WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Borrell moved to approve the 9-10-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #6, “Clearwater River Watershed District Appointment” (Husom); Item For Consid. #4, “Weed Inspector” (Daleiden). Potter moved to approve the Agenda as revised, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: B. Hendricks, Hwy.; C. Nelson, IT; T. Janikula, P&Z; S. Berg, S. Doyle, M. Hoberg, M. McGill, J. O’Dowd, Sher.
2. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $2,192.20 (August, 2013 Service).
3. Set Special Board Meeting For 11-26-13 @ 6:00 P.M. (2014 Budget & Levy).
B. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacements:
A. Authorization To Fill A Family Assessment (Child Protection) Social Work Position.
B. Authorize Back-fill Of .5 FTE Child Protection Social Worker Position.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, asked the Board to schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting for a presentation by Maximus on the Indirect Cost Report. Potter moved to schedule the meeting for 10-15-13 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Hiivala presented a draft resolution approving the repurchase of a tax forfeit parcel (PID #201-021-002080) by Keith and Karen Parchem. The Parchems are heirs of the former owner and would like to purchase the parcel on a ten-year installment. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the following changes to the draft: 2nd whereas, should read, “The Applicants will deposit with the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer one tenth of the delinquent taxes, penalties and interest owning on this particular parcel, along with all other costs related to the repurchase; and”; and last paragraph, 2nd to last line, remove “a copy of which is attached hereto”. Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #13-28, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hiivala presented a draft resolution that would classify a list of tax forfeit properties as conservation or non-conservation land. If adopted, the resolution is sent to the State. The State then agrees or disagrees with the recommendation. The Board consensus was to lay this item over to later in today’s meeting to allow Hiivala to provide a listing of the properties that includes whether they are conservation or non-conservation land.
Hiivala presented the August Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. He called attention to the Boarding of Prisoners line item which reflects $29,425.00 in revenues for August. Sherburne County is in the process of training so they can house federal inmates in their jail. Sherburne County has been sending inmates to Wright County during the training process. This line item will recognize an increase in revenues over a few months. Daleiden stated that the Court Administration budget does not include budgeted amounts in the telephone and postage line items, yet there are amounts listed. Hiivala said the State is billed for Court Administration’s share of those bills. It is not a budgeted line item. Daleiden moved to accept the August Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Husom said a member of the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) has moved out of the County. The CRWD is looking for a new representative to fill that role. Sawatzke recalled the process of replacing a person on this Board was not in the too distant past and that there were a couple of qualified candidates. He suggested potentially using that recruitment process to fill this opening. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, recalled that former Commissioner Thelen advertised and interviewed several people, and a selection was made from there. Sawatzke said the Administration Office may have record of the candidates. Husom asked whether there are any legal requirements for advertising, as that was the suggestion of the CRWD members. Sawatzke said the County Board can make the selection without advertising. The consensus was to refer this issue to the next County Board Meeting. The Coordinator should seek information on the advertisement, applicant names, and who was appointed at that time.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, in the amount of $254,220.88, with 205 vendors and 359 transactions.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, asked the Board to establish a meeting date to consider amendments to the Wright County Tobacco Ordinance to address the issue of e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes). There are retailers or people interested in retailing e-cigarettes who do not retail tobacco. While the position has been taken that such devices are already covered by the Ordinance, callers have been instructed that they are required to obtain a tobacco license. Asleson stated that amendments to the Ordinance are in order for purposes of clarification.
Sawatzke inquired whether all counties are required to have a tobacco ordinance per Statute. Asleson responded that a number of years ago, the State gave cities a choice on whether they wanted to do their own licensing. If a city opted out, then that responsibility fell upon the County. State Statute provides counties with the authority to license the sale of e-cigarettes, but it is not required. Sawatzke asked if the tobacco ordinance is optional as well. Asleson said that the best way to respond is no one would be taking care of licensing tobacco establishments if the County did not do it. All cities but three have opted not to do their own tobacco licensing. It is in the public’s interest to have a County Ordinance. Sawatzke said there is the potential for tobacco sales in a couple of the townships. Borrell asked whether the County is going to regulate nicotine gum as well. He thought most of the people using e-cigarettes are trying to quit smoking.
Asleson said the definition that he is proposing models an ordinance from the League of Minnesota Cities. It exempts items that are approved by the FDA as a product for nicotine withdrawal. It is possible that e-cigarettes could be approved for that use. State Law passed in 2010 makes it illegal for sales for e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18. Borrell asked if the Ordinance would need to be amended if e-cigarettes were approved by the FDA. Asleson said his interpretation of the Ordinance is that it is okay to sell e-cigarettes. A license would not be required if approved by the FDA. Sawatzke found it ironic that the original concern with cigarettes was second hand smoke. He said a method was created to allow people to continue smoking without bothering those around them. Now the push is to take away e-cigarettes as well. Sawatzke noted that he does not use either product.
