Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 18, 2017
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
4-11-17 COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Minutes as presented.
AGENDA
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Potter, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
CONSENT AGENDA
Husom moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Daleiden. Daleiden referenced Consent Item A1, noting the 2017 Auction is being rescheduled to a Thursday evening. He would like to do more with the online auction in the future. Potter said it may be more difficult to sell vehicles online. Daleiden responded that many counties sell vehicles online. The motion carried 5-0:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Reschedule the 2017 Auction to Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 5:30 PM
B. ADMINISTRATION
1. Authorize Attendance, AMC District 5 Meeting, June 12, 2017, Stearns County
C. ADMINISTRATION
1. Refer To Ways & Means Committee: Review Delegation Of Wetlands Conservation Act
D. ADMINISTRATION
1. Schedule Owners Committee Meeting For 4-24-17, 8:00-11:00 AM, For Review Of Schematic Design
E. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve Claims As Listed In The Abstract, Subject To Audit, For A Total Of $203,819.76 With 147 Vendors And 311 Transactions
F. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve Procurement Card Transactions For The Period Ending March 31, 2017 For A Total Of $28,685.00
2. Approve Fleet Card Transactions For The Period Ending March 31, 2017 For A Total Of $14,460.15
G. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Accounting Clerk
H. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to the Technology Committee:
A. 2017 IT Governance Document
B. Voicemail Upgrade
C. Requested Projects
D. SharePoint Upgrade
I. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept The Findings And Recommendation Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezoning:
A. STEVE BRUGGEMAN - (Corinna Twp.) - Planning Commission Unanimously Recommend Rezoning Approximately 6-6.5 Acres From R-1 Urban-Rural Transitional & AG General Agricultural And S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands To R-2 Suburban Residential And S-2
J. SHERIFFS OFFICE
1. Approve Appointments To The Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board Emergency Management Advisory Committee:
A. Reappoint Stephen Berg As Representative To The Emergency Management Advisory Committee, Effective April 15th, 2017 With No Expiration To Term
B. Appoint Seth Hansen As An Alternate Representative To The Emergency Management Advisory Committee, Effective April 15th, 2017 With No Expiration To Term
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
BOY/GIRL COUNTY DAY - INTRODUCTION OF BOARD & OVERVIEW OF BOARD PROCEEDINGS, QUESTION/ANSWER PERIOD
The County Board welcomed students representing the School Districts of Monticello, Maple Lake, and Howard Lake/Waverly/Winsted. County Board members introduced themselves and the Districts they represent. Students observed Board proceedings. As part of Boy/Girl County Day, students toured other parts of the Government Center and were served lunch at the American Legion.
ALAN WILCZEK, FACILITIES DIRECTOR
Select A Construction Management Firm For The Courts Facility Based On The Recommendation From The 4-18-17 Committee Of The Whole Meeting
Wilczek said the decision was made to hire a construction management firm. A RFP was developed and distributed the end of March. Five submittals were received and four firms interviewed. The firms being considered were narrowed down to two. A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held today and the recommendation is to proceed with Contegrity Group of Little Falls. If approved, a contract will be developed by Administration. Daleiden moved to approve the hire of Contegrity Group as Construction Manager for the Courts Facility. The motion was seconded by Husom. It was conveyed that the decision to move forward with Contegrity Group relates to the substantial savings realized. The motion carried 5-0.
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Cancel Contract with CliftonLarsonAllen for 2016 Compilation Services - this item was approved on 1/10/2017
Hiivala requested approval to cancel the Contract for compilation services. Lindsey Meyer, Assistant Finance Director, will handle this function. The net result is a savings of about $10,000. Potter moved to cancel the remainder of the Compilation Services Contract with CliftonLarsonAllen, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0. Vetsch extended appreciation to Meyer and Auditor’s Office staff for their efforts.
Authorize Transfer of $40,000 from General Fund to General Ditch Fund
Hiivala explained that the General Ditch Fund is short about $39,000 because of the new ISG Contract. The recommendation is to transfer $40,000 from the General Fund to the Ditch Fund with the expectation that the funds will not be paid back. Vetsch moved to approve the transfer of $40,000 from the General Fund to the Ditch Fund, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
4-12-17 BUILDING COMMITTEE MINUTES At today’s County Board Meeting, Wilczek explained that the change order for the Public Works Roof relates to an elevation change because of the way the sloped roof ties into the flat roof. Potter moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. Hiivala referenced Elections & Absentee Voting and said space may be required prior to May of 2018. He will confirm with the Secretary of State’s Office. The motion carried 5-0. The Minutes follow:
I. Elections & Absentee Voting
Hiivala presented concerns with the 2018 voting process and requested either additional or dedicated space for voting. He stated there was too much activity and the process used in 2016 will not work again in 2018 if the number of residents voting early continues to rise. Hiivala said the early voting and the new process is only going to grow in the future, so we should get ahead of the issue with a plan. There was a drastic increase in participation in 2016 when compared to 2012. The voting space needs enough room for the ballot machine and there are space requirements for square footage around the equipment. Borrell asked if there was a space in A/T that could be reconfigured and all agreed it will have to be a project we brainstorm ideas on. There were several conceptual ideas thrown out by the group, but all agreed to walk the spaces and think about it for a future discussion. Hiivala said it would be best if it was in close proximity to the current A/T offices because of staffing needs and security. Wilczek asked about timing and when the voting process would begin. Hiivala stated the space should be ready to go by approximately May of 2018. Schmidt asked to also keep in mind a secure location for storage of ballots as the cage area in the LL is not ideal.
