Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 9, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 7-02-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Husom. Daleiden requested adding Item For Consid. #2, “Best Idea Contest.” Borrell and Husom accepted this as a friendly amendment to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Husom requested that Item C1a, “Human Services Position Replacement, Social Services Supervisor” be removed for discussion. Borrell requested that Item C1b, “Human Services Position Replacement, Social Worker” be removed for discussion. On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: N. Ellis, B. Holmquist, Hwy.; B. Cramb, R. DuBois, C. Kuhlman, W. Locke, B. Schaap, G. Sorensen, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 6-22-13.
1. Authorize Litigation Against PID: 110-022-003090, 10856 Pleason Ave. NW, South Haven, MN 55382 For Failure To Comply With Minnesota Statutes And Wright County Ordinances.
1. Position Replacements:
a. Corrections Officer
Husom asked that Item C1a, “Human Services Position Replacement, Social Services Supervisor” be removed for discussion as she thought it related to a Social Services Supervisor position that has been vacant for two years. Upon review of the backup material submitted with the request, Husom said the request relates to the replacement of the Intake and Resource Unit Supervisor which is a different position. The Board recently adopted a new process for position replacements. Position replacement requests involving an employee leaving or retiring can be placed on the Consent Agenda. The Board has the option to pull those requests and discuss them. New positions or those that have been open for a period of time must be referred to the Personnel Committee for discussion. Potter moved to approve Item C1a, “Human Services Position Replacement, Social Services Supervisor”. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. Borrell made a motion to lay over for one week Item C1b, “Human Services Position Replacement, Social Worker”. He is working with Human Services management staff on this position. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Daleiden.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board schedule a Ditch Committee Of The Whole Meeting to review Drainage DB (Database) Software. A presentation will be made by Houston Engineering, the firm that the County contracts with for Ditch Modernization. Potter moved to schedule the Ditch Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 7-24-13 at 1:00 P.M., seconded by Daleiden, carried unanimously.
Pursuant to County Board action on 6-26-12, the County sought special legislation to allow the purchase of prior service credit in Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota (PERA) by Bruce Bersie, an employee of the Highway Department. The employee transitioned from part to full time in 2007, but PERA was not deducted from his salary. The majority of this situation was corrected in 2012, but by Statute, the period of 2007 and 2008 could not be dealt with, absent special legislation. The special law was passed in 2013, and the County and the employee have made the required payments to PERA, with interest, to complete the repurchase. Hiivala stated that the County made payment last week by Auditor’s warrant for the employer’s share of service credit. This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed.
• Daleiden questioned a claim on Page 4, MN Counties Ins. Trust ($4,310) paid from Department 100, Other General Government, for automobile liability insurance. Hiivala explained that there is a liability insurance line item in each of the three funds, Human Services, Road & Bridge, and General Revenue. Daleiden suggested that this expense instead be reflected in each department’s budget. Wright County contracts with other government agencies for Sheriff’s services, and he feels the true cost to the County should be reflected in that budget. Husom stated the Sheriff’s Office provided a report reflecting those costs when the Law Enforcement Contracts were brought to Committee. Sawatzke said he assumed that was figured into the County’s cost for providing law enforcement services. His concern was making sure the effort to reflect this in each department’s budget offers value. Hiivala stated that Maximus provides indirect cost allocation services for the County in order to obtain funding through a Federal Grant. Hiivala said Maximus already identifies costs that can be spread to departments. The consensus was that Hiivala bring back suggested dates for a meeting with Maximus to discuss this further.
• Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 4, Northland Transcription, ($545.00) paid out of Dept. 100, General Government. Lee Kelly, Interim County Coordinator, stated the firm was hired to transcribe confidential material in a Personnel matter.
• Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 8, Prime Coat ($32,294.56). He spoke with Brad Hatfield, Building Maintenance Supervisor, who said the claim relates to the repair of six showers in the Jail. The original install of the epoxy paint is cracking, and the warranty has expired. It is being replaced with a seamless system which is being tested prior to the repair of the remainder of the stalls. Potter said if the repair works, this cost will be seen seven more times for a total repair of over $200,000. Kelly stated that Hatfield indicated the same problem is occurring in other correctional agencies where the product was used with the same vendor. Sawatzke said this may be something the Building Committee should look at due to the amount of the repair.
Daleiden moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $183,944.20, 120 vendors, and 208 transactions. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 6-27-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0:
I. Hiring Practices
A. Husom brought this topic to the committee to be discussed because she is hoping to streamline the replacement process. Currently Department Heads must wait until the monthly Personnel Committee meeting if they would like to replace a position. This creates an issue because if an employee leaves shortly after the monthly Personnel Committee meeting, the Department Head must wait an entire month before the approval to replace that position. Then they must also go through the 4-6 week hiring process. Husom believes that between the Department Head and Human Resources, the decision should be able to be made without the need for a Personnel Committee meeting.
