingly different needs than Monticello or Buffalo. She does not want the Board to consider only numbers, but also the desirability of pairing similar communities together.
Hiivala affirmed that the Committee has made a decision to retain five Districts and to consider the original ten redistricting Options presented. They have ruled out a seven-member Board.
Kryzer will draft ten resolutions corresponding to the Ten Options for the 5-01-12 County Board meeting. Hiivala said the County Board must adopt one of those redistricting plans by that date. Norman added that the County Board must also decide which Commissioners will run for two-year terms and which will run for four-year terms.
Recommendation: Refer final decision to 5-01-12 County Board meeting regarding:
1. Selection of redistricting plan from among the ten Options; and
2. Determine which Commissioners will run for two- and four-year terms.
(End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer, requested approval of Agency Agreement No. 00967 with MnDOT for Federal Participation in a Wetland Mitigation Purchase for a SRTS Project in Montrose. This involves the Montrose Safe Routes To School Project. Wright County is the sponsor of the project as the population of Montrose is less than 5,000. The project will connect neighborhoods in Montrose to elementary schools. It is necessary to purchase wetland mitigation credits to complete the project. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution 12-26, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hawkins requested approval of the Seasonal Requirement Contracts. The bids were opened at the 4-25-12 Ways & Means Committee Meeting. Sawatzke asked whether the Highway Department received clarification from the bidders on whether Silver Creek Township was included in the Bituminous Sealcoating bids. Steve Meyer, Highway Maintenance Superintendent, said that the recommendation is to award the bid to Pearson Bros. and it was confirmed that the bid includes the extra volume at the bid price (5,000 at $.12). The total cost is $281,350.02 . Sawatzke moved to award the Seasonal Requirement Contracts, including the amended Sealcoating bid. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0. The bids are as follows:
NAME OF BIDDER; BOND; BID AMOUNT, Breakdown/Grand Total
Pearson Bros., Hanover; YES;
50,746 Gal CRS-2P 2.84/144,118.64
146,702 SY FA-2 Pearock 0.34/49,878.68
34,527 SY FA-3 Granite 0.60/20,716.20
14,420 Gal CRS-2 Granite 2.59/37,347.80
51,500 SY FA-2 Granite 0.40/20,600.00
23,273 Fog Seal Gal 0.12/2,792.76
34,682 LF Pvmt Marking 0.17/5,895.94
Astech Corp., St. Cloud; YES;
50,746 Gal CRS-2P 1.49/75,611.54
146,702 SY FA-2 Pearock 0.56/82,153.12
34,527 SY FA-3 Granite 0.80/27,621.60
14,420 Gal CRS-2 Granite 1.29/18,601.80
51,500 SY FA-2 Granite 0.66/33,990.00
18,123 Fog Seal Gal 2.25/40,776.75
34,682 LF Pvmt Marking 0.13/4,508.66
Caldwell Asphalt Co., Hawick; YES;
50,746 Gal CRS-2P 2.62/132,954.52
146,702 SY FA-2 Pearock 0.38/55,746.76
34,527 SY FA-3 Granite 0.51/17,608.77
14,420 Gal CRS-2 Granite 2.20/31,724.00
51,500 SY FA-2 Granite 0.55/28,325.00
18,123 Fog Seal Gal 1 .64/29,721.72
34,682 LF Pvmt Marking 0.135/4,682.07
Allied Blacktop, Maple Grove; YES;
50,746 Gal CRS-2P 2.40/121,790.40
146,702 SY FA-2 Pearock 0.48/70,416.96
34,527 SY FA-3 Granite 0.56/19,335.12
14,420 Gal CRS-2 Granite 2.00/28,840.00
51,500 SY FA-2 Granite 0.66/33,990.00
18,123 Fog Seal Gal 2.24/40,595.52
34,682 LF Pvmt Marking 0.13/4,508.66
Recommendation: Award to Pearson Bros.
NAME OF BIDDER; BID BOND; BID AMOUNT, Breakdown/Grand Total
Astech Corp., St. Cloud; YES;
56,291 Gal Bit Mat 3.43/193,078.13
1,688 Ton Scratch 91.00/153,608.00
54,912 LF Pave Mk 0.12/6,589.44
Recommendation: Award to Low Bidder: Astech Corp.
Category Plant-Mixed Bituminous Mixture Seasonal Bid ($/ton).
Note: 1st price is per ton unit price; 2nd price is 100+ ton/day unit price
Name of Bidder; Bid Bond;
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix, Annandale; $250 Check;
Item 1, SP 12.5 100; $52.30, $51.30, (100+ ton/day)
Item 2, SP 9.5 4,500; $52.90, $51.60, (100+ ton/day)
Item 3, Fine Mix 100; $66.00, $58.00, ($100+ ton/day)
Hardrives, Inc., Rogers; YES;
Item 1, SP 12.5 100; $52.30, $52.30, (100+ ton/day)
Item 2, SP 9.5 4,500; $56.00, $56.00, (100+ ton/day)
Item 3, Fine Mix 100; $65.00, $65.00, 100+ ton/day)
Recommendation: Accept All Bids
Category Pavement Markings.
Name of Bidder; Bid Bond; Yellow; White; Bid Amount
Traffic Marking Service, Maple Lake; Yes; $12.16/gal (9,000); $12.12/gal (15,000); $291,240.00
AAA Striping, St. Michael; Yes; $12.84/gal (9,000); $12.80/gal (15,000); $307,560.00
Recommendation: Accept low bid of Traffic Marking Service, Inc.
Category Equipment Rental.