Recommendation: Potter & Borrell recommended it stay on the radar and investigate possible scenarios for a future discussion.
II. Public Works Roof Updates / Discussion
Wilczek presented a color sample of the sloped roof metals for approval and gave an overview of the project. The work will start on April 17, 2017 and take an estimated 5 weeks. Wilczek also presented a change order to the project in the amount of $3,576. The requested change is a result of identifying a height modification need for the installation of the roof.
Wilczek gave a summary of the timeline on the replacement of the damaged EPDM roof. The project was publically posted last week for interested parties to request a bid package, and Inspec will have plans & design ready by Friday, April 14. Wilczek is working with Inspec to set the bid deadline and will keep the project moving as quickly as allowed by bid regulations. It is anticipated the project will be a straight forward design and likely see good participation from contractors.
Recommendation: Potter & Borrell recommended moving forward with the color selection of Burnished Slate as presented and approving the change order as necessary to move forward with proper installation.
(End of 4-12-17 Building Committee Minutes)
3-28-17 COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MINUTES
Discussion at the Board Meeting related to a recommendation from the Committee Of The Whole (COTW) to schedule the next COTW Strategic Planning Meeting for 4-19-17 at 10:45 A.M. At the 4-11-17 County Board Meeting, action was taken to reschedule that Meeting to 4-24-17 at 11:00 A.M. Potter made a motion to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0. The Minutes follow:
Strategic Planning
Agenda Process:
Administration Staff discussed the agenda process, expressing concerns regarding items submitted late and items that are petitioned onto the agendas.
Petitioned items create more work, as the agenda needs to be rebuilt following the meeting to include the item(s) and associated materials. There is the lack of transparency as the public and staff are not aware of the item(s) ahead of time. Would like to see petitioned items only in event of an emergency or that the item is informational only, requiring no action by the Board.
The Committee discussed the agenda deadline for minutes of Wednesday committee meetings. Staff is recommending:
- The deadline to add committee minutes to the County Board agenda is 12:00 PM, Thursday for any committee meetings that occur on Wednesday.
- Minutes of meetings that occur prior to Wednesday must be submitted by the Wednesday, 12:00 PM agenda deadline.
- Departments can add committee action items to the Agenda by 12:00 PM, Thursday, if they are unable to complete and submit the minutes by the deadline. The committee minutes should still be presented for Board approval at a future Board meeting (preferably the following meeting)
Recommendation: The COTW supports the enforcement of the deadlines identified by staff, and strongly supports the elimination/reduction of petitioned items. This matter will be placed on the Leadership agenda for the April 2 meeting, when the Board is present.
Staff Replacement:
Briefly discussed the process followed for the replacement of staff, when someone leaves the employment of the County.
Recommendation:
Consensus was that the current process of placing on the consent agenda stay in place. This allows the Board the opportunity to pull the matter is they so desire.
Security Committee:
There was an oversight when compiling the 2017 Committee listing, would like to add back in.
Recommendation:
Add the Security Committee to the listing, which includes Commissioner Borrell, Commissioner Husom, two judges, Coordinator, Risk Manager, Court Administrator, and representatives from the Sheriff, Court Services and County Attorney Departments.
2017 Retreat:
Commissioner Borrell suggested doing a DISC event as the retreat. Suggested that the DISC event include the Commissioners and the Leadership team.
Recommendation:
Present this suggestion at the Leadership Team meeting. Vergin will follow up with facilitator to get more information. It was suggested that this be held on a Thursday or Friday in May.
Update on Strategic Plan:
Kelly informed the Commissioners that he has updated the plan as to what has been done to date. Would like to review the plan prior to the budget process.