Sawatzke stated that prior to March 2009 that was how the process went. It was changed because the Board felt there were certain positions that did not need to be refilled. Husom stated that Department Heads were hired to make decisions like this and believes that they should be allowed to replace a position without waiting several weeks for the Personnel Committee meeting. While Sawatzke agrees in streamlining the replacement process, he would still like the Commissioners to have the option of questioning a position. Husom stated she agreed with Sawatzke.
Daleiden questioned how many positions have not been replaced since 2009. Sawatzke stated that it started with 12-14 and over the next 2-3 years an additional 6-7 positions on top of that. L. Kelly stated the Administration Department has been tracking which positions have been replaced and which positions have been laid over since 2009. Daleiden would like to know how many positions have been laid over within the last two years. He also questioned Bigelow on how long the hiring process takes. Bigelow stated it can take anywhere between 6-8 weeks for the hiring process plus the time the Department Head spends waiting for the next Personnel Committee meeting. Daleiden suggested that Department Heads place the position replacement on the Consent Agenda, and then the Board can pull the item for discussion if needed.
Recommendation: Allow Department Heads to place position replacement requests on the Consent Agenda with the option for the Board to pull the positions for discussion.
II. County Coordinator Position
A. The Committee invited three outside speakers to discuss the difference between a County Coordinator and a County Administrator. All three speakers have been both a County Coordinator and a County Administrator.
Arneson stated that he is currently the County Administrator at Goodhue County and he has been there for seven years. Prior to that, he was the County Administrator at Aitkin County for three years and was also their County Coordinator for eleven years. Hebert is currently the Winona County Administrator. He was previously the first County Administrator for Barron County in Wisconsin. Houle stated he is currently the Administrator for Crow Wing County and has been there for five years. Previously he was in Morrison County for 14 years. He was their County Coordinator for seven years and then also their Administrator for seven years.
L. Kelly questioned what a County Administrator could do for the Board that a County Coordinator could not. Houle stated that when he was a County Coordinator, employees would come to him with issues and while he felt responsible to fix those issues, he did not feel like he had the authority to do so. He stated that authority to the Administrator flows directly from the Board and believes it is a more effective position. Hebert handed out a Decisions Level Sheet (see attached). He said that when he started at Barron County, it was decided that the Administrator would deal with levels one through two and the Board would deal with levels three through four. With this process, the day to day issues are dealt with quicker than waiting until the next Board meeting. He believes that the Administrator is in place to make sure that the goals of the County are met on a day to day basis and that policies are being followed. Arneson stated it was all about structure and organization. He said that you can give full authority to a Coordinator; however, Department Heads are less likely to question that authority if it is an Administrator.
Borrell questioned what would happen if the Administrator was not doing their job. If he understands the statute correctly, he believes the Administrator has more job security than the Coordinator. He does not want the County to be stuck with an Administrator who is not doing their job properly. Arneson stated he believes the Administrator has less job security than a Coordinator. Hebert stated he agrees with Arneson because if an Administrator does a poor job and gets fired, no other county will want to hire them. He also stated that his contract allows the Board to discontinue employment at any time. Houle agrees with both Arneson and Hebert.
Sawatzke stated he favors the Coordinator position because this is the position Wright County has been using and said it is working well for them. He questioned how it is more effective for an Administrator to supervise the employees than the County Board. Arneson stated that he does not view the Administrator position as one who manages the employees. He feels that is the Department Head’s job. The Administrator is someone who is here to deal with issues on a day to day basis and supervises the Department Heads. Houle stated that the job of the Administrator is to take the views, visions and goals of the Board and make them a reality for the County. Husom stated she agrees with that idea. Sawatzke stated he liked the idea but he also feels like Wright County is doing a good job of those things already. Houle stated that he was not saying Wright County is doing a poor job. He would just like the Committee to ask themselves how they can improve on the job they are already doing.
Hebert stated this would be easier with an Administrator because the Board only has authority by statute when all five members are present. With an Administrator, the Board as a whole gives the Administrator authority to follow through with the issues when they are not present. Borrell stated his concern was not being able to discuss a project with the Department Head directly and instead having to go through the Administrator since the Administrator would be the Department Head’s supervisor. Hebert stated that would not be the case and that the Commissioners can still have conversations with any Department Head. Sawatzke mentioned the salary of an Administrator position being higher than the salary of a Coordinators position.
