WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Eichelberg, Mattson, Russek, Sawatzke and Thelen present.
Norman made the following correction to the 9-11-12 County Board minutes: Page 3, Paragraph 6, should add a sentence after Line 6 that reads, “Mattson moved to approve the recommendation” (Norman).
Thelen made the following correction to the 9-11-12 County Board minutes: Page 7, Paragraph 10, a line should be inserted after Line 6 that reads, “Thelen asked if there were any comments from the Board on the budget, and there were none” (Thelen). She also made the following correction on Page 8, Paragraph 1, Line 6 that reads, “Because of increased demand, the Vulnerable Children’s and Adults Act in Minnesota will be increasing the annual allocation by $500,000 to meet this demand “(Thelen). Russek moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Eichelberg. The motion carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Sawatzke. The following item was petitioned onto the Agenda: Items For Consideration #6) Comment (Mattson). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda with one addition, seconded by Russek. The motion carried 5-0.
Russek voted to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Eichelberg. The motion carried 5-0.
1. Performance Appraisals: G. Gooler, W. Marschel, Aud./Treas.; B. Hendricks, Hwy.; T. Janikula, P&Z; S. Albrecht, M. Brandenburg, K. LaFromboise, J. Lewandoski, B. Miller, A. Pribyl, Sher./Corr.
2. Appoint Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, As An AMC Delegate.
3. Authorize Delegates To Attend The Association Of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Annual Conference, 12-02-12 Through 12-04-12, St. Cloud, MN.
4. Set Special Board Meeting For 11-27-12 @ 6:00 P.M. (2013 Budget & Levy).
5. Cancel Board Meeting Of 12-04-12 (AMC Conference).
6. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-01-12.
Peggy Gentles, Court Administrator, introduced newly appointed District Court Judge Elizabeth H. Strand to the Minnesota 10th Judicial District. Strand replaced the Honorable Donald J. Venne. Strand gave a brief history of her work in the Courts. She was appointed in July of this year and sworn in on September 10, 2012. Strand worked as a public defender for a few years, and then became the Prosecuting Attorney for the Cities of Annandale and Buffalo. She invited questions from the Board. They extended congratulations and welcomed her to the County.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, provided an update on the status of applications for the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) Board. Hiivala received one application from Mary Ellen Wells Fache. He distributed a copy of her resume to the Board. Thelen said she has spoken with Fache and feels she is an excellent candidate. Sawatzke moved to appoint Fache to the Clearwater River Watershed District Board. Russek seconded. Mattson asked whether the opening had been publicized. Norman asked whether this appointment is completing a term for someone who has left, or will Fache be starting a full term? Thelen replied that Fache is filling out a term, although she would like to continue for another term. Hiivala said there were two vacancies. Hiivala will verify with Asleson which term Fache is completing. Thelen thought the other term expired in January 2013. The motion carried 5-0.
The Claims listing was discussed. Hiivala referenced a claim for RTVision Inc. on Page 11 for $12,829.24 for RT/TimeCard, an electronic time tracking software the Board approved in a prior meeting. RTVision sent an electronic pay stub to the County that Department staff is currently testing. Hiivala explained that the County paid half the cost of the software upon signing the contract. This payment represents maintenance and a partial payment for the program. Hiivala said once the County approves the electronic pay stub, RTVision will be paid $27,000. Russek asked how close they are to approving the electronic time card. Hiivala said his Department has been running dual time cards for 3.5 months. His goal is to start training in October or November. Auditor/Treasurer staff will enter all the time card data for 2012 for all County employees. Russek said questions were raised about the system last week at a Public Works Labor Management meeting. Hiivala said they are still able to accept paper time cards for those employees who can’t go through the electronic portal. Russek said the new Assistant Highway Engineer stated that McLeod County uses the system and it works well. Mattson compared the system to the nuclear power plant that required employees to come through the door one at a time, or risk a fine or termination. Hiivala said the electronic time card is similar to the current paper time sheet. Employees may go in daily or every two weeks to log their hours. Hiivala said it is not like punching a time clock. He added that the Doors card key access is also not tied to time card reporting. The electronic time card is web-based and allows employees to key in a time card. Mattson said he used to have to read all the time cards at the nuclear plant. Hiivala said that idea is not being considered at this time. Russek moved to approve the claims listing, subject to audit. Eichelberg seconded. Hiivala interjected that the County is paying 124 vendors for a total amount of $354,733.13. The motion carried 5-0.