The following bids were received:
Terning Excavating, Cokato:
18/CY Scraper/hr. - $165.00, 19CY and 21Cy, Pull Scraper, 9520 JD Tractor
Dozer/hr. - $130.00 CAT D6K & D6H
Hydraulic Excavator or Large Backhoe/hr. ; $125.00, CAT 315DL
2 CY Ski Loader (#1650 life capacity) - N/A
$10 CY Truck/hr. - N/A
Self-Propelled Pickup Sweeper/hr. - N/A
Jake’s Excavating, Inc., Buffalo:
18 CY Scraper/hr. - N/A
Dozer/hr. - N/A
Hydraulic Excavator or Large Backhoe/hr ; $135.00 , Komatsu 160-7, 40,000 lbs. Q-Tach-HYD Thumb
2 CY Ski Loader (#1650 life capacity); $120.00, Cat 277C
$10 CY Truck/hr. - $85.00, 99 Freightliner Tri-Axle
Self-Propelled Pickup Sweeper/hr. - N/A
T&S Trucking, Buffalo
8 CY Scraper/hr. - N/A
Dozer/hr. - N/A
Hydraulic Excavator or Large Backhoe/hr; N/A
2 CY Ski Loader (#1650 life capacity) - N/A
$10 CY Truck/hr. - N/A
Self-Propelled Pickup Sweeper/hr. - $72.00, No description given
Recommendation: Accept all Bids.
Category Sand & Class 5 ($/Ton).
Name of Bidder; Bid Bond; FA-1, 1,500 ton, Unit Price; Class 5, 30,000 ton, Unit Price
Annandale Rock Products, Annandale; $250 Check; $3.75/ton, $5,625.00; $4.10/ton, $123,000 Total
Johnson Materials, Inc., Clearwater; $250 Check; $4.00/ton, $6,000.00; $4.50/ton, $135,000 Total
Barton Sand & Gravel Co., Maple Grove; No Bid Security; N/A; $5.00/ton, $150,000 Total (Deduct $0.50 if County loads its own trucks)
FA-1; Award Bid to Annandale Rock Products
Class 5; Award Bid to both Annandale Rock Products and Johnson Materials, Inc. (Material from Johnson Materials will be used for CSAH 75 shouldering prior to resurfacing).
(End of Seasonal Requirement Contract Awards)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 4-25-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 1, Members Present, should reflect, “Mattson (for Eichelberg), Sawatzke & Norman” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson said Information Technology needs to have flexible hours in order to accommodate the systems they support. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Flexible Schedule, IT Department.
Swing distributed a time schedule showing the hours of various Information Technology (IT) Department positions (see attached). His purpose for varying schedules is to cover operations before and after high demand hours. The Operations Specialist schedule changed from 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. to 7:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. The Programmer position is scheduled from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. The three managers have worked the following respective schedules for some time: 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., and Swing from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. The IT Office Assistant works 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., as do the two new Technicians.
Sawatzke asked if the Operations Specialist hours were changed as a convenience for the employee or for the betterment of the organization. Swing said the change in hours improves Operations. He said IT staff used to boot the mail server at 4:35 P.M., which would sometimes knock other County staff off the network. Due to this situation, the IT Department rescheduled this function during off prime time hours. The Operations Specialist is now responsible for booting the servers in the mornings, which is a more appropriate time with less impact on County staff. He appreciated the employee’s cooperation, as he did not think he had the authority to require her to work other than standard hours.
Sawatzke said Department Heads, with the approval of the County Board, do have that authority. Norman said the union contract states the employer may assign hours other than the normal 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Swing responded that the flexible schedule is critical for smooth operations, and was not designed for employee convenience.
Norman asked for the employee names related to each position. Swing provided them. He clarified that the only employee hours that changed are the Operations Specialist and Programmer positions as previously mentioned. These two positions back each other up on the Operations side.
Swing explained that the Lead Developer hours are unchanged. The Network Analyst has been working 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. for some time, and will likely continue to do so. The Project Leader works 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Norman commented on the fact that a flexible schedule has already been implemented. He asked whether Swing came to the Board for approval of the flexible schedule. Swing responded that he remembers submitting the schedule at one time. Norman said he could not find any record in the County Board minutes on a flexible schedule request from IT. Sawatzke said some employees have worked flexible schedules at the County for twenty years. Swing said the IT Department needs flexible schedules to accommodate demands from areas such as Dispatch or the County website. The Network Analyst and Project Leader come in after hours and weekends. Swing said the Carver County Information Technology Department works every week from 6:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. on infrastructure.
Sawatzke asked whether it was fair to say the standard schedule is 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday unless the situation demands otherwise. Swing said yes. Sawatzke remarked that Swing is complying with the Board’s request regarding flexible scheduling. Swing said he makes it clear to his staff that he can attempt to accommodate their desires, but ultimately flexible schedules are for the good of the organization and to provide better service. Norman asked Swing to clarify that all positions work Monday through Friday. Swing responded yes.
Norman explained that if the recommendation is to approve his request, the Board will review it at the Tuesday, 5-01-12 County Board meeting. The union contract requires a two-week written notice to employees. Swing said they are already working those hours. Sawatzke said there should be a formal advising. He asked whether Mattson felt the Committee should recommend approval of Swing’s request. Mattson said yes.
Norman asked whether he should approach other Departments that have staff who appear to be working flexible schedules or have employees on approved flexible schedules that seem to be working different hours. Sawatzke asked for more details. Norman suggested he be allowed to talk with Department Heads first unless the Committee preferred he initially address the issue with the Board. Sawatzke said the Board should formalize all flexible scheduling that exists within County Departments, even those that have been implemented in the past. Norman recommended that the Committee reaffirm the policy requiring Board approval for all flexible schedules. Sawatzke agreed, adding that the Department Head should provide the schedule and the rationale for schedule changes.
Norman said currently there is an employee in one Department who works Monday through Thursday. This information is verified by a Doors report. Sawatzke asked how long the employee has worked this schedule. Norman said he suspected for quite some time. He said a number of people are coming in early. It is unclear whether or not they are working. The County has no security for their protection. They cannot be waiting on clients, as the main entrances are not open until 7:30 A.M. Norman added that even if the employees say they are not working, their presence on-site presents a potential liability to the County.