Recommendation: Informational Only
Scheduled next COTW Strategic Planning for 10:45 AM on April 19, 2017
(End of 3-28-17 COTW Minutes)
4-12-17 COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the Minutes:
• Page 1, Members Present should include “Borrell, Daleiden, Husom, Potter, Vetsch, and L. Kelly”
• Page 2, 2nd Paragraph, 1st line, change to “Hesse”
Borrell asked that approval of the Minutes include the first recommendation only. The second recommendation will be taken separately. Vetsch said the first Committee recommendation relates to developing policy so that decisions such as this are brought to a COTW Meeting versus a committee with two Commissioners. All five Commissioners will be involved in these discussions prior to a recommendation being presented to the County Board for approval.
Husom moved to approve the Minutes and the first recommendation of the Minutes, “Authorize County Coordinator Lee Kelly and Human Resources Director Sunny Hesse to draft changes to Section 101: Position Classification and Reclassification of the Wright County Personnel Policy, and bring proposed changes to the County Board in the future.” The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Potter said this will also allow modification of the process to let employees know what is going on without hampering a department head’s ability to reorganize. The motion carried 5-0. The 4-12-17 COTW Minutes follow:
I. SHERIFF’S OFFICE REORGANIZATION PLAN
Borrell said no personal data will be discussed at this meeting, as that would be inappropriate. The topic is the proposed reorganization plan for the Sheriff’s Office.
Borrell asked Susan Hansen, attorney with Madden, Galanter, and Hansen, a firm that represents the County on employment and labor relations matters, to speak on this issue. She said because this is an open meeting, it is imperative that there be no discussion of individual, private, personnel matters. Hansen said that information is protected by law, and should not be discussed in a public forum. Individuals may comment about the reorganization in general, or issues related to a reorganization, because that is not private personnel data.
Vetsch said he has received a request by the media to release audio recordings of this meeting. He said they wanted a non-biased recording and not minutes. Borrell said as far as he knew, Committee Of The Whole meetings (COTW) were never recorded. Kelly said they usually are not recorded, but have been at times. Borrell said the media could have attended this meeting if they wished. Vetsch said the media is following this issue closely, and viewership is high. In the interest of transparency, it is important for the audio to be turned on so they can report on the topic. Borrell said he does not want to set a precedent to record COTW minutes if they have never been previously recorded.
Daleiden interjected that he did not believe the COTW meetings have never been recorded, and asked Kelly to clarify. Kelly responded that somewhere in the past these meetings have been recorded for personal reference, but it’s not a typical practice. County Board meetings are regularly recorded. Borrell said he has been advised by counsel not to change our standard operating procedure, and declined Vetsch’s request.
Husom said the topic of today’s meeting arose during discussion at a recent County Board meeting. It became apparent that the Board needed clarification regarding when it is appropriate for them to approve a request for department reorganization.
Vetsch said the reason the County Board is meeting today is that he is still unclear whether County policy allows a Department Head to reclassify and reorganize in one discussion. Also, is it prudent for a Department Head to start a process outside of a committee without full Board approval? Vetsch said he was asked to make a decision about the Sheriff’s Office reorganizational plan based on a half-page summary from Personnel Committee minutes.
Hesse said Section 101.6 in the County Personnel Policy states, “Department reorganizations are approved by County Board action only. The reclassification process is not to be used by departments to reorganize.” Hesse said a position cannot be reclassified by using a reorganization, but it may happen as part of a reorganization. She said a Department Head cannot reclassify every position in order to reorganize. However, when a reorganization is being considered, part of the reorganization may involve reclassification of one or more positions.
Husom said it would be easier if they could look at an organizational chart.
Hansen said classification and reclassification is a function of the Minnesota Pay Equity Act, by which the County must abide. Each position at the County is evaluated and classified based on a job evaluation rating. When a position is determined to have changed significantly over time, that position can be reclassified. Hansen said in her experience, this situation occurs generally as part of a reorganization.
Hansen said her understanding of the County’s policy is that a Department cannot use the reclassification process as a subterfuge to reorganize an entire department, because that is a misuse of the process.
Vetsch said he understands the intent of the policy is not to use reclassification solely as a way to reorganize a department. He questioned whether it is good practice for a Department Head to discuss the reclassification with employees before receiving County Board approval.
Hess said this isn’t the first reorganization that was brought to her, then referred to the Personnel Committee, and then sent to the County Board. That is the process that has been in place since she started working at the County. If the Board wishes to change the process, that could be addressed at another meeting.
Potter said the question is how to alter the process so it is more inclusive and everyone understands what is going to happen. Perhaps the process needs to be updated. While it may not change the current case being discussed, perhaps it would moving forward. He suggested referring reorganization and reclassification proposals to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole.
Vetsch said he would favor such a recommendation to enable more detailed discussions. Hesse said she would like to discuss the parameters for referring reorganizations to the Personnel COTW.
Vetsch said if positions are going to be removed, that would be a strong reason for scheduling a Personnel COTW meeting. He said anytime an employee is removed, there is a potential risk of litigation. At that point, it is important that the County Board has an opportunity to ask questions.
