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Village deputy clerk awarded $2,500 bonus

Village of Hammond Deputy Clerk Angie Blodgett kept minutes of Monday night's village board meeting while trustees discussed her job performance in both open and closed session before voting to award her a one-time bonus of $2,500.

"It was kind of uncomfortable," Blodgett said Tuesday morning.

After reconvening into open session Trustee Vince Trudell moved to grant the bonus to Blodgett for "going above and beyond" in her duties as deputy clerk while the village searches for someone to fill its vacant administrator/clerk position. Trustee Sandy Brecht seconded the motion, and it was approved on a 6-1 vote. Village President Tony Bibeau cast the dissenting vote.

The topic first came up early in the meeting in open session during a discussion about compensation for extra job duties. Trudell moved to give Blodgett a $1 per hour raise.

"I personally believe that the work she has been doing for the past two-and-a-half months has her almost sunk, and she's sinking fast," Brecht said. "She's been putting in extra time and she should get a bonus."

"In the real world you're compensated for what you produce, and she's producing a lot," Trudell said.

Bibeau urged the trustees to discuss the matter in closed session, and Trudell's $1 raise motion was defeated.

During closed session, the board discussed Blodgett's pay along with three other topics for more than an hour.

In other business:

--The board approved a motion to have county workers repair the village's road to the compost and brush pile. The road had been badly washed out.

--The board approved a motion to add a provision to the village employee handbook regarding random drug testing and consequences for failing drug tests.

--The board voted to start a Facebook page to help inform residents about important village information, news and events.

--The board approved a beer garden permit request for the Hammond Hotel.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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