Sawatzke questioned whether Norman was asking the Committee to take action or direct him to investigate further. Norman suggested the Committee allow him to work with Department Heads first to try to resolve the scheduling irregularities. Sawatzke thought the recommendation should acknowledge that due to possible scheduling anomalies, the Board has directed Norman to contact Department Heads to discuss the issue. Norman said it is unfair when not everyone gets to work different hours. Sawatzke concurred. He said any deviations from the 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. schedule must occur solely for the good of the County, be justified with a clear rationale, and implemented only after the Board has evaluated and approved the request.
1. Approve IT Flexible Scheduling.
2. Reaffirm County policy that all flexible schedule requests require prior Board approval.
3. Norman will contact Department Heads regarding irregularities in employee scheduling. If the situations are not resolved, the issues will be referred to the County Board.
(End of 4-25-12 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 4-25-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0:
I. BID OPENING-SEASONAL REQUIREMENTS.
Bids were closed at 9:00 a.m. Fingalson opened the bids for various seasonal categories. A question was asked whether Silver Creek Township was included in the Bituminous Seal Coat totals (5,150 gals. in addition to the County’s amount). The Highway Department will call bidders to clarify their bids for Bituminous Seal Coat.
Highway staff will tally the bids and present a summary and recommendation to the County Board at their 5-01-12 County Board Meeting.
(End of 4-25-12 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
At 9:30 A.M., Commissioner Thelen recessed the regular Board Meeting and convened the Redistricting Public Hearing. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the Board packets included a summary of correspondence received from the public on redistricting. The summary reflects the various individual’s preferences.
Thelen said the Public Hearing was being held to receive public input and consider various options for redrawing the County Commissioners District Map for the next 10 years. She said an overview will be provided of the redistricting process thus far. This process resulted in the generation and discussion on ten Commissioner District maps. There are three main maps being considered with minor variations to arrive at the ten options. As part of the process, the County Board adopted on 4-10-12 the “Redistricting Principals for Commissioner Districts”, outlining nine principles to guide them during the redistricting process.
She stated that Items 1-7 of the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts” involve how the population is to be equalized relative to precincts, contiguous areas, and making sure that islands of townships are accounted for. Items 1-7 have been met in the ten maps that are being reviewed. The goal is to have an average population per district (about 24,000) with no greater deviation than 10%, up or down.
Commissioner Thelen drew attention to Items 8-9 of the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts”. Item 8 reflects that “Where possible in compliance with the preceding principles, communities of interest shall be preserved. For purposes of this principle, “communities of interest” include, but are not limited to, groups of Wright County citizens with clearly recognizable similarities of social, geographic, political, cultural, ethnic, economic, or other interests. Additional communities of interest will be considered if persuasively established and if consideration thereof would not violate applicable law.”
Thelen said a lot of the correspondence received relates to the idea of communities of interest. She said that she wants to be assured that in today’s session that they do consider those. She was sure the Commissioners were in agreement with that. Thelen distributed a “Score-sheet on Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts.” She asked Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, to provide an overview of the maps.
Hiivala stated that all ten maps and the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts” are posted on the County website. He referenced maps 3, 5, and 8 which he said meet the criteria set forth in the Principles. The remaining seven maps are slight variations of maps 3, 5, and 8. He said those three maps keep Maple Lake Township in the same Commissioner District and place the City of Hanover with the City of St. Michael. He said those three maps represent the character of the options they have. Hiivala offered review of all ten maps or, as an option, the Board could select a map from the three and then the variations of that map could be reviewed. Thelen said for efficiency, it would be best to consider the three main options (maps 3, 5, 8). Once a decision has been made on one of the three maps, the Board could then look at others in that grouping to see if it would meet other needs.
Hiivala said each of the maps represent a process that meets the guidelines that were set forth. He felt the maps were all self evident and the communities are being kept together. Thelen said the maps may be self evident for those who have been involved in the process. She said the public may not have studied the maps.
Thelen said Option 3 defines the maps labeled 1-4. In maps 1, 2, and 3, District A reflects the City of Clearwater, Clearwater Township, Silver Creek Township, and Maple Lake Township being assimilated into a District that formerly contained Otsego, Buffalo Township, and Monticello. It would be a shift westward for Sawatzke’s District and a shift eastward for portions of the District represented by Thelen. She said Clearwater is with Monticello in this map. In the lower southeastern portion, the four townships are together. She further stated that in this map, the City of St. Michael and City of Hanover are in the same District. In all of the maps, the two precincts of St. Michael are divided.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said in all ten maps, the City of Otsego is combined with the City of Dayton (population 54); the City of St. Michael Precinct 1-B is a core section in all of the maps. The only difference is whether Hanover Precinct 2 is included with the Otsego District or placed down into the District with Rockford Township and Delano. He said in drawing the maps, they ended up having to do this due to the population concentration in that part of the County. They drew that area first and then moved outward.
Thelen said that in the southern part of the County, which is Mattson’s District, the District shifted to the east and was reduced in the number of townships. In all ten maps, Mattson and Russek are in the same District. A map could not be drawn that did not include them in the same District. In Option 3, the communities to the west would have a new Commissioner as no Commissioner currently resides there.
Option 5 of the Redistricting Maps was discussed. Russek said Option 5 keeps the main agricultural areas together (southwest and south). He and Commissioner Mattson end up in the same District no matter what map is selected. Russek likes Option 5 as he has been in the agricultural business most of his life and said farmers like to stay together as much as they can. This District would include the Townships of Cokato, Stockholm, Middleville, Victor, Marysville, Woodland and Franklin. He felt that served that agricultural area well. Thelen said that is looking at common interests in District E, or Option 5. She felt that was worth noting.