Borrell suggested that Kelly and Hesse be directed to draft a criteria for referring reorganization and reclassification requests to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole, and bring them before the County Board in the future. He said perhaps this would only be for cases that involve demotions or reclassifications. Vetsch said some direction would be good. It isn’t necessary to waste time on small matters, but only those where there could be contention.
Hesse said she would be more than happy to work with Kelly to develop a criteria, and then bring it to the Board for approval. Vetsch said that would be a step in the right direction.
Daleiden said there is no question that the County Board has power to make decisions involving Department Heads. He asked Hansen to explain what State law governs elected officials and their autonomy over the budget. He asked Hansen to also explain the extent or nature of the authority the County Board has over elected officials.
Hansen said the County is the employer of Wright County employees. As elected officials, the County Board sets the budget. Elected officials like the Sheriff have the right statutorily to file a budget or salary appeal. They also have the right to challenge Board actions in setting budgets. Based on County policy, the County has the legal right as the employer to make decisions regarding layoffs of County employees. Hansen said that is clearly defined in County policies. Typically, reorganization proposals come from Department Heads, whether elected or not. Hansen said generally Department Heads understand the needs of their Departments. She said she reviewed the County policies and minutes from the Personnel Committee and the last Board meeting. She discussed the matter with the Human Resources Department, and, after review, believes that the Sheriff’s reorganization plan is consistent with County policy, procedure, and past processes. The Sheriff has the right to determine his need to reorganize and hire a Business Manager.
Karen Davis, Office Supervisor, Sheriff’s Office, asked how eliminating the two Office Supervisor positions will streamline the organization and make it more efficient. She and the other Office Supervisor thought the Business Manager position would fill a positive role by focusing on analyzing contracts, budgets, and other functions. The Office Supervisors thought they would supervise clerical staff and manage day-to-day employee tasks. Davis gave Vetsch a rough draft of the reorganization chart.
Hansen said she is available to answer any outstanding questions. Regarding Davis’ question, Hansen said her understanding from Hesse is that it is more efficient to have one supervisor over fifteen subordinate employees than to have three supervisors.
Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman said this decision wasn’t made in a vacuum. There was a lot of discussion. They were not only looking at efficiencies, but the needs of the Sheriff’s Office. They brought the reorganization plan to the Board almost three weeks ago. They need another Accounting Technician and Office Technician, and do not need two Office Supervisors. The Sheriff’s Office also needs to look at the Dispatch Center, and conversion from a licensed law enforcement officer to a civilian. Hoffman said this is not the best forum to discuss specific employees. The Sheriff’s Office has an open door policy. Hoffman said moving forward, these outstanding issues remain: the Dispatch position, and the two Office Supervisor positions which will change to an Office Technician and an Accounting Technician.
Mike Laurent, a retired Sheriff’s Deputy, asked whether a pay cut was a disciplinary action.
Hesse said the reorganization results in the elimination of two Office Supervisor positions. Anyone affected by that job elimination would be laid off. In this reorganization, two new positions would be created: Accounting Technician and Office Technician II. There is an opportunity for people in the Office Supervisor positions to apply for one or both of the two new positions. Hesse said the County has to comply with existing collective bargaining agreements. It is not a disciplinary action by way of reducing pay, it is the result of the layoff. This reorganization offers two new positions for which those being laid off may apply.
Potter asked Hesse to research how other counties handle reorganizations and reclassifications.
RECOMMENDATONS:
1) Authorize County Coordinator Lee Kelly and Human Resources Director Sunny Hesse to draft changes to Section 101: Position Classification and Reclassification of the Wright County Personnel Policy, and bring proposed changes to the County Board in the future.
2) Vote on the Sheriff’s Reorganization Plan.
(End of 4-12-17 COTW Minutes)
The 2017 Wright County Sheriff’s Office Reorganization Plan was then addressed. Daleiden made a motion to approve the Reorganization Plan, seconded by Potter. Potter seconded as the Sheriff’s Office followed procedures and policies that were in place at the time. Vetsch agreed but said it is unfortunate that the entire Board was not involved. Also, some of the activities surrounding the Reorganization Plan occurred prior to his being elected.
Karen Davis, Office Supervisor in the Sheriff’s Office, asked to be heard on points related to the Reorganization process that was followed. Davis holds one of two Office Supervisor positions being eliminated through the Reorganization. She has worked in the Sheriff’s Office for 22.5 years, and the last 7 have been as a non-union supervisor.
Davis stated a positive outcome of the meetings held on this topic is that the County Board will review department restructuring plans. Davis hopes that the situation for non-union employees is also reviewed and that improvements are made. Non-union employees have voiced concern over how easily non-union positions can be eliminated. There is no contract and no representation.
