St. Croix County Board, Dec. 16, 2008
proceedings of the
ST. CROIX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Regular Meeting December 16, 2008
Invocation given by Pastor Dennis Nelson of Bethel Lutheran Church, Hudson, Wisconsin. Pledge of Allegiance recited. Meeting called to order by Vice Chair King at 9:00 a.m.
Roll call: 28 present; 3 absent - Chair Rebholz, Supr. Raebel, and Supr. Horne; Supr. Cranmer arrived at 9:10 a.m.
Assistant Corporation Counsel Don Gillen attended the meeting in place of the absent Corporation Counsel Greg Timmerman.
Administrative Coordinator Report: Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting reported on the warehouse fire in the Village of North Hudson and the assistance from area rescue services. Whiting stated the Finance Committee heard an assessment of security for the Government Center from Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy John Shilts. Whiting reminded Supervisors that Department Head performance evaluations need to be completed by the end of January and committees are responsible to see this gets done. Whiting indicated the employee appreciation dinner was held at Kilkarney Golf Club for employees reaching 15 year milestones and up. He noted several employees have reached 30 years of service with St. Croix County. Whiting reported Mary Martinson, a financial assistance in the Finance Department is retiring after 31 years of service to St. Croix County.
Consent Agenda: Motion by Supr. Post, 2nd by Supr. Borup to adopt the consent agenda approving the November 11, 2008 County Board proceedings; setting the next County Board meeting for January 20, 2009; and approving mileage and per diem for October 2008 in the amount of $9,141.79. Carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS: Vice Chair King announced the appointment of Steve Anderson to the Indianhead Federated Library System.
PRESENTATION: Youth Community Support Services Program - Recognition of State Award - Health and Human Services (HHS) Director Fred Johnson and Tim Markgraf from Youth Community Support Services Department announced the St. Croix County Coordinated Service Team (aka Family Children Services) Department received the agency of the year award. Markgraf described the program and recognized work done in the community which contributed to this award and work done by other agencies in St. Croix County. Applause.
Recognition of Register of Deeds, Kay Walsh - Vice Chair King presented Kay Walsh with a "Retirement Deed". County Clerk Campbell read the Retirement Deed. Walsh thanked the Supervisors and various departments and highlighted the changes in her 31 years of service to St. Croix County. Applause.
OLD AND NEW BUSINESS
1. Resolution #41(2008) Authorizing Register of Deeds to Charge a Fee for Processing Rental Unit Weatherization Stipulations and Waivers. Motion by Supr. Ruetz, 2nd by Supr. Post to approve. Effective May 1, 2008, the Department of Commerce (DOC) discontinued charging a fee of $50.00 for processing rental unit weatherization stipulations and waivers. The Register of Deeds no longer receives a $5.00 reimbursement payment from the DOC for processing services as an agent for DOC. This resolution provides the St. Croix County Register of Deeds continue as an agent for the DOC and collect a fee of $20.00 for each rental unit weatherization stipulation or waiver processed. Supr. Hermsen stated he objects to consideration of the question until there is a ruling from Corporation Counsel as to the constitutionality of this resolution. Supr. Hermsen indicated he sent an email to Corporation Counsel last week requesting an opinion if this resolution is valid to bring before the County Board, but has not received a response. His objection is based on Wisconsin Statute §77.22 which is about the imposition of real estate transfer fees and duty of the Register of Deeds to record transfers. Supr. Hermsen stated the resolution is asking the Register of Deeds to act as an agent for the DOC and he feels this is in violation of §77.22. Supr. Hermsen indicated rental property requires weatherization certification which the Register of Deeds is required to record and cannot charge an additional $20. Supr. Hermsen requested Corporation Counsel to rule before moving forward. Supr. Malick stated it is unfair to expect Assistant Corporation Counsel Gillen to make a ruling. Gillen confirmed he had not received the email as it was sent directly to Timmerman. Motion by Supr. Malick, 2nd by Supr. Norton-Bauman that the resolution shall not be effective unless and until Corporation Counsel rules that it is legal. Supr. Hermsen stated he asked for an objection to a consideration and according to Roberts Rules that is not amendable. Vice Chair King stated he will take responsibility for accepting Supr. Malick's amendment. Register of Deeds Walsh indicated Corporation Counsel has reviewed the resolution and it's not related to the transfer fees but rather becoming an agent appointed by the DOC to perform a service to the people transferring rental residential property. Walsh provided a history up to this change and action by the Wisconsin Counties Register of Deeds Association in which 37 counties are acting as agents for the DOC and charge a service fee. Supr. Luckey requested clarification on the standard for rental weatherization. Walsh stated if rental property passes the inspection, the inspector issues a certificate of compliance; if the property is sold there is a stipulation agreeing to bring the property up-to-date within one year and that stipulation is recorded; if there is a waiver issued, the building will be destroyed. Walsh added if the Register of Deeds chooses not to be an agent for the DOC individuals may send the documentation to the state or another county serving as an agent. The state does not charge a fee to file this documentation. Motion by Supr. G. Peterson, 2nd by Supr. Malick to call the question on the amendment (requires a 2/3 vote). Roll call vote: Yes: 21; No - 7. Passes to end debate.