Judy Brown, Personnel Representative, explained that every five years the Personnel Department sends out Requests For Proposals for life insurance. The County life insurance policy renewal date is March 1, 2013. Brown said this year they also requested proposals for Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability. She said Ochs, Inc. has provided group life and disability coverage for County employees for many years. Ochs analyzed the quotes received. Beth Reidenbach, Ochs, Inc. Manager of Sales and Marketing, presented a summary comparison. Brown distributed a copy of the summary to the Board. She said the decision does not benefit all employees who participate in the voluntary Short and Long Term Disability insurance plans. Brown suggested that the Board wait to make a decision until Personnel has received final cost figures and determined the impact of the plans on employees.
Reidenbach said the Life Insurance proposals were clear cut. The incumbent carrier, MN Life, offered the lowest cost for County-paid Basic Life and decreased the cost of optional life insurance that employees may purchase.
However, when comparing Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability plans, Reidenbach said the decision became more complex. She said most counties and cities prefer to keep Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability with the same carrier for ease of administration and compliance purposes. In this Request For Proposal, Cigna came in with a competitive proposal for Long Term Disability via a bundling process. However, those rates are only effective if the County awards Cigna both the Short Term Disability and the Long Term Disability contract.
Ochs looked at the disability coverage and evaluated it based on County-paid dollars. Assurant, the incumbent carrier for both Short and Long Term Disability insurance, matched their renewal rate. Assurant believes the rates they are currently offering the County are appropriate. Assurant is not willing to reduce them, but they offered a two year rate guarantee.
Reidenbach said Cigna offered more competitive rates for Long Term Disability. She described Cigna as a large, reputable insurance company that does a lot of disability business. Representatives confirmed they would match the current contracts in place so there would be no loss of benefit. While their rates for Short Term Disability were higher than Assurant, Cigna’s rates for Long Term Disability were considerably less than Assurant.
Reidenbach said moving to Cigna would cost the County $513 more per year for the $100 per month employer-provided benefit. The Cigna plan came considerably under Assurant’s quote for voluntary or optional Long Term Disability coverage for employees, saving employees more than $19,000 per year. Short Term Disability premiums would increase from 1.63 to 1.96 per $100 of monthly benefit, for a total increase of $8,100. Reidenbach said the $19,000 decrease in Long Term Disability premiums more than offsets the increase in Short Term Disability premiums. The aggregate savings would provide an $11,200 savings to all employees. However, employees who only participate in the Short Term Disability plan will pay more than they do on the current plan. Thelen said no action is required at this time.
Reidenbach added that Ochs did another Request For Proposal for Long Term Care insurance, which is totally voluntary for employees. Those results are now in. Reidenbach explained that there is only one group Long Term Care insurance policy available through CNA. All the other carriers have left the market. Trans America offers individual Long Term Care insurance which is underwritten, compared to group insurance that offers a guaranteed issue. Thelen asked Brown to report back once their analysis has been completed.
Sawatzke read the 9-12-12 Personnel Committee minutes. He moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson said the drug pipeline from Mexico to Minnesota should be stopped. Sawatzke explained that the minutes reflect that discussion and the problems caused by illegal drugs. The motion carried 5-0:
I. POSITION OPENINGS
A. Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff Office.
Sawatzke and Eichelberg reviewed a copy of an email from Captain Greg Howell to Dick Norman regarding this position (see attached). Sawatzke stated that the Sheriff Office is down three positions. Both Sawatzke and Eichelberg agreed there was a need for a replacement.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Deputy Sheriff position.
B. Case Aide, Intake & Resource Unit, Human Services.
Elkerton distributed two documents. The first one provided background information regarding the functions of the position. The second handout included client statistics from 2012 (see attachments).
Sawatzke and Eichelberg both reviewed the documents. Eichelberg commented that 55 of the 357 people who scheduled appointments did not come in or cancelled. Elkerton explained that many clients live unstable lives due to drug or alcohol use. Sometimes they abuse multiple drugs. She said many clients also have significant mental health issues or are homeless. These situations increase the chaos in their lives.
Sawatzke asked whether the County is reimbursed for this position. Elkerton replied that the Agency receives reimbursement through the Consolidated Chemical Dependency Treatment Fund (CCDTF). Sawatzke said her document did not specify what percentage of the position is reimbursed by CCDTF. Elkerton said the Agency is reimbursed the same amount every month. Sawatzke asked whether the position is fully supported by the grant. Elkerton said it is. She said it would be very difficult for the Agency to function without this position, as there is an overwhelming need due to the complexity of the cases. She said Minnesota is on a direct drug pipeline from Mexico. The dealers sell the highest quality heroin at cheap prices, hook the people, decrease the quality and raise the prices.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Case Aide position in the Intake & Resource Unit.