Mattson said Option 5 is along State Highway 12; they have a Coalition of Delano, Montrose, Waverly, Howard Lake, and Cokato to tie together business communities of these towns. He felt that is very important with the economy. All of these towns need to work together. With this Coalition, they can make a very strong push for a good business climate on State Highway 12. Russek said that outside of French Lake Township, all other townships and cities in Option 5 are in the southwest quadrant in the new Land Use Plan for Wright County that was adopted last year.
Thelen commented relative to Option 5. She said that Clearwater City does not feel they have an interest in common with Monticello City. The Mayor of Clearwater was present at the Board Meeting. Thelen said Annandale is expressing the same point; they are much smaller than the larger communities with which they are paired. To them, that does not preserve communities of interest. She said Clearwater would prefer to be in the same District as Annandale and the townships to the west, as depicted in Option 8. Thelen said the Townships of Clearwater and Silver Creek did not want Option 5. There were a number of letters that reflected this. She said for the people in Clearwater Township, Clearwater City, and Annandale, they feel the needs of the smaller, rural area which are distinct from the faster growing eastern edge of the County, will be an after thought to the needs of the larger communities. For that purpose, they were not in support of Option 5. Thelen said the agricultural areas are also preserved when looking at Option 3 and Option 8 maps. Option 3, District 5, preserves those agricultural areas and would share similar interests, as would those that comprise District 3. Thelen said the agricultural areas are being preserved in the other Options; whereas, the attention to the needs of the like sized communities, represented in Option 7-10, are not preserved in the other maps. Thelen said in Option 3 and Option 8, two Commissioners would represent the agricultural interests. Option 3 would have a Commissioner for Districts 3 and 5, and Option 8 would have a Commissioner for Districts 1 and 5. She said those Options would not separate those communities of interest. She said it could be argued that the communities of interest as represented by Annandale’s interest in being in a District with like sized communities not represented in the map located here (Option 5).
Option 8 of the Redistricting Maps was discussed. Kryzer said that the Option 8 map includes one District for the western portion of the County. The southeast portion contains the four townships and the City of Delano. Two out of four precincts in Buffalo are combined with St. Michael District 1A and Albertville. Kryzer clarified that one of the four Precincts in Buffalo only has 91 people in it. The Precinct was created only because of redistricting at the State level. Option 8 includes Monticello City being placed with the City of Maple Lake, Maple Lake Township, and Chatham Township.
Thelen said that based on comments in the past and correspondence, the communities of interests for Clearwater and Annandale are best represented in the Option 8 map. Those areas would not be included with the more metro or fast growing portion of the County. She noted that 1/5 of the population resides in half of the County. The Option 8 map includes the rural interests in the southeast, which were alluded to by Russek and Mattson. She said Option 8 provides a broad representation of those areas that are more rural in nature and have distinct issues relative to their size and population. Thelen said this area also preserves the lakes area, the Clearwater River Watershed District, the lake associations who participated in the no-wake ordinance, agricultural interests, and gravel mining interests. Option 8 does not break up those interests. In these times, with the high population growths, she said there is a need to bring attention to that part of the County that is rural and needs to define its distinct needs to assure those are met by the County. Thelen said she supports Option 8.
Thelen referred to Item 3 of the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts” and the idea of Districts being compact. Option 5 includes a District which snakes from the eastern to western part of the County and cuts across the more rural and more populated areas. She was unsure how well that particular Principle is met in Option 5. Option 8 keeps Monticello in the same District as Chatham Township, Maple Lake Township, and Monticello Township. Thelen said Option 8 adds some township interest to the considerations given to that particular District and feels it would strengthen the township voice in the other District that has townships in it.
Thelen outlined the guidelines for public comment at the Public Hearing. She acknowledged written comments received from citizens on preferences for redistricting and read them into the record:
Robert T. Derus, City of St. Michael, Option 5 or 6
Clearwater Township, Option 7-10
John & Joan Rausch, Clearwater Township, Option 7-10
David Burd, Annandale, Option 7-10
Shelly Jonas, Annandale City Council Member, Option 10
Jennifer Wother, Clearwater City Administrator, Option 7-10
Phyllis Latour, Southside Township Supervisor, Option 7-10
Meredith Kjellberg, Clearwater, Option 7-10
James and Sharon Lee, Clearwater Township, Option 7-10
Joey Berg, Middleville Township Clerk, Option 7-10
Gary & Laurie Stammer, Buffalo, Option 7-10
John Fitzgerald, Buffalo, Option 7-10
Midge Nusbaum, French Lake Township, Option 7-10
Laura Ramme Giertsen, Maple Lake, Option 7-10
Lisa & Todd Latterell, Maple Lake, Option 7-10
Lynn & Peter Ramme, Maple Lake, Option 7-10
Martyn J. Dibben, Buffalo, Option 7-10
Chris Brazelton, Delano, Option 7-10,
John Notsch, President, Fish Lake Property Owner Assn., Option 7-10
Pam and Mark Rentz, Maple Lake, Option 7
Jessica Stockamp, Mayor, City of Otsego, Option 5 & 6
Norman said he received additional written comment since the Board packet was put together. He read those into the record:
Marlene Young, Mayor, City of Annandale Option 7-10
John & Judy Pazik, Clearwater, Option 7-10
Kris Crandall, City of Clearwater Council Member, Option 7-10
Jerry & Cindy Miessen, Annandale, Option 7-10
Mary Heinz, French Lake Township, Option 7
Thelen received a call from the Rockford City Administrator, stating they prefer Options 3 or 8. They oppose Options 5 or 6. Thelen asked that the City Administrator put her comments into writing. Thelen said a preponderance of the correspondence support maps 7-10. Two prefer Options 5 and 6. Public comment was then received.