Davis said she and Doerr have remained professional and positive. The new Business Manager was welcomed and they are assisting her to the fullest extent. At the April 4th Board Meeting, discussion involved the undesirable situation of Davis and Doerr being compensated as Supervisors while performing work of a lower level position. Supervisor responsibilities were removed effective April 3rd even though this topic was tabled by the Board. The Reorganization Plan would have removed Supervisor responsibilities as of April 3rd with pay at Supervisor wages through April 28th. Davis said the Plan moved forward so she is unsure why it was referred to as undesirable. An option would have been to leave the Supervisory responsibilities with Davis and Doerr until either the Board made a decision or until April 28th.
At the April 4th Board Meeting, it was conveyed that this is not a financial decision but an efficiency decision and that every effort will be made to run the Sheriff’s Office in a cost-effective manner. Davis thought that brought it back to a financial decision. The focal point in the reorganization appears to be financial savings. It reads, “The result would be an Office Support Unit staffing of 16 FTE, for a reduction of 1.5 positions.” Davis said with the Reorganization Plan, the reduction is 1.5 positions; without the Plan, the reduction is 1.5 positions. The cost effectiveness mentioned in a prior Board Meeting would be the elimination of the two Grade 12 Supervisor positions and replacing them with one Grade 6 Office Tech II position and one Grade 8 Account Tech position. Davis said Doerr is very close to retirement and suggested keeping that position intact until that time.
Davis said in any reorganization plan, a logical explanation should be brought forth to substantiate how proposed changes will increase efficiency and streamline work. She thought it was logical to retain the Office Supervisor positions to deflect the day-to-day work from the Business Manager. The proposed Plan has the Business Manager, which is at a Captain level, directly handling these tasks and frequent interruptions from 15 employees. She questioned how taking the Business Manager away from the larger, more important projects will improve efficiency. If more efficiencies are gained by lower level staff reporting directly to the Captain level, then more efficiencies may be gained my eliminating Lieutenant and Sergeant positions in other Divisions. However, those are union positions so the process to eliminate the positions would not be easy.
Davis said it was indicated that this Plan has been foreseen for several years. The new Business Manager position was in the Sheriff’s 2017 Budget packet submitted July 29, 2016 to the Board. The verbiage in that request reflects the Business Manager would supervise a staff of supervisors including fiscal, technology and office support staff. Davis said the staff of supervisors referred to would be herself and Doerr. Davis said the Board based their approval of the new Business Manager position on that verbiage, and the job posting for the Business Manager also reflects that language. The Plan states that the Wright County Sheriff’s Office is submitting the Reorganization Plan to increase efficiency and to fill needed positions within the Office. She questioned what positions are involved as there are 3 reclassified positions and 1.5 vacancies that are not going to be filled. Davis is already completing a large quantity of Accounting Tech work in addition to Supervision. She felt there was room to add more tasks to Doerr’s position, as Doerr was instructed to only supervise.
Davis hopes the points shared reflect the confusion and unanswered questions. The Reorganization Plan should have included a supporting argument and logical explanation for how the elimination of the Office Supervisor positions will increase efficiency and streamline the clerical division. She thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak.
Husom stated the understanding is increased efficiencies realized through the Business Manager serving as the one supervisor. She said the Sheriff had hoped to do this through attrition but that has not happened. Vetsch referenced efficiencies and saving money that have been identified as reasons for the reorganization. He suggested that for the next couple of budgets, the Sheriff include a method to review all Divisions in the Sheriff’s Office to make sure they are not top heavy. Vetsch said the savings are negligible in the current situation. Husom agreed and restated it is because of increased efficiencies.
Vetsch received numerous emails about the exemplary work performed by Davis and other staff members. He stated these are valuable employees. Vetsch felt the Sheriff should have been in attendance today and at the most recent COTW Meeting. Borrell thought the Sheriff had another engagement the day of the COTW Meeting. The motion to approve the Sheriff’s Reorganization Plan carried 4-1 with Vetsch casting the nay vote.
Sunny Hesse, HR Director, provided a revised timeline based on the Reorganization Plan. The effective date of the layoff of the two Office Supervisor positions is May 19, 2017, which is 31 days from Board action but falls at the end of the pay period. The Accounting Tech and Office Technician positions will be posted at the end of the week for 7 days internally based on Union Contract language. If there are candidates, interviews will be held and a decision by May 19, 2017. If Doerr or Davis apply and are offered a position, there will not be a break in service. The first date in the new position will be May 22, 2017. Davis and Doerr will be paid at the Office Supervisor level until May 19, 2017.
The meeting recessed at 10:11 and reconvened at 10:19 A.M.