Asleson suggested publishing a notice of intent to amend the Ordinance. The suggested date is 10-08-13. It will not be a public hearing. Sawatzke requested that Asleson provide at that meeting information on what other counties have done, whether this is the standard, and whether a survey was completed. He would not be supportive of something that starts people on the e-cigarette product and then they move to regular cigarettes. That would be a public health concern. Daleiden said that Public Health has a number of studies on this topic. Husom moved to proceed with the notice of intent to amend the Wright County Tobacco Ordinance with review at the 10-08-13 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, requested the Board approve issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of the Wright County Public Facing Website. Swing said this subject was discussed at length on 3-05-13 and most recently at the 9-11-13 Technology Committee Meeting. Swing expects the project will span approximately five months (December, 2013 through April, 2014). A draft schedule was provided. The schedule was corrected, changing the date of the presentation of an award recommendation to 11-05-13 at 9:30 A.M. The process will involve the Web Committee and other selected members. Daleiden moved to approve the issuance of the RFP for the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of the Wright County Public Facing Website. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Laid over from earlier in today’s Board Meeting, discussion resumed on classifying a list of tax forfeit properties as conservation or non-conservation land. Hiivala distributed a handout reflecting which properties will be classified as conservation and private. Those marked as private require a private sale. Otherwise the sales are public. Minimum values will be presented in the future, as recommended by Potter, Borrell, and County Assessor Greg Kramber. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution 13-29, seconded by Potter, and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested approval of a draft resolution approving Agreement No. 02449 with MnDOT for Bridge Bonding Funds for the CSAH 35 Bridge (SAP 086-635-038). The Agreement provides for Bridge Bonding Grant reimbursement by the State to Wright County in the amount of $577,804.05. Borrell moved to adopt Resolution 13-30, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Commissioner Borrell brought forth discussion on the move of the metal detectors in the Government Center. The prior Board motion was to move the detectors from the Lobby entrance to just down the hall toward Court Administration (same level). Daleiden said there are a lot of issues associated with that move including a narrow hallway, no power to plug in the detector, and the potential for people to bypass the detector via the elevator. Borrell had conversation with Lee Kelly, Interim County Coordinator, on this topic. Kelly indicated that the motion of the Board was to move the detector and remain on the same level. Borrell said he placed this topic on the Agenda today so the Board could consider moving the detector to the Courtroom level on the second floor.
Borrell said the second floor would provide power at the top of the stairs and a wider hallway. Leaving it on the first floor would provide a Sheriff’s Office presence as a person enters the Government Center. Borrell said he reviewed the pros and cons and feels it is better to try moving the detector to the second floor by Courts. Borrell said Gentles is requesting that if the detector is moved to the second floor, that it is located such that anyone going to the Court Administration counter area would go through the detector as well. He said if a better location for the detector is identified at a later date, it could be moved. If the second floor location is approved, he suggested a semi-permanent partition so the detector is not disruptive with the Court Administration counter area. The second floor option would be a less expensive method. Borrell said the deadline imposed by the Board to move the detectors is coming up.
Husom agreed with Borrell’s suggestion. She said as far as the Sheriff’s Office presence in the building, there will be two people at the detector. For part of the time, an officer will rove the Government Center. Sawatzke understood this to be about half of the time but is dependent on how busy the detectors are. Sawatzke asked Kelly for an update on the status of the move of the detectors, as the deadline imposed by the Board is only nine days away.
Kelly said quotes have been received based on the Sheriff’s recommendation and purchase orders are being held until after today’s discussion. Kelly had conversation with the County’s Building Inspector regarding ADA concerns. The Sheriff’s Office has voiced safety concerns with having windows to the bailiff’s backs. With regard to the elevator, the elevator service provider has been contacted and a solution has been identified utilizing the County’s card key system. The estimated cost for electrical is less than $500 and the elevator is about $4,000. The quote from Ernst Construction to install two doors is about $14,000. Sawatzke said those numbers would change if the detector is moved to the second floor. Husom said if the detector moves to the second floor, doors will also be needed to secure the area at night. Borrell suggested the detector be moved to the second floor. The doors could be added at a later date if it is determined that the second floor is the correct place for the detector. Borrell said he would like the flexibility of placing the detector on the second level if it is feasible. He said that Kelly stated moving the detector to the second floor was not part of the motion of the Board.
Judge Kate McPherson extended appreciation to the Board for discussions they have had with Courts on addressing Court security. She appreciates the Board members comments on keeping the Courts secure, as the Judges feel members of the public should have a safe place when coming to Court to address whatever disputes they have in the community. Court situations can be volatile and stressful, with high conflict situations. Providing a secure area is very important to the Bench. Judge McPherson said they want to continue to improve communications on this and other issues, coming together to make decisions based on the best thing for the community.
Judge Geoffrey Tenney said he echoed McPherson’s comments. He wondered if placing the detectors at the top of the stairwell by Court Administration would pose any problems with long lines that could occur with high volume cases and for others who may have trouble standing on the stairs. The other concern would be the proximity of the detector in relation to the Court Administration counter. He said philosophically, people have differences of opinion on what is appropriate or what is deemed the Courts area. Judge Tenney said he considers the Court Services Department (located on 4th Floor) as part of the Courts area. People that are sent from Courts to Court Services may be in high stress situations or may be people of concern. If something were to happen, it could take time for law enforcement to aid the 4th Floor. Judge Tenney asked the County Board to take that into consideration.