Laurie Stammer, Buffalo, supports Option 8 and opposes Option 5. She feels it is important that the rural side of the County has a voice and Option 8 would preserve that. She feels two Commissioners representing the rural needs in Wright County is appropriate. Her concern is with Option 5. She sees the candidates being supported by the urban side and the needs of the rural citizens of the County not being addressed. She said that does not mean the candidate would not try to serve everyone, but she feels the reality is that everyone has their own special interests. Stammer works with school support staff in most of the County and wants to see the rural community stay vibrant. One way to do that is to make sure they are well represented at every level. Stammer referenced the Highway 12 Corridor concept. While she appreciates review of it, she said they are not looking at the TH 55 and I-94 Corridor. Stammer said it is not valid to look at one corridor in the County and not the rest. She said a lot of work appears to have gone into the maps being presented, and feels that Option 8 is the configuration that would best serve the County.
Leonard Wozniak, Stockholm Township, said he hopes the Board considers the option that will best serve the people. The purpose today is to determine what is best for the people of the County and not what is best for the Commissioners re-election. Wozniak’s preference is Option 8.
Mike Ziska, Annandale/Maple Lake area, serves on the SWCD Board. He felt it was valuable to be able to contact a local representative that lives in a lakes area, as they will understand the issues. Ziska supports Option 8 and said it will best support the work he is involved with.
Lee Monk, Clearwater, said he has worked with many of the Commissioners in the past and commended them for the job they have done. He said it is important to have good Commissioners to represent residents. He said that being Clearwater is the pinnacle of the County and because it is located at the mouth of the Clearwater River, he felt the continuation of the lakes and river is quite important. For that reason, he and his wife would like to see Option 8 or Options 7-10. Thelen stated Monk is the Mayor of the City of Clearwater but was not able to speak officially as the Council did not meet in order to make a motion on this issue.
Connie Holmes is the Mayor of the City of Waverly. The Council did not have a chance to meet so she was speaking today as a citizen. Holmes prefers Option 8 as she feels it better represents the population of the County. Holmes said this is an awkward position as she is disagreeing with the current Commissioner in her area. She feels rural communities in the southern and western parts of the County need two votes. Over time, she feels there will be different patterns of growth and the southern part will grow much slower than the Highway 95 or Highway 55 Corridors. For that reason, Holmes said the rural parts of the County do need those two votes and more representation.
Fred Naaktgeboren, Buffalo resident, said one of the interesting concepts by those that have spoken is that cities with heavier populations belong together. He feels rapid growth is over for the time being. Naaktgeboren supports a mixture of both rural and urban in a District. He referenced the City of St. Michael where much of the City is rural in nature. The City of Monticello also has a large rural area around it that fits into its District. This is the same with the City of Buffalo. From that standpoint, he felt an important consideration would be for cities and rural areas to be blended together so there is not constant fighting. He feels a Commissioner would be able to serve both the rural interests and the City interests, and they might be able to get more cooperation in the future from those two entities. Naaktgeboren prefers Option 5.
Meredith Kjellberg is a citizen of Clearwater Township and owns property on Lake Sylvia. She thinks Option 8 will look after the interests of the townships. Those needs are different than the needs of a city. She said to have a Commissioner that would give attention to those needs would be beneficial to everyone.
Leander Wetter, Rockford Township, prefers seven Commissioners and noted that the map he drew up was not one that was being considered today. To have it considered would require a petition. Wetter prefers Options 3 or 8. He feels Rockford Township has more things in common with other townships than with cities such as St. Michael, Albertville, and Hanover. Those communities all have their own planning and zoning and are not tied to the County’s Planning Commission. Wetter’s preference is that Rockford Township be placed with other communities that share the same type of Planning Commission. He said the rural area of St. Michael was referenced. He said the sewer and water lines in St. Michael run quite a ways to the west into the Township.
Chuck Doering, Clearwater Township, supports Option 8. As Commissioners and elected officials, he said they need to consider where the votes are. If there are population centers concentrated in a District, they will need to pay attention to those. He feels in that process, they will lose the voice of rural areas. Doering said in the western part of the County, some of the families have been there for three generations. Doering said the needs in the western part of the County are much different than those in the eastern part. He stated they all need a voice on the Board.
Russek referenced comments made about the need for a representative in specific areas. Both he and Mattson have been Commissioners for 20 years, and Sawatzke has been a Commissioner for 22 years. As Commissioners they represent the entire County, not just one District. They operate the County as efficiently as they can and take all needs into consideration. A good County Board is comprised of members that represent all areas of the County. Thelen concurred that they do all represent the full County. This discussion is about Districts and how they are comprised around common interests, which is being guided by this particular principle.
A person from the audience asked whether additional maps (other than 3, 5, and 8) could be projected onto the screen. Thelen explained that, for example, maps 7-10 are like map 8 but include a difference on the split of the areas of Hanover and Maple Lake Township. It is a very small deviation.
Leonard Wozniak, Stockholm Township, referenced the discussion on combining larger cities with rural areas, and the votes that may be from the larger cities. With Option 5, he could see three Commissioners in the Buffalo District. Option 8 would have two Commissioners in the rural area and he felt that would be a better option. Wozniak resides a mile from both Meeker and McLeod Counties. He said road improvements are made in the eastern part of the County due to population and the western portion of the County gets what is left. He felt that should possibly be addressed and that the voice needs to be stronger within that District.
Eichelberg said in the beginning of the meeting, Items 8 and 9 of the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts” were referenced. He felt Items 4 and 5 were just as important. He read Item 4, “Commissioner Districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable. No Commissioner District shall vary in population more than ten percent from the average for all Districts in the County, unless the result forces a voting precinct to be split. A majority of the least populous Districts shall contain not less than a majority of the population of the County.” Eichelberg explained the population deviations can fluctuate 10% either way. Ten years ago, his District was equal or more than the average. Now his District has 11,000 more constituents than the District in the western part of the County. He said that is not equal representation, and that his District is not as represented as the western part.