Supervisor Yes No Supervisor Yes No
Dan Raebel (absent) Alfred Schrank X
Julie Speer X Joe Hurtgen X
William Peavey X Gerald Peterson X
Charles Grant X Greg Tellijohn X
Roger Larson X Richard King X
Frederick Horne (absent) John Mortensen X
Esther Wentz X Eugene Ruetz X
David Peterson X David Ostness X
Lorin Sather X Richard Marzolf X
Sharon Norton-Bauman X Peter Post X
Roger Rebholz (absent) Bill Cranmer X
Daryl Standafer X John Borup X
Clarence Malick X Steve Hermsen X
Kenneth Kolbe X Cindy Leonard X
Linda L. Luckey X Shane Demulling X
Laura Tommerdahl X TOTAL 21 7
Action on amendment carried unanimously. Action on amended resolution carried.
2. Resolution #42(2008) Re-Electing County Veterans Service Officer. Motion by Supr. Wentz, 2nd by Supr. Mortensen to approve. This resolution approves the re-election of Merlin Blaisdell as St. Croix County Veterans Service Officer, effective January 5, 2009. Carried unanimously.
3. Resolution #43(2008) Appointing Local Health Officer. Motion by Supr. Wentz, 2nd by Supr. Schrank to approve. This resolution confirms the appointment of Wendy Kramer as the local health officer for St. Croix County. Fred Johnson reported he recommended Wendy Kramer and the HHS Board unanimously supported his recommendation. Wendy Kramer introduced herself and provided employment history with St. Croix County. Carried unanimously.
4. Resolution #44(2008) Approving the Transfer of Excess Right-of-Way Along CTH "C" to the Town of Star Prairie. Motion by Vice Chair King, 2nd by Supr. Grant to approve. This resolution approves the conveyance of 0.6 acres of excess right-of-way along the south side of the CTH "C" Johannesburg Bridge to the Town of Star Prairie as an intergovernmental cooperative effort and to promote the public use of land unusable for highway purposes for the sum of one dollar. Carried unanimously.
5. Resolution #45(2008) Amending Self-Insured Employee Medical Plan Policy. Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Wentz to approve. This resolution approves the amended St. Croix County Self-Insured Employee Medical Plan Premium and Funding Policy. Supr. Cranmer asked if there were any financial implications. Whiting indicated there are no direct financial implications. This adjusts some language which was previously approved by the County Board that determines how we construct the employee health insurance premiums. This is done at the Board level so we can be consistent over the years. Whiting briefly highlighted changes. Carried unanimously.
6. Resolution #46(2008) Establishing 2009 Wage Grid and Step 7 Lump Sum Salary Payment for Permanent Full-Time/Part-Time Non-Represented Employees. Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. D. Peterson to approve. This resolution approves the 2009 wage grid which remains the same as the 2008 wage grid; a $520 lump sum salary payment to all permanent full-time/part-time non-represented employees who have reached step 7 of the wage grid by December 31, 2008; and non-represented employees not at step 7 on the wage grid by December 31, 2008 receive their step increase as scheduled and budgeted in the 2009 budget. Supr. Tellijohn requested a copy of the wage grid. Supr. Standafer stated the grid is in place. Whiting stated he will provide a copy of the grid. Motion by Supr. Malick, 2nd by Supr. Standafer to temporarily table this matter until copies are made and distributed. Tabled until the end of meeting carried unanimously.
(Approximately 11:45 a.m.) Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Ruetz to remove from the table. Carried unanimously. Supr. Tellijohn acknowledged receipt of the wage grid and had no questions. No further discussion. Carried unanimously.