Husom said the Judges have brought forth good points. She agrees that consideration should be given to someone having trouble walking up the stairs, making sure those using the elevator still go through security, and that there is a separation between the detector and the Court Administration counter. Borrell said he spoke with the Judges this morning. Sawatzke asked how many feet there would be between the steps and the detector. Borrell said it would be approximately eight to ten feet. Borrell said that there is really no room to wait at the current locations of the metal detectors, and it does not appear a line forms by the detectors. The deputies do a great job of processing people. With the move of the detector, there will be fewer people processed as it will only involve those going to Courts.
Tom Kelly, County Attorney, said Judge Tenney mentioned Court Services. T. Kelly said that the County Attorney’s Office on any other campus would be considered part of the Courts area. He asked if the concern for court security is based on the clientele they deal with. Sawatzke responded that it is based on State Statute and industry practice. He stated the industry practice is that about half of the Court facilities in the State, or maybe less than half, have that sort of security. It is consistent with the industry whereas it isn’t consistent with locking down entire Government Centers like in Wright County. T. Kelly said that is correct, because they are dealing with a different aspect of that industry with a different spectrum of citizens. He asked Sawatzke if that was correct. Sawatzke said that is correct sometimes. He added there are a lot of people that go to Court that are law abiding citizens that are having some type of problem in their lives.
T. Kelly said he knows the security for Court Services and the County Attorney’s Office is on the Agenda of an upcoming meeting. He thinks that one basis for the Statute has to be associated with the stress level, resolution, dissolutions, etc. He said it is not the same as doing business in other parts of the Government Center. He referenced the Statute that allows the Sheriff to provide security for courts and the types of people and issues that are dealt with. Sawatzke said that apparently, when the Legislators determined there was a responsibility for the Sheriff’s Office to provide protection for the Courts, they did not find that same importance for other areas such as the Offices of Planning & Zoning, County Assessor, Court Services, and the Auditor’s Office. He said everyone realizes there are limited resources and there needs to be some common sense. T. Kelly said that he doubts many people have ever received a threat to their life such as he has. He said Court Services may be grouped with Courts but he has a number of individuals from the County Attorney’s Office that go to Court every day to prosecute very violent individuals.
Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, said he visited with Commissioner Borrell on this topic. At the end of the discussion, they agreed to disagree on the recommendation. The Sheriff’s Office will go along with the Board and Administration Office on placement of the metal detector. Lt. Hoffman said there does need to be some resolution on how to proceed as there are roughly nine days until this process is to be completed, per Board direction. Daleiden asked what other issues there are that have not been addressed. Lt. Hoffman responded that one issue relates to the size of the hallways. At the proposed location on the second floor, business will be conducted at a location where people are going through the metal detectors. There is also the issue of private data. In addition, on the wall opposite the Court Administration counter, there is a ledge for the public to complete paperwork. That is the same area that is proposed for the detector. He stated that the cost of $14,000 was referenced. Part of that cost relates to a corridor that will secure courts after hours. There will be costs associated either way. Sawatzke said the costs will be substantially less on the second level. He thought it will be even less than the current situation with ongoing costs of personnel. Lt. Hoffman said the entire cost on the first level would be under $20,000. Borrell does not want to invest a lot of money into either location. He suggested moving the detector to the second level and trying it. A partition between the detector and Court Administration could be added.
Peggy Gentles, Court Administrator, said that the system needs to be set up so it can effectively screen everyone who needs to be screened. If it is placed on the second floor, it needs to be done with the thought that it will screen everyone who is going into that space. It is her understanding that was not the case when it was placed in the Courts corridor previously. Sawatzke said there is not that control now. Gentles replied that she assumes everyone coming through the front and back entrances is screened. She restated that there needs to be adequate space to effectively screen those coming to Courts. Gentles conveyed concern with the limited space relative to the two counters where the public is served in Court Administration. She appreciates the attention given to blocking off the counters until someone has been screened. She wants to make sure that attention is given to space needs for people coming off the elevator and moving to screening, and also the egress of people from Courts including via the elevator. Borrell spoke with Craig Schulz, Wright County Building Inspector, about the area on second floor. With the wider hallway, Borrell said Schulz indicated that it would allow egress.
Borrell made a motion to allow Lee Kelly to consider the option of the second floor (Courts level) for the placement of the detector. The motion would place a preference on this location over the first floor location. Borrell would like to try the second level because of less cost involved. The motion was seconded by Husom. Sawatzke clarified that the motion is being made as the original motion by the Board was to place the detector on the first floor. Borrell and Husom amended the motion to provide the direction that the motion is to place the detector on the Court Administration level. If there are issues that can’t be resolved, then this issue will be opened up for more conversation.