(End of 9-12-12 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Russek moved to set a Public Hearing regarding the Fees-For-Service Schedule for 11-13-12 at 9:30 A.M. Eichelberg seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Norman proposed one committee date in November and one for December. He suggested 11-14-12 and 12-12-12. Norman said the Board has approved this practice the last two or three years due to the holidays and the AMC Conference. Eichelberg moved to approved 11-14-12 and 12-12-12 for Committee Meeting Schedules, seconded by Russek. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke moved to designate the Wright County Board Meeting on 12-24-12 as a “Claims Only” meeting, to include claims, Consent Agenda items and only those items that are critical and require action that day. Russek seconded, and the motion carried 5-0. Sawatzke mentioned that the Human Services Board is also meeting that day at 10:00 A.M.
Norman referenced a 2009 memo sent to Department Heads regarding the County policy regarding office hours on Christmas Eve. In the past, when Christmas Eve falls on a Monday through Thursday, the Board has approved closing offices at noon to give employees an opportunity to start the Christmas holiday. Eichelberg moved to allow County offices to close to the public at noon on Christmas Eve, 12-24-12. Russek seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mattson commented that he received a report that Thelen stated “the Mattson Regime is over in Wright County” at a recent speaking engagement. He said people campaigning for office should exercise diplomacy and not refer disparagingly to others. Thelen said she was not aware of the remark. Mattson replied that the person providing the information was a reliable source. He requested that Board members be courteous to their opponents. Thelen disputed Mattson’s claim and asked that in the future Mattson approach her outside of the Board meeting.
Albertville Body Shop Inc 831.53
Ameripride Services 543.68
Aramark Services Inc 6,598.24
Arctic Glacier USA Inc 549.66
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 404.13
Bauman/Lawrence R 289.50
Bear Graphics Inc 261.96
Boyer Truck Parts 1,129.02
Buffalo/City of 95,671.52
Bureau Of Crim. Apprehension 250.00
Center Point Energy 128.04
Climate Air 1,044.25
Corporate Payment Systems 4,148.85
Culligan of Buffalo 495.00
Deatons Mailing Systems Inc 499.11
Delano Rental Inc 240.47
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 248.85
Don Rettman Construc. LLC 2,500.00
Donahue Sports Center Corp 232.15
Eagle Point 1,300.00
Emergency Auto. Tech Inc 8,856.78
Felger Ramos LLC/Maria 100.00
Fibernet Monticello 359.80
First District Domestic Violence 150.00
Forest Mushrooms Inc 1,650.00
Gale-TEC Engineering Inc 1,715.00
Gopher State One Call 206.00
Granite Pest Control Services 492.78
Greenview Inc 16,191.99
Helena Chemical Company 2,700.31
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 129.95
Hickmans Service Inc 166.99
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 540.99
Holt Motors Inc 147.49
Jakes Excavating 810.00
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 112.75
Kemble Inc 14,643.75
Knife River 102,382.36
Lake Region Coop Oil 528.79
LaPlant Demo Inc 457.79
Loberg Electric 2,284.75
Matt Legal Services 100.00
Metro Group Inc/The 5,465.82
Mini Biff LLC 533.12
MN Assn Of Co. Feedlot Officers 150.00
MN Dept. Of Labor & Industry 897.85
MN Monitoring Inc 16,319.50
MN Office Of Enterprise Tech. 1,150.00
MN Police & Peace Ofcrs Assn 125.00
MN Sheriffs Association 135.00
MN Supreme Court 658.00
Office Depot 844.84
Omann Brothers Inc 287.10
ORyans Conoco 165.00
Otto Associates 1,948.50
Plaisted Companies Inc 5,957.86
Rockford Township 2,723.20
RTVision Inc 12,829.24
Schermann/Robert D 367.00
Schmidt/Donald M 196.50
Scott Peterson 182.53
Seal King 12,912.50
Sherburne County Sheriff 155.75
Sherwin Williams 109.49
SHI International Corp 1,224.79
Specialty Turf & Ag 738.30
T & M Towing and Snow Plowing 101.53
Total Printing 938.79
Verizon Wireless 949.70
Village Ranch Inc 634.24
Voss Lighting 173.14
Zacks Inc 778.91
Zee Medical Service 369.14
25 Payments less than $100 1,060.66
Final total $354,733.13
The meeting adjourned at 9:31 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 15, 2012.