Potter stated that what he sees is that the previous Board was here for a long time and while the Coordinator position might have worked well for them, the Administrator position might work better for the current Board. He stated that he does not see a big picture strategy being used for Wright County. Sawatzke stated he did not agree with making decisions and goals today that would affect the County ten years from now because none of Commissioners know what the County will need in ten years. Potter stated that setting goals will help make sure the County goes in the direction the Commissioners want.
Hebert reminded the Committee that quality is what they need to look for in the candidates. He said the higher the quality you expect then the better chance you have of getting a highly qualified person rather than someone who will just do the minimum. It would be a good idea to sit down and write out the qualities you want the candidate to possess. Houle stated that the Committee needs to remember that the person they are interviewing will also be interviewing them and that each candidate will also be competing against each other for the position. Arneson stated that with whatever decision the Committee makes, they need to make sure they get the best position and best person to fill that position.
Hagerty pointed out that there are very few counties in the State that still have a Coordinator position and that most counties have implemented the Administrator position. He also said that one thing the Board does very well is stay in tune with the public and he knows Sawatzke takes pride in that. Arneson agreed with Hagerty about the Coordinator position not being used in most counties. That position is usually used in counties that have less than 25,000 people. Daleiden stated the next step for the Committee would be to sit down and go over the job description to figure out what they really want in this position.
Recommendation: No recommendation at this time.
(End of 6-27-13 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Discussion occurred on how to proceed with replacement of the County Coordinator position. It was the consensus that replacement of this position should be added to the next County Board Agenda. Administration was directed to provide copies to the County Board of the current Wright County Coordinator job description and copies of the County Administrator job descriptions from Goodhue, Winona, and Crow Wing Counties. Administrators from these Counties participated in the discussion on replacement of the Coordinator position during the 6-27-13 Personnel Committee Meeting.
At 9:33 A.M., Sawatzke opened the Public Hearing to discuss establishing a sliding fee scale for the Family Planning Program administered by Wright County Public Health. Carol Schefers, Public Health Director, stated that Wright County Public Health was awarded the Family Planning Grant from the MN Department of Health. A requirement is that a sliding fee schedule be established for those people who receive services (client’s share of cost). Schefers said that they have elected to base the fee scale on what other State agencies are using that have been administering the Family Planning Grant for years. The client’s cost share will not be based on a sliding scale but will be a set rate. If the client cannot pay that fee, they will pay what they can. No public comment was received. Sawatzke closed the Public Hearing at 9:36 A.M. and reconvened the regular Board Meeting.
Daleiden moved to approve the Wright County Human Services Agency Family Planning Sliding Fee Scale. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Wright County Human Service Agency
Family Planning Client Sliding Fee Scale
Family Size: Income Range-Percentage
1: $11,490 - 100%; $14,363 - 125%; $17,235 - 150%; $20,108 - 175%; $22,980 - 200%; $28,725 - 250%; $34,470 - 300%
2: $15,510 - 100%; $19,388 - 125%; $23,265 - 150%; $27,143 - 175%; $31,020 - 200%; $38,775 - 250%; $46,530 - 300%
3: $19,530 - 100%; $24,413 - 125%; $29,295 - 150%; $34,178 - 175%; $39,060 - 200%; $48,825 - 250%; $58,590 - 300%
4: $23,550 - 100%; $29,438 - 125%; $35,325 - 150%; $41,213 - 175%; $47,100 - 200%; $58,875 - 250%; $70,650 - 300%
5: $27,570 - 100%; $34,463 - 125%; $41,355 - 150%; $48,248 - 175%; $55,140 - 200%; $68,925 - 250%; $82,710 - 300%
6: $31,590 - 100%; $39,488 - 125%; $47,385 - 150%; $55,283 - 175%; $63,180 - 200%; $78,975 - 250%; $94,770 - 300%
7: $35,610 - 100%; $44,513 - 125%; $53,415 - 150%; $62,318 - 175%; $71,220 - 200%; $89,025 - 250%; $106,830 - 300%
8: $39,630 - 100%; $49,538 - 125%; $59,445 - 150%; $69,353 - 175%; $79,260 - 200%; $99,075 - 250%; $118,890 - 300%
Based on 2013 Poverty Guidelines
Client cost share
Yearly clinic visit: $40; $40; $40; $40; 440; $40; $40; per year
Oral contraceptives, Ortho Evra Patch, Nuvaring, Depo Provera: $10; $10; $10; $10; $10; $10; $10; per month
IUD, Implanon, Sterilization: $100; $100; $100; $100; $100; $100; $100; one time payment
No one denied due to inability to pay.
Note: Families earning more than 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines will be served only if they are uninsured or underinsured. Payment will be made at the time the appointment is made.