Husom referenced the security audit and said that may help determine the security needed for such areas as Courts and Attorney. She said the security audit may be more encompassing and a recommendation may be made with regard to security. Husom agreed to the motion for now. Daleiden asked for the status of the security audit. Sawatzke said the Board set that aside as there was nothing specific to move forward on. Judge Tenney stated that Judge Davis has checked into a security audit. A security audit was completed in Isanti County prior to bringing security to the entire Government Center. The National Center of State Courts can complete a security audit. If Wright County is interested, the topic would be brought to the Courts Administrative Finance District Meeting on 9-18-13 to determine if there is funding available for an audit. Sawatzke asked for the outcome of the security audit in Isanti County. Judge Tenney responded that there is screening for the entire Government Center. Sawatzke said in Isanti County, the public can move around the building. To get to Courts and Administration, screening is required. Judge Tenney clarified that the security audit that is being proposed would be just for the Courts area, including Court Services. He did not want to exclude the County Attorney’s Office; he just did not want to speak for T. Kelly. There is a Victim Witness Coordinator located in the County Attorney’s Office. He said the County Attorney’s concerns are valid. Judge Tenney said if the County is interested, they could bring the security audit to Administrative Finance to seek funding for an audit for Courts. Judge Tenney said they were present today on behalf of staff and those who come through the Courts system. The concern is for their safety. Daleiden said that is also the reason they go to 4th Floor. Judge Tenney said the audit could involve both 4th Floor and 3rd Floor. Sawatzke said discussion on the audit can continue after the vote on moving the metal detector.
Potter stated that at the Building Committee Meeting, Sheriff Hagerty said he preferred having the detector on the first floor level but that he would not be averse to moving it if there were problems with the location. Potter prefers to follow the Sheriff’s recommendation. Sawatzke said he and Husom took part in the Personnel Committee meeting where this issue was discussed. Initially, it appeared the first floor location would work out the best but apparently it has become more challenging. Husom said another concern of the Sheriff was having the deputies’ backs to the glass. Potter said their backs are to the glass now. Husom said perhaps that is something the Sheriff has re-looked at or it could be a concern of the bailiffs. The motion to move the detector to the second floor location carried 3-2 with Daleiden and Potter casting the nay votes.
Discussion resumed on the security audit. Sawatzke stated he would be interested in knowing whether an audit could be funded and in receiving background information on what audits have been done for other counties. That way the Board will know what to expect from the audit. Gentles said the security audit in Isanti County was completed by a business in St. Paul. Judge Tenney said they will obtain information and options and also ask Administrative Finance whether they will provide funding if Wright County decides to move forward with the security audit.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 9-11-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden referenced the potential use of C118 as a conference room. He clarified that it would become a multi-purpose room, not an IT training room. Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0:
I. CREATE LUNCH ROOM IN FORMER SHERIFF ADMINISTRATION.
Hayes distributed a quote from Ernst General Construction, Inc. (see attachment). He said this proposal utilizes space in the former Sheriff/Jail offices for a larger employee lunchroom with outside windows and eventually tables on the outside plaza. It also includes configuration of an additional 20-person conference room. The former Sheriff’s conference room (C118) could also be transformed into an Information Technology training room.
Hayes said the goal was to accomplish the above objectives in a cost effective manner while adhering to established Government Center building standards. Hayes said he and Daleiden considered flooring options and consulted contractors and Building Care and Maintenance staff. The goal is to reuse existing flooring in the former squad room (which will become the new conference room). Carpet tiles will be laid in the hall past the new conference room. Sheet vinyl will be laid in the lunchroom area. Hayes clarified that this proposal does not address furniture. Perhaps furniture currently not in use in the Government Center may be recycled for the lunchroom. He said the wRight Choice area has furniture that is not in use at this time. Hayes said acquiring tables for the plaza could be discussed at a future Building Committee meeting.
Hayes said mechanical updates are not addressed in this proposal. Since the former Sheriff’s Office area has been vacant for a number of years, mechanical structures were not updated along with the rest of the Government Center. One important update would be a variable speed drive on the air handling unit. Hayes said that item could be funded from the Building Maintenance and Repair budget. Al Buskey, Building Maintenance Supervisor, told Hayes that pipes running to the sink should be replaced. Hayes said the existing restrooms are in fairly good condition, but the proposal recommends the installation of automatic flushing units.
Hayes said the advantages of this space for an employee lunchroom are its proximity to the west parking lot utilized by a majority of employees and its location out of the public traffic flow. Potter said the current first floor lunchroom is small with no windows, and the third floor lunchroom is an extension of an office space. All the proposed lunchroom needs is a refrigerator and microwave. There is already a sink in the new location. Potter said it is the best use of available space in the Government Center. It will need updating regardless of its ultimate use. The Information Technology Department would expand into the existing first floor lunchroom area.
Daleiden asked why the proposal mentions only one doorway cut into the wall exiting the kitchen area. Hayes replied that there is a masonry wall between two stud walls. A beam would be required between both studded walls to make another doorway possible. Hayes said that is an expensive upgrade. Daleiden thought it would make it more convenient to get from the kitchen to the lunchroom area. Hayes said the short wall provides a separation between the food preparation area and the tables. He said employees will have to walk only twenty additional steps to get around the wall to the eating area.
Kelly commented that this is a good value for the investment: a new lunchroom, a conference room, the ability to create a training room and more work space for the Information Technology Department.
Recommendation: Proceed with creation of a new lunchroom in the former Sheriff Administration area for a total cost of $27,906, funded from the Budget 100 Site Improvements line item, utilizing contractor Ernst General Construction, Inc.