Eichelberg then read Item 5 of the “Redistricting Principles for Commissioner Districts”. It states, “Political Subdivisions shall not be divided more than necessary to meet constitutional and statutory requirements.” He said on some of the maps, a small part of Buffalo will be split. One map keeps Buffalo all in one District.
Eichelberg wanted to point out there are other Principles than those mentioned at the beginning of the meeting. Thelen stated the Principles are all met in all ten maps and said that is clear as well. The difference, for example, between St. Michael and Albertville in Option 10 (which is like Option 8) and Option 5 is about 150 people. She said they are not supposed to be dividing the Districts by projected population. Thelen said that right now, they are looking at the maps relative to the Principles that have not necessarily been met or considered. She said it is important to make it very transparent the reasons for their particular decision making process.
Mattson said the Highway 55 Coalition is addressing the Annandale to Medina section, reviewing the needs of TH 55 (the need for four lanes and the business community). Thelen said none of the maps reflect that community of interest. Russek said there is not that opportunity. Mattson said he brought this forth as he forgot to mention it.
Mike Ziska, Annandale/Maple Lake area, is active in his community (through organizations and serving on Boards). He has seen Commissioner Thelen at meetings, as well as former Commissioner Ken Jude. He said he has made this connection with the Commissioners that have represented the District because they live in the rural area and get involved. He likes Option 8 because of that. It keeps the candidate in the rural area so they get involved in their communities and it is easy to work with them.
Laurie Stammer, Buffalo, said she wanted to make two points. The reason she brought up three different trunk highways through the County is that they can’t be used for criteria in this decision. She said the decision is about dividing the current population and not dividing projections for ten years from now. Stammer’s greater concern is not what is going to happen to the eastern side of the County but with preserving the rural identity of the County as it grows. She said that is much more fragile than what is going to happen on the eastern side of the County.
The meeting recessed at 10:20 A.M. and reconvened at 10:32 A.M.
Eichelberg made a motion to approve the resolution for the Option 5 map. The motion was seconded by Mattson.
Sawatzke said relative to the different plans, he can see arguments for and against each of the plans. Relative to Redistricting Principle Item 1 and how the Districts are set up reflects that District 1 will be in the northern corner of the County and follow west to east. The Principles state that the numbering ends in the southeast corner of the County. Sawatzke referenced the Option 5 map. He suggested the numbering should be changed to start with District #1 as the blue shaded area and move west to east from there. Eichelberg and Mattson accepted a friendly amendment to the motion to change the Option 5 Map Districts to: District 1-Blue, District 2-Green, District 3-Gray, District 4-Tan, and District 5-Pink.
Thelen said she was surprised the motion came forward so quickly. She felt there would be an opportunity to have more discussion on the Principles relating to common interest, Principle Item 8. She said the overwhelming public input was in support of Options 7-10 as represented by the Option 8 map they were reviewing. Thelen also wanted to talk about Principle 9, which reflects, “Commissioner Districts shall not be drawn for the purpose of protecting or defeating an incumbent. But the impact of redistricting on incumbent officeholders is a factor subordinate to all redistricting criteria that the County Board may consider to determine whether proposed plans result in either undue incumbent protection or excessive incumbent conflicts.” She said this did not come up in the Public Hearing process and felt the Board should discuss it.
Option 5 places Sawatzke and Thelen in the same District. Thelen feels this might present a problem with excessive incumbent conflicts. She feels there should be consideration about the fact that one Commissioner will go. She said it isn’t necessary for them to be placed in the same District under Options 7-10. She said the action being taken will reduce the expertise on the County Board relative to the experience by one Commissioner. Thelen wanted to make that explicit in this case. She asked Kryzer to assist the Board on how they should think about that. She said it is a Principle and it is apparent in two of the maps they will be forced to have a runoff between two sitting Commissioners. In all ten maps, Russek and Mattson will run against one another but that was unavoidable. Kryzer stated that to that question, it is the County Attorney’s Office position that all of the maps can be defended in Court, subject to a challenge. As far as the criteria, that is up for debate by the Board. Whatever conclusion the Board reaches, the County Attorney’s Office will defend.
Thelen asked the motion maker and second to discuss how that particular Principle affects their decision. She asked for discussion on the communities of interest that the Commissioners feel is being represented by Option 5.
Russek said he would go along with the motion for Option 5 as the County has worked for many years on the Land Use Plan. The proposed Option 5 map includes the entire southwest corridor, the Highway 12 corridor, which includes all of the townships that were involved in the Land Use Plan that was adopted. He felt it was important to keep that area together as long as they have the opportunity.
Thelen asked Russek how he feels about Option 5 not conforming for the rest of the Districts relative to the Land Use Plan. For example, the Land Use Plan for Clearwater Township also includes Corinna, Annandale, and the northeast quadrant area. Russek responded that there is not a way for that portion to not be split. The area he referenced, the Highway 12 Corridor, has a chance to be kept together. Russek said one of the reasons he is voting for Option 5 is because of the Highway 12 Corridor and the Land Use Plan. Thelen asked whether those are the communities of interest that he wanted to bring together. Russek stated that is correct.
Thelen asked Russek to respond to the fact that it places a couple of incumbents in an undue, excessive conflict, and asked whether he felt it protects or disadvantages the incumbents. Russek responded that the County Board cannot re-district because of that. Thelen said it is also something to be considered. Russek stated he is not doing this to get rid of Thelen. He said he stated his reasons for doing this. He said they have been Commissioners together for 4 years, and he has been a Commissioner for 20 years. Thelen asked Russek what makes him think she would be the one to go. Russek said he doesn’t know, but it sounds like she is the one talking about it. He said Commissioner Sawatzke is in the same District. Russek said maybe neither one of them will run again.