4-12-17 FINANCE/CIP COMMITTEE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden noted that the MCIT Refund was also discussed as part of the funding sources. Daleiden moved to accept the Minutes, seconded by Vetsch, and carried 5-0. The Minutes from that Meeting follow:
I. Budget Process
Kelly provided an over view of the timeline identified for going through the 2018 budget process.
Budget work books to departments by July 10 (provides 6 months of operational data)
Budget requests returned to Admin/Auditor/Treasurer by July 31
- Budget meetings would begin the week of August 7 or August 14
- Preliminary budget deadline, September 12
- Truth in Taxation hearing, November 28
- Final budget approved by December 12
Hiivala stated that the budget books could contain the department’s Mission Statement. Suggested that there be a standard format (template) used by all departments; noting that if additional detail or supporting documents are necessary they can submit those.
Discussed the option of budgets going through Committee then onto the full Board. Daleiden noted that the Board must do their homework and review the information ahead of time. He felt the process that they used last year worked well.
Vaith interjected that there is a 5-year history provided to the departments in their workbooks.
Meyer indicated that she is used to the method of going to the “bottom line”. Departments identify their needs but must adhere to the bottom line set by the Board, i.e. X percentage of levy increase.
Hiivala suggested that the Board provide some direction on budget increases. Vetsch responded that he would have a hard time telling a department what their parameters should be, when he does not know what the department’s needs are, the department needs to tell him that.
II. Funding Sources
Discussed the use of “Turn Back” dollars currently used to fund Capital Improvement Projects. Concern is that there may not always be turn back dollars. Discussed if each department should retain their turn back dollars to fund their CIP projects. There is concern that departments may overinflate their budgets to grow their turn back dollars.
Discussed whether the County should wean themselves from budgeting revenues from County Program Aid dollars. Currently the Aid makes up approximately 3% of the levy.
III. Capital Improvement Projects
Vergin distributed the current CIP document (attached). The document identifies projects that are enterprise wide as well as those that are department specific. It identifies the funding sources that are available to fund the projects; those being turn back dollars, Recorder’s Technology funds and Recorders Compliance funds. State Statute restricts how the Recorder’s funds can be used.
Nelson informed the Committee that the CIP was developed as a method to manage projects more efficiently, as many projects will overlap budget years.
The CIP will be vetted through the budget process.
Additional discussion ensued concerning funding of the CIP and the level of reserve funds that they County should retain. Vetsch stated that he would like to see the county not be dependent upon the State Aid, that those funds could be used to assist in funding the CIP. Vetsch also suggested that reserve fund balance be reduced below 50%.
Vergin informed the Committee that the CIP would need to be modified to include the proposed new Courts facility and building remodeling (if those costs are included in the bond). This will require a public hearing as part of the bonding process.
Hiivala and Kelly addressed information that would be available to the public to be transparent during the budgeting process. Hiivala expressed he would like to see all changes to the budget be completed by the time the preliminary is approved. This will ensure adequate time for staff to prepare for the public meeting. As part of the public information, they will also prepare impact comparisons of properties with and without the Court facility bond.
Recommendation: Informational Only
(End of 4-12-17 Finance/CIP Committee Minutes)
4-12-17 PERSONNEL COMMITTEE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Vetsch. Discussion followed on the Budgeted GIS position. The HR Director will draft a job description. The Analyst vs. Specialist job title is being compared. The position title varies by County. Borrell suggested hiring a consultant and had concern with adding another position. Husom responded that the position was already approved. Information is being gathered on the position title and grade of pay. Vetsch said when Deferred Compensation is placed on a future committee agenda, he would like discussion on federal loan reimbursement payments. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Minutes, which follow:
I. Budgeted GIS Position (Husom, Daleiden, Hesse)
Alek Halverson, GIS Coordinator, reviewed the history regarding approval of the GIS Specialist position as part of 2017 budget process effective July 2017. The original request was to add a new Sr. GIS Specialist position.
Halverson believes the intent of the request was misunderstood as a stepping stone position rather than the actual need for a different GIS skill set. Halverson explained he is looking for a position to take on a more intermediate role to lead special projects. Currently, there are a number of GIS projects and responsibilities with infrastructure and technology but no resources to spearhead the efforts. Halverson is requesting a GIS Analyst position with technical expertise to lead and perform the work of special projects including technical experience and education to develop, support and train staff. Someone with the vision for meeting the needs and requests of other departments. Steve Jobe, County Surveyor, explained the Surveyor department has received requests from various departments for projects that could be done in-house with the appropriate staff. For example, the Assessor’s Office has requested a Crop Productivity Index application to provide information to assist with assessing property. The Sheriff’s Office will require GIS data for Next Generation 9-1-1 which is a new way of routing and responding to calls for service. Alek explained we have a lot of good geographic GIS data. However, as we all know, data can always be better and needs to be maintained. A GIS Analyst position would assist in special projects, see the big picture, and analyze, maintain and utilize data. Bob Hiivala, Auditor Treasurer, asked how this could tie into the upcoming ditch project. Jobe explained this position could be the liaison between departments on the ditch project.