II. MOVE FILE SYSTEMS FROM FORMER SHERIFF ADMINISTRATION TO JAIL.
Hayes distributed a copy of an email with cost figures (see attached). He said moving the file system appears to be too costly. Moving the large moveable filing system would cost about $4,200. Hayes suggested reusing the shelves but not relocating the moveable components of the filing system since the area will serve as temporary storage. He has not talked with Court Administration about this. Hayes said the vendor will provide other quotes on less expensive options. Daleiden clarified that the $4,200 quote was only to move the bigger filing system. Hayes said the quote to move both units was $7,500. Hayes said the object is not to provide compact shelves. All that is needed now are some shelves in the back room in the Jail. The moving components could be stored for future use.
Potter said two adjoining Jail pods could provide shelving space for Court Administration storage. If Court Administration would move their files into the two pods, the Attorney’s Office could store files in the area formerly used by the Courts. Daleiden said County staff will have to move the files for Court Administration, but it can be done by Maintenance a few boxes per day. Hayes interjected that Court Administration files are in a colored number sequence and must be set up accordingly. He was not sure how much space Court Administration needs.
Kelly said Court Administration is planning on electronic records storage in the future. He did not know how long they would need space in the Jail area. Daleiden said Peggy Gentles, Court Administration Director, should be involved in the discussion.
Recommendation: Lay over discussion regarding storage options for Court Administration in the former Sheriff’s Administration area to the next Building Committee meeting.
(End of 9-11-13 Building Committee Minutes)
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 9-11-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden stated that once streaming proceeds, the public will be able to watch the Board meetings live or at a later time. Husom asked whether there will be an option to search for a topic and be brought to that specific section of the meeting video. Daleiden said that will not be an option with the current system that will cost $49/month. A more elaborate system would allow for that. The cost estimate for that type of system is around $21,000/year. What is being proposed is a step in that direction. Daleiden said the County Board packets will be available online at some point. The Commissioners would be able to print their packet or portions thereof if desired. Daleiden said that he would also like the claims listing from the Auditor’s Office to be made available to the public but is unsure if that is an option prior to it being approved. Sawatzke said it should be as the press receives copies of the draft claims listing at the Board Meeting. Daleiden said that Human Services currently emails committee minutes and documentation to the County Board. Sawatzke said the County Board recently authorized them to cease that practice. He said the minutes he is interested in receiving are those that have recommendations to the Board. The County Board still needs to receive copies of minutes of that Board (i.e., Personnel, Ways & Means). If there is a subcommittee or task force that makes a recommendation very infrequently, he does not need the minutes emailed but would like access to the minutes. Daleiden said that minutes of the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment are provided in paper form and he would like to see these placed on the Intranet. Sawatzke said he reads those minutes because of possible questions by constituents. The minutes could be emailed. Daleiden said that emailing adds to the problem of filling up the email system. Sawatzke said it becomes a matter of ease to access the documents. He said that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Daleiden said he would like the Board to consider ceasing the emailing of these minutes. It would not occur right away. Husom said that if Board members had laptops, they could refer to documentation during the Board Meetings. Sawatzke inquired as to the schedule for replacing the Board’s computers. Kelly stated that Potter and Husom are replacing their desktops with laptops this year. Sawatzke, Daleiden and Potter are up next year. Potter said Board members will need to decide whether to order a desktop or laptop. Daleiden added that a Commissioner could order a desktop and a tablet as an option. Sawatzke asked whether it is the goal to go through the list of committees that was presented and decide today whether the Board wants to receive minutes. Daleiden said that it is not. A month ago, the Board gave direction that the Human Services subcommittees could place their minutes on the Intranet but they were not told they could stop. This is something the Board can consider in the future along with the Board packets. The only action requested is feedback on which subcommittee meetings they wish to receive. Daleiden moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0:
I. WEB STREAMING OF BOARD MEETINGS.
Swing said there is nothing new to report regarding the first item on the Agenda, Web Streaming of Board Meetings, and the fourth item, Web Redesign. He brought them to the Committee to record the process in the minutes and to establish definitive dates. He said there are multiple components to this project.
Swing distributed a document entitled, “Technology Committee” (see attachment). Swing read the seven components required to bring web streaming to fruition and the estimated dates of completion.
Swing summarized the process to date. He said Daleiden expressed an interest in live streaming of County meetings. Swing said Vimeo Livestreaming will accomplish this task, providing both a live and an on-demand feature. This was completed in May of this year. Last week the camera upgrade was installed in the Board Room with six preset angles. Swing said the control panel is simple and provides all six camera views. There is also an additional “Optional” preset available to program another camera angle as desired. For example, Swing said it could cover the table that is stationed directly in front of the Commissioners’ dais. Daleiden said the camera angles were designed to meet the needs of Budget, Human Services and Planning Commission meetings, as well as County Board meetings.
Borrell asked whether the camera can record more than one angle at a time. Swing said no the angle being viewed is the only angle being recorded. Daleiden said a more complex system would be required to record more than one camera angle simultaneously. Swing said the County purchased the basic system. A more complex one would cost significantly more.