Thelen said it is very important to make this particular issue transparent and very public. She asked if there was anything about protecting other Districts in making a decision on this. She said there are other Districts that may advantage particular incumbent Commissioners because of Option 5. Russek said he did not know. Mattson said if Wright County were the only County in the State with one Commissioner versus another Commissioner in the same District, it would be one thing. This happens all over the State and a number of areas are having problems. It happens during redistricting. Thelen said that is why the Principles are available to guide the Board. She asked Russek whether this causes undue conflict for incumbents or protects other incumbents. Mattson interjected that Russek hasn’t signed anything showing he is not going to run again. Russek stated that if he and Mattson hadn’t ended up in the same District, he would have run again. Being they ended up in the same District, he will not run. It has been 20 years and long enough. Russek said he really considered the possibility of running again.
Eichelberg said when the State Supreme Court drew their lines and the cities drew their precinct lines, it placed the County in a predicament that some of the Commissioners may not like. The County is limited on what it can do. The Board is trying to follow the Principles but each may interpret them a little differently. Unfortunately, some things may not fall into the best situation for everyone. He said they could talk for two more hours and probably the opinion is not going to change. Thelen said she hopes the opinion was not made before they got here. Russek said they have a good Board but they will be broken up. Russek said he and Eichelberg are not running. He said it is unfortunate but feels they have worked well together. They may not always agree but they never fight. Russek said it is too bad but things have to change.
Thelen asked Eichelberg which of the communities of interest he wishes to preserve under Option 5. She asked whether his opinion was like Russek’s with regard to the Land Use Plan. Eichelberg said his situation, as indicated in previous minutes, is that the western part of St. Michael and Hanover share services, including water/sewer and fire department contracts. They work closely together. There is a Lake in Rockford Township and in St. Michael that St. Michael provides sewer services for. St. Michael also works with the Rockford Township Board. The sewer service runs through Hanover and ends up in the City of St. Michael. He said if they are placed with Buffalo, it would be almost at the high end of 10% over the mean, although it is still within the guidelines. He referenced the economy and whether it will turn around, although he said it was indicated they should not look to the future. However, there has been some precedence set based on what has happened in the past. In more than this issue, the Board does look to the past to see what might happen in the future. For that reason, Eichelberg said it is a little easier to stay within the guidelines, population wise, if that District includes Rockford Township instead of the City of Buffalo. Thelen said Rockford Township does not want to be in Option 5. Eichelberg said if a survey is taken of 24,000 people in the County, they will be able to find people that don’t agree with the options. For as many cities or townships that there are, they will find people who are not going to agree with this plan if it passes. Eichelberg said they are elected to make tough decisions, and they have made them before.
Thelen referenced Principle Item 9 and asked Eichelberg how that impacts his decision relative to placing incumbents in excessive conflict with each other. Eichelberg stated that no matter what Option is selected, it will place two Commissioners in the same District. Thelen said not every Option places two Commissioners in the same District. She restated that, and said each Option does put two Commissioners in the same District but not four Commissioners. Thelen said Option 8 does not put Sawatzke and herself in the same District. She asked Eichelberg if he feels Option 5 is far superior to Option 8 for the reasons he stated. Eichelberg stated that in his opinion and from talking to representatives in his District, yes.
Thelen said that there has been a Public Hearing process and input, not just from 24,000 people but from people that represent the areas. This includes a number of cities, mayors, city council members, citizens, lake associations. She said an overwhelming percentage of the people who commented and provided testimony support Options 7-10. She said the communities of interest that Russek, Mattson and Eichelberg are speaking of are also present in Option 8. They are not absent. Thelen stated that the communities of interest that people feel are not represented in Option 5 are represented in Option 8. She said there doesn’t seem to be a sense by the Board that there needs to be any consideration. She referenced Option 9, where it does cause undue conflict or conflicts, does not rise to the level where it would be a consideration.
Thelen asked Sawatzke to make a comment on how he sees the Principles being preserved in either case, and what his sense is of Option 8 or 9, hearing the public testimony, reading the public correspondence, and discussing it over the last month. Sawatzke said relative to Option 8 and communities of interest, an argument can be made for the lakes in the west and agricultural. He said an argument can be made for the lakes and agricultural in Options 1-4 and 7-10. He said an argument can be made for agricultural in Options 5-6. He said you could make an argument for either one of them. Principle Item 9 reflects they are not to protect or defeat incumbents. Sawatzke felt those arguments contradict one another. To the extent that he and Thelen could be within the same District, that relates to the concept of one Board member being defeated. However, if the Board would vote against only because of that reason, they would then be protecting Sawatzke and Thelen. Sawatzke was confused on that Principle because it argues with itself. About a month ago, he worked at home and came up with ten maps, based on information that was provided at that time. He knew then that the process was not going to be pretty because he felt no one will be happy with the maps. He is not surprised where they are at today. Thelen said she is happy with Option 8 map. She felt Russek, Eichelberg, and Mattson were happy with Option 5.
Sawatzke asked for clarification on the motion, whether the renumbering of the Districts was included as a friendly amendment to the motion. Eichelberg stated that it was. Norman deferred to the County Attorney’s Office and asked whether the County Board should vote to accept a Redistricting Plan and then decide which Commissioners will run for two-year and four-year terms. He asked whether the Board would then adopt a resolution by separate motion. Kryzer said the draft resolution for Option 5 includes areas that can be filled in for Districts and terms. The terms must be staggered between two and four years. It requires either three of the terms for two years or three of the terms for four years. There needs to be a three to two split. He felt incorporating all of it into one resolution may be the best.
Russek said if they stay with the current pattern, Districts 1 and 3 (Russek and Thelen) would be up for election and would be running anyway. He and Thelen could run for four-year terms and the other three would run to finish out the terms they are in. They all will be required to run because of redistricting.