7. Resolution #47(2008) Amending the 2009 Budget for Costs Related to Health Insurance. Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Wentz to approve. This resolution amends the 2009 budget to (decrease)/increase the 2009 budgeted health insurance expenditures in departments listed on the resolution and the contingency fund budget will be increased in total to maintain a balanced budget. Supr. Standafer stated at the budget presentation in November it was noted there would be reductions, once known, at the conclusion of the open enrollment period the number of employees that elected to go into the high deductible plan. The resolution shows reductions of expenditures in each department. The total reduction amount is $132,198.64 which will be placed in the Contingency Fund. Supr. Standafer noted an additional consideration in 2009 is the settlement with the LAW union which is still in negotiations. Supr. Post asked why the Highway Department is not listed. Supr. Standafer indicated the Highway Department accounting is different than the other departments. They have pass-through and an allocation of expenses so the amount reduced in Highway because of their employees will remain at Highway under that reimbursement and pass-through formula and not placed in the Contingency Fund. Highway Commissioner Tim Ramberg explained they have an incidental labor cost pool that WisDOT maintains and the state tells the Highway Department each year what the incidental labor rates are. The rate includes all the incidental costs of all the employees at Highway Department, and all 72 highway departments in the state. That is a cost pool and the rate is set at the beginning of the year when the books are closed. The state verifies that and provides a rate. This year the rate was 62% which was the rate charged for every project. At the end of the year, that pool goes up or down and the Highway Department raise or decrease the rate based on the pool. That rate is charged to towns, villages, cities, the State of Wisconsin and the county's own projects and budgets. This is a separate pool with its own identity and own costs, the balance in the pool moves forward every year and can only be used for health insurance and all fringe benefits of the employees in each of the 72 counties. This is monitored and audited by the state and audited by the county's auditors as well per Ramberg. Supr. Standafer explained the Highway Department is under an enterprise fund, accounted for different because it does work for other entities. Supr. Post asked what the savings are for Highway. Supr. Standafer stated the calculated amount in the reduction of general expense for Highway is $141,775. Ramberg confirmed the rates increase and decrease accordingly. Supr. Norton-Bauman asked why the Nursing Home has a positive number. Finance Director Pietrick responded this is a direct result of four Nursing Home employees who elected to take the county's insurance who were not previously on the county's insurance plan who were not budgeted to have county insurance. Carried unanimously.
Supr. Tommerdahl left at 10:00 a.m.
Committee and Department Reports:
Sheriff: Sheriff Dennis Hillstead reported the amount of requests for services have stayed about the same as 2007. Estimated request for services is just under 13,000 for 2008. Hillstead stated the remote offices in the Town of Star Prairie and Village of Baldwin are department cost and time savings. Patrol officers utilize the remote offices to dictate reports and complete paperwork. Hillstead noted eventually all squad cars will be equipped with laptops and reviewed schedule changes as an overtime cost savings. Sheriff highlighted economic effects in St. Croix County and the number of foreclosures. Review of meth related cases and the increase in mental health cases and effects on his department. Review of responsibilities for health care of the inmates. Hillstead expressed concerns regarding future challenges in what this county needs and what it needs to provide - "What's nice, what's convenient and what's necessary." Hillstead reviewed the number of patrol officers and comparisons to other counties. Sheriff Hillstead fielded various questions from Supervisors regarding mental health case increases in the jail, budget challenges, and weight restrictions on roads. Supr. Kolbe personally thanked the Sheriff's Department on behalf of the EMS.
Medical Examiner: Medical Examiner Casey Swetlik reported the mission of the Medical Examiner's Office is to serve the living through the investigation of sudden, unexpected, unexplained, suspicious and all violent deaths within St. Croix County. Swetlik highlighted the Medical Examiner's responsibilities and case types. Increases in reported deaths reviewed. Questions fielded regarding autopsy determination needs and signing death certificates. Swetlik stated in 2008, there have been eight reported suicides. Swetlik noted the Medical Examiner's office purchased a 2002 Caravan, a used vehicle from the Sheriff's Department, which is used for scene removals, body transports for autopsies and traveling to and from scenes. Swetlik reviewed future challenges including the need for 24 x 7 coverage needs and multiple calls and increase in death certificate duties. Swetlik thanked the Public Protection Committee and County Board for their ongoing support.