Swing said the Coordinator’s Console will be in by the end of the month. He said the failure to record the 9-10-13 County Board meeting was a glitch. Testing will also be done at the 9-17-13 and 9-24-13 County Board meetings. He said the Information Technology Department (I.T.) will develop procedures for handling meeting recesses. On 9-24-13 he will send the URL link of the streamed meeting to the Board for their viewing.
Borrell asked whether the failure to record on 9-10-13 was due to human error. Swing said Chad Davis, Information Technology Programmer, is calling the vendor, EPA Audio Visual, Inc. The indicator that showed the cameras are recording is no longer on the control panel. When the Start Recording button was pressed, apparently nothing happened. Backes confirmed that Kelly touched the button twice and tested it afterwards. Swing said something was not programmed correctly. He said they will
find out before the 9-17-13 County Board meeting. He said if the Board agrees, they could discuss the quality of the product at the 10-01-13 County Board meeting. If the Board approves the quality, live web streaming could begin at the 10-08-13 County Board meeting. Daleiden said the public will then be able to view County Board meetings anytime. Swing added that if there are any concerns, the schedule may be readjusted.
Daleiden said the current quality of images projected from the overhead is poor. With the new system, the public will be able to see them more clearly. Kelly said the challenge will be for presenters to remember to use the mouse instead of pointing to the screen. The new system will digitally feed images projected on the screen through the computer instead of transmitting them through the camera.
Swing said there are two concerns about the web streaming process: 1) Designating the production person to switch camera angles; and 2) Developing a procedure to address meeting recesses.
Regarding the first concern, Swing said the Coordinator has been designated as the production person. Kelly said it will be difficult to switch camera angles, pay attention to the meeting and take notes. Borrell said they discussed assigning the task to a Board member. However, they would need a larger monitor. He appreciated Kelly’s comments. Borrell asked if someone else could handle that task.
Swing said many ideas were discussed, such as having senior volunteers. He said the control panel is simple enough that anyone could operate it. There are two control panels. One is hard wired and the other is portable. Daleiden said the one at the Coordinator’s console is remote and the hard wired panel is at the podium.
Borrell said it would be difficult to add electrical wiring to the Coordinator’s console. Nelson said the Board Room has wiring challenges with limited conduit. Borrell asked if cost was hindering the hard wiring of the Coordinator’s control panel. Swing said another control panel could be obtained if desired. He could get a quote. He suggested they go through the test periods to determine the need for another control panel.
Borrell said he could check the streaming video if he had a laptop. Swing said there is a ten-second delay from the camera angle change until the new camera angle is streamed over the Internet. Borrell said in the future it should not be a major issue to wire the Board Room for another monitor.
Regarding his concern about creating procedures for addressing meeting recesses, Swing said the Board must be very careful to terminate the meeting and then restart it. When a meeting recesses, the streaming must be stopped and restarted when reconvened. Swing said aside from these concerns, they are on schedule to begin streaming soon.
Recommendation: Informational update only.
II. BOARD PACKET.
Swing said he took the liberty to put together an executive summary (see attachment). This is in the context of a bigger vision for the County to go paperless. Swing said ideally the entire County Board meeting process would be digital from submission of Board Action Request forms and backup documentation, to Administration staff compiling the Board packet, to posting the final product on the Internet. Swing explained that is similar to the process the County is implementing with the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) projects to create a paperless work flow.
Swing said this initial approach to web streaming of County Board meetings is very basic. If the County ultimately goes to a full fledged streaming option similar to Stearns or Hennepin Counties, the entire process is coordinated within a comprehensive software system that includes building agendas, compiling the packets, and indexing meeting content. Swing said the Board may decide in the future that such a package saves time and money in the long run. Perhaps they should revisit those options in the future. Backes said former Coordinator Dick Norman, Swing and she visited Stearns County last fall to observe their agenda, board packet, and streaming process. Swing said next year the County website redesign will begin. He thought that would be a good time to more accurately assess whether the Stearns County approach is appropriate for the County.
Swing said the digital Board packet concept requires each Department to submit their Board Action Request and associated attachments digitally in a single file and in order of presentation. Administration staff retrieves each Department’s documents and adds them to the digital Board packet.
Borrell asked how a member of the public will request a place on the Agenda. Daleiden said they can send an email. Kelly said it would be an internal process. Daleiden said an item submitted by a citizen would not need to be in PDF format. Administration staff can convert their documents to PDF before inserting it into the digital Board packet.
Borrell asked whether PDF is the preferred format. Backes said the only documents that should be in another format are resolutions, which are submitted by Departments. Those documents may be emailed to Administration separately. Administration staff takes the verbiage from the resolutions and enters it into the resolution format.
Swing said currently Departments create Board packet documents digitally, print out 14 copies and send them to Administration. Backes voiced concern that Administration staff will initially perform two functions printing hard copies of the Board packet and producing a digital packet. She hoped that would quickly change to digital only.
Daleiden said people are free to print the Board packet if they wish. He said it will not be necessary for contracts to be printed if they are provided digitally. Hawkins concurred, saying his Department will no longer need to print 14 copies of contracts. They will only need to provide several originals for signature.