Halverson stated there is a need for another level of expertise and knowledge base to develop and maintain data and programs related to interactive mapping and web-based mapping.
Hesse stated she is looking for direction from the Personnel Committee regarding support in proceeding through the new position classification process. Daleiden asked how other Counties are structured. Halverson stated Carver County, Stearns County, and Ramsey County are structured similar to what is being requested.
Other potential future projects may include mapping out tax forfeiture properties, elections, census redistricting, and/or live and interactive daycare mapping. A benefit to departments and the public is the development of GIS data applications that are user friendly which can be maintained by departments so the data can be live and mapped digitally. GIS web applications can assist other departments in how they maintain the data, display it and use it.
RECOMMENDATION: tabled for further research including developing a job description and rating the position. Information will be brought back to the Personnel Committee for discussion and formal recommendation to Board for approval.
II. Deferred Compensation (Husom, Daleiden, Hesse, Asleson, Hiivala)
A. Review of Current Participation Level
B. Review of Current Policy (last updated August 2012)
C. Introduce Request of AXA to be considered a provider (Sunny Yee)
Hiivala introduced Sunny Yee, former representative of Valic and current representative of AXA. Yee has requested to bring her deferred compensation product into Wright County for employees.
Hiivala reviewed current participation in deferred compensation plans. Approximately 20% of employees contribute to one of six (6) plans offered.
Yee explained the increase in contribution levels during her tenure as a Valic representative attributing this to the education she provided employees regarding the importance of retirement savings. Hesse agreed educating employees regarding retirement savings is extremely important. However, offering so many options becomes overwhelming for employees which tends to deter employees resulting in no participation in any plan.
Husom asked how we move forward with providing more education to employees. Hesse suggested maybe as a County we identify one (1) primary vendor in addition to MSRS which we are required to offer as a public employer. The County would identify the primary vendor based on involvement, presence and willingness to provide education to employees.
Hiivala stated he, Asleson, and Yee reviewed the current Wright County Deferred Compensation plan document. While no revisions are necessary, Hiivala recommended to update the plan document to Indicate the plan was reviewed and the date of review to reflect due diligence in reviewing the plan document.
Yee recommends having an investment policy in place for vendors to show due diligence in protecting employees best interests. Doing so would not assume any County fiduciary responsibility. Instead would provide framework which identifies parameters and requirements vendors must comply with to ensure employee’s best interests are protected.
Hiivala commented Sunny Yee is an active participant in educating employees. Would ask the Personnel Committee to allow her to see if she can meet the 25 person threshold. Agree with Hesse regarding limiting the number of vendors.
Daleiden suggested we do more research. He indicated he would like an employee survey conducted regarding what concerns employees may have about retirement planning. The survey results would be used to determine how to best move forward with offering fewer vendors for retirement planning. Husom agreed with Daleiden and feels it is important after the information is gathered to get the full board involved in the discussion regarding how to move forward with deferred compensation including streamlining vendors, adding vendors, adopting a County investment policy, etc.
RECOMMENDATION: conduct further research regarding current deferred compensation practice and bring back to Personnel Committee for further discussion and formal recommendation to Board for approval.
The Deferred Compensation Plan document will be referred to the full board for approval on April 25, 2017.
(End of 4-12-17 Personnel Committee Minutes)
AUTHORIZE ATTENDANCE, 46TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON DC FLY IN, JUNE 6-8, 2017
Potter said Wright County is a member of the Transportation Alliance and has three major thoroughfares in the County. He referenced the Fast Act and thought it was important to position Wright County to leverage some of those dollars. Potter moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Husom. Potter said the cost of the Conference is $249 plus air fare and hotel. This expense has been budgeted. The motion carried 5-0.
SCHEDULE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING RE: SELECTION OF FIRM FOR MASTER FACILITY SPACE STUDY
Potter moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 4-25-17 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Meeting with David Turch & Associates. On 4-13-17, Potter and Vetsch met with Kodiak Hill from David Turch and Associates, the consultant for the Hwy. 25 Coalition.
2. I-94 Coalition. Potter attended a meeting on 4-13-17. It was the consensus to wait and see what the Legislatures does when they are back in session today. Potter said a transportation budget will be approved but there is fear associated with the Governor not running and the push to get things passed that he supports. There is no new funding, it is basically shifting the money. The State has $18 billion in needs. Wright County is at about $78 million in backed up expansion needs.
