The 2014 county board Chair is Commissioner Rick Greene. Greene got the nod unanimously during the Board’s organizational meeting Tuesday morning this week. Vice-Chair is Lora Walker. Chair Greene commented that he looks forward to 2014 and thanked all his district constituents and county residents of all the commissioner districts for entrusting the Board with running the county. The Board also adopted two meetings per month, which is the same as now-- on the first and third Wednesdays, but BOTH meetings will be 6:30 p.m. evening sessions. The daytime meeting schedule was eliminated.
The County Board also unanimously awarded county legal publications to this paper. The Chisago County Press is currently the sole newspaper with any office operating in Chisago County. The legal publication status is for three years, until 2016. In adopting committee assignments; the commissioners noted the vacancy in Mike Robinson’s district for County Park Board and a vacancy in Greene’s district for the Extension Committee. Interested citizens are encouraged to apply. Commissioner Robinson also inquired about re-instating a county commissioner to serve on the county park board. Commissioner George McMahon sat briefly on the group and recommended eliminating the elected position last year, because staff attends and the Board gets frequent reports on parks issues.
It was also a cost-saving gesture, he said. Robinson asked how is this different from having a commissioner sit on the County Planning Commission, where staff also attends? McMahon said he’s only sat on the parks board so he couldn’t speak to any recommendation as far as required planning commission attendance by a county commissioner. Currently Greene is the appointee as liaison to the planning commission. In other matters: ditch levies were authorized. The county will levy a total of $9,000 in 2014 for properties benefited by county maintained ditches. There is a $2,000 levy against Ditches 7 and 9. There is a $1,000 levy against Ditch 3 10 and 14.
There’s a $500 levy against Ditches 2, 4, 6, and 8. The remaining ditch maintenance accounts have been closed or in the case of Judicial Ditch 1, abandoned. Appointees to various citizen-held seats included: Richard Daniels and Frank Storm remain on the Board of Adjustment. Jim Froberg and Frank Storm retained their planning commission seats. David Cartwright is on the Water Plan Policy Team Richard Byrne will serve on the East Central Regional Library Board. Nancy Bargsten is on the Public Health Commission. Dan Kaiser and Jill Sicheneder are on the Park Board. There is a vacant seat for Robinson’s Dist. 5. Dick Daniels was appointed for Walker’s district on the Extension Committee. There is a vacancy for Greene’s district on Extension.
All non-union employees were unanimously approved for a cost of living pay hike for 2014. The adjustment is the same as union staff received-- 1.75 percent.