(End of Family Planning Client Sliding Fee Scale)
Daleiden said that the winners of the employee Best Idea Contest will be announced at the next County Board Meeting. Husom and Daleiden said there were many good ideas submitted. The Contest provided insight on the number of employees that are thinking about operations, ways to improve, and cutting expenditures. Some ideas will be relatively simple to implement and others may not be.
The meeting recessed at 9:39 A.M. and reconvened at 9:48 A.M.
At 9:48 A.M., Sawatzke opened the Public Hearing on a proposed project for the Lake Ridge Care Center of Buffalo, Inc., and the issuance of revenue bonds under the MN Municipal Industrial Development Act, MN Statutes, Sections 469.152-469.1651. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said MN law allows non-profit organizations, mostly involving health care, to sell tax exempt revenue bonds through the County. Lake Ridge Care Center has requested this and that is the purpose of the Public Hearing today. The approximate aggregate principal amount is $2,500,000. This will not be an obligation to the County. Contractual documents will reflect that Lake Ridge Care Center will pay off the bonds through revenues. This is referred to as conduit financing. There is no action requested of the Board today. Asleson has been in contact with bond counsel and there will be a resolution presented in two weeks for approval by the Board. Sawatzke said the County is not responsible for payments and also is not responsible if there is a default in the loan. Asleson said the sale of a portion of the $10 million in bank qualified bonds would only impact the County if the County had something financially planned for 2013. Asleson said a portion of the approximate $2,500,000 request is for refinancing, and the refinancing portion may not count toward the $10 million limit. No public comment was received. Asleson said when Lake Ridge Care Center is ready to proceed with the bond sale, this item will be placed on the Agenda. The Public Hearing was closed at 9:51 A.M. and the regular meeting was reconvened.
Bills Approved
Abbott Northwestern Hospital $749.15
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 20,038.92
Ameripride Services 250.02
ATOM 850.00
Bakeberg/George 312.00
Big Time Towing 267.50
Black Box Resale Services 225.00
Bob Barker Company Inc 3,508.15
Buffalo/City of 467.93
Burdas Towing 294.50
Casey/Bob 124.99
Chamberlain Oil Co 1,476.90
Climate Air 985.57
Cottens Inc 3,783.19
Croteau Plumbing 413.84
Design Elec. - Cold Spring 59,505.19
Determan/Karen 237.73
Education for Critical Thinking 105.00
Elk River Municipal Utilities 137.22
Ernst General Constr. Inc 2,592.00
Ernst/Debbie 132.50
Excel Systems 200.00
Felger/Kenneth 211.50
First Choice - St Cloud 111.68
Forestry Suppliers Inc 202.80
Globalstar USA 368.58
Glunz Constr. Septic Serv. LLC 130.00
Grainger 674.05
Green Interiors 482.07
Greenview Inc 15,810.71
Helena Chemical Company 202.86
Hiivala/Robert 267.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 727.18
Husom/Christine 192.50
Intoximeters Inc 198.44
Karels Towing 561.09
Keeprs Inc 106.16
Kustom Signals Inc 215.56
L3 Communications Inc 240.87
Lacount Sales LLC 326.76
Laplant Demo Inc 630.31
Loberg Electric 272.00
Lous Gloves Inc 1,140.00
M & M Express Sales and Serv. 119.96
Marco Inc 606.27
Martin Marietta Materials 224.22
Menards - Buffalo 418.71
Midwest Machinery Co 1,251.40
Minnesota CLE 330.00
MN Counties Computer Coop. 250.00
MN Counties Ins Trust 4,310.00
MN Department of Health 100.00
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn 125.00
MN Safety Council 1,442.81
Mol/Daniel 396.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 488.84
Morrow/Terry 480.00
North Suburban Towing Inc 134.09
Northland Transcription 545.00
Office Depot 1,988.72
Olson Fire Protection Inc 1,225.00
Pearson Bros. Inc 2,570.50
Prime Coat 32,294.56
Pts of America LLC 1,491.75
Reds Cafe 1,186.32
Russell Security Resource Inc 1,986.43
Safelite Fulfillment Inc 186.51
Schmaltz/John 120.72
Scuba Center 400.00
SHI International Corp 149.63
Specialty Turf & Ag 103.13
St Cloud Hospital 875.18
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 272.17
Thompson/Janet A 320.00
Trueman Welters Inc. 287.91
Victory Corps 108.03
Waste Management-TC West 3,245.13
Westside Wholesale Tire 2,565.00
Wright County Highway Dept 291.20
29 Payments less than $100 1,324.59
Final total $183,944.20
The meeting adjourned at 9:52 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal July 29, 2013.

Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Dassel-Cokato Home | Delano Home | HJ Home