3. Tri-County Regional Crime Lab Advisory Board Meeting. Husom attended the Meeting on 4-11-17. Staffing updates were provided. The Drug Chemistry Scientist is now able to assist with the back log of work. There is an all-time high in DNA samples, up 31% from 2015 to 2016. Agency training will include a reduction in the number of items submitted per case. Regarding grants, the 2015 DNA backlog grant was also for equipment. From 2016 to 2016, the grant amount will be $150,000. For 2017, they are looking to get a liquid handling robot which will help with staff time. Husom said Isanti County had been interested in becoming a partner of the Lab but has since withdrawn. The name will change from the Tri-County Regional Crime Lab to Midwest Regional Forensic Lab. A meeting will be held on 5-09-17 to discuss the funding formula.
4. Starry Stonewart. Husom said there will be a Starry Stonewort Issue Summit at the Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud on 4-22-17 from 1:00-3:00 PM. The keynote speaker is Dr. John Rodgers from Clemson University. The Summit is sponsored by the Greater Lake Sylvia Association and the Lake Koronis Association.
5. Joint Ditch Meeting. Borrell attended a Joint Ditch Meeting in Glencoe, along with Hiivala and Edmondson from the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. Discussion included the high cost of ditch clean out and the Drainage DB System.
6. Montrose Meeting. Daleiden attended a meeting on 4-13-17 in Montrose. Public Health and the St. Cloud State University nursing students completed a study to find out what needs and concerns are for City residents. The results are very closely rated to a study that was completed on the County.
7. Bertram Lake. The Friends of Bertram Lake will hold a cleanup at Bertram Lake on 4-22-17 starting at 9:00 A.M.
Bills Approved
A M Leonard Inc 163.96
American Databank LLC 211.30
Ameripride Services 499.20
Anoka County Corrections 627.00
Aramark Services Inc 17,759.17
Bargen Incorporated 5,868.75
Battles/Rick 2,646.00
Boarman Kroos Vogel Group Inc 42,636.13
Buffalo Hospital 875.25
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 120.00
C & C Embroidery 540.25
Cariveau/Kristy 126.50
CDW Government Inc 174.88
Centrasota Oral & Maxillofacial 371.00
CenturyLink 4,371.68
CenturyLink (Hwy Use) 184.08
Crop Production Services Inc 816.89
Custom Towing LLC 140.00
CXTEC 173.65
Dell Marketing LP 691.14
Dental Care Associates of Buffalo 403.00
Design Elect.-Cold Spring Elec. 505.00
DS Solutions Inc 376.00
Ecolab Equipment Care 768.37
Edmonson/Janice 109.00
Elite Lift Truck Inc 392.92
Emergency Automotive Tech Inc 1,202.05
Ernst/Debbie 137.32
Federated Co-ops Inc 149.95
Gabriel/Cathleen 200.00
Granite Pest Control Services 120.00
Green View Inc 3,420.86
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 5,919.20
Howard/Jolanta 100.00
Huemoeller/Neal 371.50
Impact Proven Solutions 5,167.44
Integrated Fire & Security 1,704.00
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 165.00
L3 Communications Inc 4,641.00
MACPO 500.00
Maple Lake/City of 931.20
Marco 856.60
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 120.00
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 2,000.00
Mend Correctional Care LLC 28,079.92
Metro Group Inc/The 481.00
Mini Biff Inc 137.70
MN Counties Computer Coop 13,176.54
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 808.78
Mountain Stream Sports & Apparel 627.20
MSC Industrial Supply Co 604.29
NEOGOV 7,864.50
Office Depot 2,298.47
Office Essentials 1,530.00
Office of MN IT Services 2,100.00
Premier Biotech Labs LLC 123.60
Rinke-Noonan 200.00
Rogers/Annaleis 229.72
Royal Tire Inc 671.12
SHI International Corp 534.00
Silver Creek Township 998.80
Stearns-Benton CPT 160.00
Streichers 503.36
Suburban Tire Wholesale Inc 459.68
Thompson/David 249.00
Thomson Reuters West Publishing 1,258.29
Thrifty White Pharmacy 2,515.20
Twin City Seed Company 2,058.00
Verizon Wireless 12,405.72
Verizon Wireless 140.42
Warning Lites of MN Inc 1,813.00
Webb/Janelle 122.00
Windstream 221.10
Wright County Auditor Treasurer 7,126.89
Wright Hennepin Electric 366.61
WSB & Associates Inc 143.00
Xcel Energy 1,434.91
Young/Mike 1,676.60
Zacks Inc 227.25
Zep Sales & Services 259.00
19 Payments less than $100 $956.85
Final total $203,819.76
The meeting adjourned at 10:53 a.m.
Bills approved for payment 4/12/17
US Bank-Procurement Cards $28,685.00
US Bank Voyager Fleet Systems 14,460.15
Published in the Herald Journal May 8, 2017.