Sawatzke felt it was ironic that the maps with the closet population figures are those that no one likes. He did state there are other criteria to look at. Relative to the terms, he felt it would be unfair to require the Commissioners that recently ran for two-year terms to run again for two-year terms. Sawatzke feels if a Commissioner just ran for a two-year term, it should be followed by a four-year term. He said it would not be fair to have the other Districts have two terms of four years and the other Districts have two terms of two years. He could not recall how it was done ten years ago but felt that would be the fair thing to do. Thelen said it sounds as though Mattson is interested in a two-year term. Sawatzke said he has not heard Mattson indicate this. Sawatzke stated that Eichelberg just came off a four-year term and is apparently not running again, although he has not officially announced this. He did view it as unfair to have a Commissioner receive two-year terms back-to-back for a District.
Eichelberg asked whether the Board can vote on the Redistricting Plan and then entertain a separate motion on terms. Kryzer said that can be done. Eichelberg said in conversations with other counties on district numbering, the variations were extreme. Norman said the Board can move to adopt the Redistricting Plan. A separate motion can then be made on terms. Those two actions can be rolled into a motion adopting a resolution as amended. He felt this was the protocol to follow. Kryzer agreed.
Thelen then called for the motion on the Option 5 map, including the friendly amendment to the motion to change the Option 5 Map Districts to: District 1-Blue, District 2-Green, District 3-Gray, District 4-Tan, and District 5-Pink. The motion carried 3-2 with Thelen and Sawatzke casting the nay votes.
The Board then discussed term limits for the new Districts. Mattson said he thought he had no choice but to run for a two-year term. Sawatzke said Districts 2, 4 and 5 will come from two-year terms and they should receive the four-year term. He thought an argument could be made for that out of fairness. That would not place any incumbents who won a four-year term in a position where they would have to run again. Russek could not recall how this was done in the past. His District always came up for election the same time as the Presidential election. He has run 6 times in 20 years.
Sawatzke made a motion to set the following term limits: Districts 2, 4, and 5 will have four-year terms and Districts 1 and 3 will have two-year terms. The motion was seconded by Russek. Mattson restated that he previously thought he had to run for a two-year term. If that had been the case, it would have been his third time running for a two-year term. The motion carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-27, seconded by Mattson, and carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Thelen casting the nay votes:
Resolution for Adoption of County
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 375 establishes the procedure and requires a process for redistricting County Commissioner districts based on population figures from the Federal Census; and,
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute section 204B.135, subd. 2 requires that County Commissioner Districts be redistricted within 80 days of when the legislature has been redistricted or at least 15 weeks before the state primary election, whichever comes first; and,
WHEREAS, pursuant to these statutes the 2010 Federal Census population figures shall be used to redistrict the Wright County Commissioner Districts by May 1, 2012, and that Commissioner Districts shall be bounded by town, municipal, ward, city district, or precinct lines; and,
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the possibility or potential for maximizing minority representation on the board of commissioners; and,
WHEREAS, Wright County published a three week notice in the newspaper having the contract for publishing the commissioner’s proceedings for the county for 2012; and,
WHEREAS, Wright County conducted a public meeting on redistricting on April 10, 2012, April 17, 2012, April 23, 2012 and May 1, 2012:
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby redistricts the County of Wright, following town, municipal, city district, or precinct lines as reestablished in April, 2012, and reestablishes the length of terms as follows:
District 1 Southside Township, City of South Haven, City of Annandale, Corinna Township, Albion Township, Chatham Township, City of Buffalo Precinct 1, City of Buffalo Precinct 2, City of Buffalo Precinct 3, City of Buffalo Precinct 4, Buffalo Township (2-year term, 2012 Election)
District 2 - City of Clearwater, Clearwater Township, Silver Creek Township, Maple Lake Township Precinct 1A, Maple Lake Township Precinct 1B, City of Maple Lake, Monticello Township, City of Monticello (4-year term, 2012 Election)
District 3 - City of Otsego Precinct 1A, City of Otsego Precinct 2A, City of Otsego Precinct 3, City of Dayton, City of St. Michael Precinct 1B (2-year term, 2012 Election)
District 4 City of Albertville, City of St. Michael Precinct 1A, City of Hanover Precinct 2, City of Hanover Precinct 3, Rockford Township, City of Rockford (4-year term, 2012 Election)
District 5 French Lake Township, Cokato Township, City of Cokato, Stockholm Township, Middleville Township, City of Howard Lake, Victor Township, Marysville Township, City of Waverly, City of Montrose, Woodland Township, Franklin Township, City of Delano (4-year term, 2012 Election)
BE IT RESOLVED that the County Coordinator is directed to file the redistricting plan with the County Auditor by May 2, 2012, to be effective on June 2, 2012, for the 2012 primary and general election. The County Auditor is directed to publish the redistricting plan in the Howard Lake Journal.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the districts are, for illustrative purposes, identified in a map of the county attached hereto and marked Exhibit A which by reference is hereby made a part hereof.
(End of Resolution #12-27)
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MN Assn of Assess. Officers 1,120.00
MN Attorney Generals Office 184.52
MN Board of Aelslagid 132.00
MN Chemical Company 1,275.18
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 100.00
MN Monitoring Inc 489.00
MN Office of Justice Programs 200.00
Multi Health Systems Inc 280.80
Office Depot 2,578.53
Prairie Country RC&D 8,353.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co 116.49
Putnam/Gale L 3,425.00
Rockford Township 2,254.30
Royal Tire Inc 3,986.28
RS Eden 1,772.06
Ryan/Jonathan J 110.00
Sanford Hospital 1,902.60
SHI International Corp 3,026.70
Specialty Turf & Ag 157.43
St Michael/City of 6,634.00
Stockholm Township 419.00
T & S Trucking 5,796.00
Uniforms Unlimited 635.68
Verizon Wireless 869.01
Voss Lighting 546.99
Walmart Community GEMB 218.76
Walmart Store 01-1577 976.82
Woodland Township 486.00
Wright County Highway Dept 902.92
Xcel Energy 1,134.51
20 Payments less than $100 1,041.86
Final total 148,040.03
The meeting adjourned at 11.08 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 11, 2012.