Daleiden said the other advantage is Board packets will be on the website and available to the public. Currently only the Agenda is posted. Borrell said citizens often call them with questions about issues since backup information is not available to them.
Recommendation: Informational update only.
III. COMMITTEE MINUTES & DOCUMENTS.
Swing said all four of the agenda items for this meeting contribute to the goal of achieving transparency.
Swing referenced the Summary of County Committees document previously distributed (see attachment). He said some committees are formal and require minutes, and others are not. He suggested that if Commissioners receive minutes from a particular committee, then those minutes should be posted on the Internet. Swing asked for Board feedback regarding whether they wish to receive information from other meetings.
Borrell said he gets so many emails that important items can get buried. Swing said it is important to assess the flow of information and determine what is required. Which minutes should go to the Board, and which should be available to the public?
Borrell asked whether he could select the minutes he wants to receive. Daleiden said the purpose is to eliminate emailed minutes completely and post them on the Internet. If anyone is interested in a particular meeting, they may look them up there. Borrell said if a Department Head felt a Commissioner should know about a particular meeting, they could email them the minutes. Daleiden said the intent is to eliminate extra work. Human Services emails many recipients. He questioned how many are read. Some meetings are more involved than others. Some minutes merely summarize a subject without discussion.
Swing encouraged the Committee to consider the requirements of information dissemination prior to establishing a policy. He said that will save the County time and money.
Swing said he emailed the Committee the documents attached to these minutes prior to the meeting. There is currently no place on the Intranet for the Technology Committee. It would require an extra step for his staff to set up a site for them. He was not sure this Committee needs a separate location on the Intranet when Administration distributes them. He does not see the value of posting the minutes on the Intranet at this time.
Swing said Human Services requested that his Department post their Unit meeting minutes on the Intranet. Partlow said they are ready to go to SharePoint and divide the meetings by Unit. The minutes have been updated and may be viewed. She asked whether it was necessary to post their Unit meetings if they are the only Department doing so.
Borrell suggested that all minutes be brief. Swing said Partlow, Kelly and he could recommend the design of the committees and request that of the Board. He asked that requirements of posting meeting minutes be clarified.
Borrell said once Board minutes are approved, they should be reposted to the site with the original agenda. Kelly said as minutes are approved they get posted. Borrell would like to see committees, their agendas and minutes posted on the Meeting Calendar as well. Swing said this discussion is related to website redesign, and could be addressed during that process. Borrell said all meetings (Board, committees, and other events) should be posted on the calendar under the appropriate day.
Swing said a separate meeting should be held regarding transparency and the dissemination of information. He said initially there should be an assessment of how information is disseminated. That is a nontechnical discussion. The design element is second. At that time the website design committee would address how to accommodate the requirements.
Hawkins asked Swing whether the Summary of County Committees he provided is an inclusive list. Swing said it is not. Hawkins said his Department has Public Works Labor Management and Safety Committees. Daleiden asked if minutes are taken at them. He said they were. Will those minutes be posted as well once requirements are determined? Daleiden said that would be decided at another meeting.
Asleson said staff and Unit meetings are not public. Records are kept for operational purposes. Daleiden asked whether the County is required to take minutes for internal meetings. Asleson said there is a Statute regarding official records for governmental units. He believes it is meant for meetings with elected officials.
Swing asked whether the discussion regarding what information is disseminated and the attendant criteria could be decided at another meeting. Daleiden said yes. Swing asked for confirmation that the Committee endorsed the concept of conducting an initial evaluation.
Recommendation: Informational update only.
IV. WEB REDESIGN.
Swing distributed Pages 3 and 4 of the Request For Proposals (RFP) for the Design, Development, Deployment and Maintenance of the Wright County Public Facing Website (see attachment). Swing said the County website needs updating. Mobile devices do not sync with the website. Swing also said the County website does not comply with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. He said the website should be redesigned to allow the County to deliver services more efficiently. Swing said an updated website will result in fewer people coming to the Government Center to do business, and will affect how space is utilized. Swing added that social media will be integrated into the website as well. Daleiden said the new website will be easier for staff to post items on the website.
Swing said the intent is to empower individual Departments and the outside partner to work on website maintenance instead of going through I.T. The core systems in the Sheriff’s and Attorney’s Offices have web modules that must be linked to the County website. This is a difficult process and requires tight communication and coordination. Swing said the County is too dependent on the I.T. Department. He said they are not website designers.
Swing said Page 4 of the RFP attachment lists key dates for the RFP process. He will request Board authorization to issue the RFP at the 9-17-13 meeting.
Swing said they are trying to establish a website with a new look and feel. The website designer will do their best to accommodate the various interfaces between Departments. Swing said he has asked vendors to provide any specific county modules they have developed as part of the RFP.
Swing said the new word for websites is “interaction.” It implies the need for responsible staff at the County to interact with the public. Hawkins said the public could sign up for e-updates on road projects. Kelly said Stearns County employs a full-time public information officer who disseminates information and responds to inquiries.
Swing said they anticipate receiving many responses to the RFP. They will screen the responses and select three finalists. Finalists will be asked to deliver a presentation and answer a series of questions. He will bring the RFP to the 9-17-13 County Board meeting for approval.