Child Support: Child Support Director Katy Kapaun reported the Child Support Department's mission is to assist families in becoming self-sufficient by establishing the enforcing child support orders. Kapaun reviewed caseload and showed an increase in 2008 - total cases 3,393. Staffing and performance measurers highlighted. Kapaun noted improvements in performance measures compared to the state's average. Kapaun stated the St. Croix County Child Support agency collected over $11.7 million dollars in child support payments for the FFY ending 9/30/08, which is a half million dollar increase over 2007. Review of tools used to collect child support. Cost and benefit analysis reviewed. The Child Support program is reimbursed for 66% of expenses through the federal government. The balance of 34% is earned by meeting the performance standards, or through local funds. In September 2008, the St. Croix County Child Support Agency was named the Wisconsin Child Support Agency of the Year. Kapaun credited her staff for this accomplishment and recognized staff members present. Kapaun thanked the County Board and Public Protection Committee for the additional second Corporation Counsel position which allows more cases to be heard in court in a timely manner. Kapaun expressed thanks to the County Board and Public Protection Committee.
District Attorney: District Attorney Eric Johnson reported good news in that numbers are down on misdemeanors and felonies in actual case filings. He believes one reason for the decrease is the Diversion Program and contracting out bad checks. Johnson noted a decrease in meth cases partly because of the Pseudoephedrine Law. Johnson stated his department is short-staffed. Statistical numbers provide his office is two assistance district attorney positions short and noted the adjustments made in his office. He currently has two pending homicides which consume a number of resources in his office. Johnson stated he has an excellent staff and commended Frank Collins on his work regarding the prosecution of a First Degree Intentional Homicide case earlier this year.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program: Victim/Witness Coordinator Ann Gustafson summarized the duties of Victim Witness program. Their role is to assist individuals who have become victims of crimes. Staffing consists of three full-time positions: a program coordinator, a specialist, and a legal advocate. The legal advocate position is federally funded through a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant. This position assists individuals seeking restraining orders. Gustafson compared caseload from 2002 with 768 victims served to 2008 with 1,444 victims served (through 11/30/08). Gustafson noted having four courtrooms has created more challenges to the Victim Witness program. Gustafson reviewed utilization of interns. Gustafson thanked the Public Protection Committee and County Board.
County Clerk's Report of Correspondence and Rezoning Requests: County Clerk Campbell reported rezoning hearings schedule for Planning and Zoning Committee for: Paul and Karen Jahnke to rezone approximately 39 acres from Ag to Ag-Res in the Town of Somerset; Joseph and Linda Jahnke to rezone approximately 40 acres from Ag to Ag-Res in the Town of Somerset; Roland Jahnke to rezone approximately 40 acres from Ag to Ag-Res in the Town of Somerset. No correspondence.
Announcements: Supr. Standafer thanked members of the County Board for their cooperation in putting together a difficult budget. He noted Sheriff Hillstead's needs facing the Board in 2009 and the need for a high degree of total cooperation from all. He stated we are involved in a zero sum game with shrinking revenues and levy limits and the need for prioritizing. Supr. Standafer stated Department Head performance reviews are very important and urged parent committees to complete the reviews. Four positions report to the Finance Committee - Administrative Coordinator Whiting, Corporation Counsel Timmerman, IT Director Boron and Building Services Director Tobin. Supr. Standafer requested performance comments, observations, and information be forwarded to his attention in writing and signed - no anonymous comments will be reviewed. Supr. Standafer wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
Supr. Speer requested the Finance Committee reconsider its decision in picking two newspapers owned by the same company and none with distribution in the eastern part of the county. Speer noted this is unfair and requested reconsideration by the Finance Committee.
Supr. Malick indicated the November 19, 2008 Health and Human Services Board minutes (page 7), includes a discussion but no action on the nursing home private pay rate. It says the County is currently subsidizing that rate about $58 per day. Supr. Malick stated pursuant to the County Board Rules and Bylaws he is requesting the following question be referred to the Health and Human Services Board: "When will the private pay rate at the nursing home be raised $58 per day to the break-even cost?" Pursuant to the rules and bylaws, the Health and Human Services Board shall report back to the County Board by the second meeting following the meeting of referral.
Supr. Marzolf shared a humorous story with the Supervisors.
Meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
Richard King, Vice Chair, St. Croix County Board of Supervisors
Cindy Campbell, County Clerk
Copies of resolutions, ordinances and Department Head reports may be obtained at the St. Croix County Clerk's office.