Recommendation: Request feedback from Commissioners regarding which sub-committee meeting minutes they wish to receive. Proceed with research on website redesign.
(End of 9-11-13 Technology Committee Minutes)
Kelly stated that correspondence was received from MnDOT District 3 reflecting that the Region 7W Transportation Policy Board (TPB) is seeking a municipal representative from Wright County to serve. The vacant position was held by the former Mayor of Clearwater. Clint Herbst, Monticello City Mayor, and Commissioner Potter serve on this Board. The third municipal representative must be an elected official. Sawatzke said the Mayor’s Association could make a recommendation, which could then be formalized by the County Board. He was unsure if other processes were used to fill vacancies but knew this was a process used in the past. The letter reflects that preference should be made to elected officials from cities with a population over 5,000. Members typically meet three to four times a year. Sawatzke said there is currently representation for the City of Monticello by Clint Herbst. Potter represents the cities of Albertville and St. Michael (meeting the criteria of over 5,000). The other cities that are over 5,000 in population are Otsego, Buffalo, and Delano. Daleiden felt it would be good to have representation from the areas of Highway 55 or Highway 12, which would include Buffalo or Delano. Sawatzke said Otsego could be considered as it is not represented by Potter. Borrell said it would be good to have someone from the southern part of the County. Kelly’s interpretation is that the representative does not need to be from a city with over 5,000 in population; that is the number the Board uses to assign additional members.
Because Wright County has three cities with a population over 5,000, the County receives one additional representative on this Board. Sawatzke said the letter states that preference should be made to elected officials from a city that has over 5,000 in population, if possible. It was the recommendation that Potter bring the letter from MnDOT to the Mayor’s Association Meeting on 9-18-13. The Mayor’s Association can make a recommendation, which can be brought back to the next County Board Meeting.
Daleiden asked for the status of the replacement of the Weed Inspector. Sawatzke stated that there is a Committee Of The Whole Meeting scheduled for 9-24-13 at 10:30 A.M. to review the applications and to recommend a candidate to the County Board. The other issue being discussed at that meeting is flex scheduling. Kelly stated that he and Asleson are still working on the Request For Proposal for the Ditch Inspector. Qualifications and expectations will be created and the position will be advertised.
AFIX Technologies Inc $4,888.00
All Wheels Recovery 217.71
Allina Health EMS 876.64
Amerigas Propane 689.35
Ameripride Services 299.23
Aramark Services Inc 6,992.71
Association of MN Counties 100.00
Bauman/Lawrence R 216.00
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 1,000.00
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 10,251.45
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 15,500.00
Climate Air 540.80
Comm. of Transportation 7,764.15
Contech Construction Prod. 388.44
Corinna Township 2,032.50
Corporate Payment Systems 702.42
Dell Marketing LP 2,442.91
Ebert Construction 2,600.00
EDocument Resources 175.00
Excel Systems 718.96
Expert Auto. & Towing Inc 200.93
Fastenal Company 1,808.33
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc 6,457.45
Granite Electronics 1,373.81
Granite Pest Control Services 460.08
Greenview Inc 15,736.86
Hardings Towing Inc 427.50
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 527.00
Intereum Inc 23,279.67
Jakes Excavating 7,921.00
Jerrys Towing & Repair 101.53
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 224.45
King Com Cable Networking 12,074.00
LaCount Sales LLC 213.22
Lake Region Coop Oil-ML 414.38
LaPlant Demo Inc 332.50
Loberg Electric 1,408.00
Maple Lake/City of 398.50
Marco Inc 895.62
Martin Marietta Materials 223.74
Menards - Buffalo 1,099.17
Midwest Asphalt Corporation 25,648.98
Midwest Protect. Agency Inc 1,581.80
Millner/Scott R. 163.95
MN Fall Maintenance Expo 125.00
MN GIS-LIS Consortium 1,000.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 625.26
Mtn. Stream Sports, Apparel 182.18
Multi Health Systems Inc 361.80
North American Salt Co 27,989.38
Northern Safety Technology 175.89
O’Ryans Conoco Marathon 185.00
Office Depot 1,086.19
Otsego/City of 142.78
Pakor Inc 263.74
Royal Tire Inc 5,499.08
RTVision Inc 5,007.89
Schermann/Robert D 255.00
Schmidt/Donald M 196.50
Sign Man of MN Inc/The 418.31
Specialty Turf & Ag 390.95
Stationers Inc 1,190.88
Sun Press & Newspapers 104.34
Titan Machinery 1,063.82
Tomar Electronics 15,593.86
Total Printing 347.34
Trueman Welters Inc. 2,019.94
Twin City Seed Company 1,555.43
Unlimited Electric Inc 824.15
Verizon Wireless 6,720.66
W D Larson Companies LTD 568.20
Waste Management-TC West 291.64
Wessman/Maureen J 389.00
West Payment Center 1,016.72
Westside Wholesale Tire 527.19
Wright County Highway Dept 180.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 233.24
25 Payments less than $100 1,035.36
Final total $254,220.88
The meeting adjourned at 10:44 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 7, 2013.