Commissioners except Jansen’s resignation

Share

By Sandy Bond

Walworth County Commissioners voted to accept states attorney Chris Jansen’s resignation effective Dec. 1, after coming out of executive session with Jansen for reasons of discussing personnel, at their Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting.

In the recent general election Republican Jansen was defeated by Independent Jaime Hare. Laurie Bauer, who served as part-time assistant states attorney approximately eight years ago, agreed to serve as a part-time states attorney until Hare can begin his service at the beginning of the year. When asked immediately following adjournment, Jansen said his plans are to open his own practice.

Commissioners expressed concern following highway superintendent Penny Goetz’s statement that the City of Mobridge has posted two county roads, the Armory Road and Revheim Road, as being truck “detours” for those who wish to travel to the sale barn. The highway department, Goetz said, had not been consulted prior to the signs being placed. Goetz is concerned about the stress that an inordinate amount of traffic might place on these two roads and the costs that could be borne by the county to repair the damage.  The change was necessitated by the city closing off Fourth Avenue East. Commissioner Harold Forbes said that he doesn’t believe that traffic numbers will show a dramatic increase because truckers are often using these roads anyway. Goetz was authorized to place a traffic counter at the site if she is still concerned.

The burn ban that has been in effect will be lifted immediately.

In other business, commissioners:

• Heard Glenham Town Board president Lonnie Perman request commissioners consider reopening a polling place in Glenham as it has been difficult for many in his town to travel to Mobridge to vote. Commissioners closed the site in Glenham (and also the one in Hoven) due to redistricting based on population density earlier this year. Auditor Rebecca Krein added that it is often difficult to find poll workers. When Perman suggested increasing the hourly wage, it was countered that most poll workers do not work for the wages but out of dedication and service to their communities.

• Heard Perman request higher reimbursement for volunteer fire departments responding to a fire. At the rate of $50 per fire reimbursed by the county, it doesn’t pay for maintenance of equipment, much less gas for the trucks. Perman added that volunteer firemen do routine maintenance on the trucks during their own hours for the protection of their neighbors. He said he wondered why the sheriff’s department or ambulance crew isn’t required to do maintenance on their vehicles or hold a benefit. When questioned, the departments in most adjoining towns are not interested into forming a fire district such as the Java Fire District has. Commissioners said they would definitely look into whether the county should opt out of the tax freeze to meet its obligation.

• Authorized advertising for a full-time courthouse custodian, but noted to keep the courthouse grounds maintenance as a contractual position.   At the present time, both the courthouse custodial and courthouse grounds are contractual positions. Although more than satisfied with the work done by the successful bidder for courthouse grounds, commissioners have long been dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the courthouse.  Several commissioners conceded that the hours the job requires are after the courthouse closes because of a noise issue caused by the vacuum cleaner.  Perhaps, with some negotiations between the candidate and commissioners. something can be worked out.

• Heard chief deputy Josh Boll say that jail contractors will be available to speak to commissioners about potential jail building/renovation in early December.

• Authorized advertising for the position of emergency management director following the resignation of longtime public servant and WarHawk Director Don Opie accepted at their Nov. 8 meeting.

• Authorized Goetz to advertise for bids for a gravel trailer with bids to be opened at their next meeting.

• Heard commissioner-elect (and concerned hunter) Dean Martin urge commissioners to rethink relinquishing easement to the acreage around Lake Molstad until they receive input from the Department of Schools and Public Lands.

Walworth County Commissioners voted to accept states attorney Chris Jansen’s resignation effective Dec. 1, after coming out of executive session with Jansen for reasons of discussing personnel, at their Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting.

In the recent general election Republican Jansen was defeated by Independent Jaime Hare. Laurie Bauer, who served as part-time assistant states attorney approximately eight years ago, agreed to serve as a part-time states attorney until Hare can begin his service at the beginning of the year. When asked immediately following adjournment, Jansen said his plans are to open his own practice.

Commissioners expressed concern following highway superintendent Penny Goetz’s statement that the City of Mobridge has posted two county roads, the Armory Road and Revheim Road, as being truck “detours” for those who wish to travel to the sale barn. The highway department, Goetz said, had not been consulted prior to the signs being placed. Goetz is concerned about the stress that an inordinate amount of traffic might place on these two roads and the costs that could be borne by the county to repair the damage.  The change was necessitated by the city closing off Fourth Avenue East. Commissioner Harold Forbes said that he doesn’t believe that traffic numbers will show a dramatic increase because truckers are often using these roads anyway. Goetz was authorized to place a traffic counter at the site if she is still concerned.

The burn ban that has been in effect will be lifted immediately.

In other business, commissioners:

• Heard Glenham Town Board president Lonnie Perman request commissioners consider reopening a polling place in Glenham as it has been difficult for many in his town to travel to Mobridge to vote. Commissioners closed the site in Glenham (and also the one in Hoven) due to redistricting based on population density earlier this year. Auditor Rebecca Krein added that it is often difficult to find poll workers. When Perman suggested increasing the hourly wage, it was countered that most poll workers do not work for the wages but out of dedication and service to their communities.

• Heard Perman request higher reimbursement for volunteer fire departments responding to a fire. At the rate of $50 per fire reimbursed by the county, it doesn’t pay for maintenance of equipment, much less gas for the trucks. Perman added that volunteer firemen do routine maintenance on the trucks during their own hours for the protection of their neighbors. He said he wondered why the sheriff’s department or ambulance crew isn’t required to do maintenance on their vehicles or hold a benefit. When questioned, the departments in most adjoining towns are not interested into forming a fire district such as the Java Fire District has. Commissioners said they would definitely look into whether the county should opt out of the tax freeze to meet its obligation.

• Authorized advertising for a full-time courthouse custodian, but noted to keep the courthouse grounds maintenance as a contractual position.   At the present time, both the courthouse custodial and courthouse grounds are contractual positions. Although more than satisfied with the work done by the successful bidder for courthouse grounds, commissioners have long been dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the courthouse.  Several commissioners conceded that the hours the job requires are after the courthouse closes because of a noise issue caused by the vacuum cleaner.  Perhaps, with some negotiations between the candidate and commissioners. something can be worked out.

• Heard chief deputy Josh Boll say that jail contractors will be available to speak to commissioners about potential jail building/renovation in early December.

• Authorized advertising for the position of emergency management director following the resignation of longtime public servant and WarHawk Director Don Opie accepted at their Nov. 8 meeting.

• Authorized Goetz to advertise for bids for a gravel trailer with bids to be opened at their next meeting.

• Heard commissioner-elect (and concerned hunter) Dean Martin urge commissioners to rethink relinquishing easement to the acreage around Lake Molstad until they receive input from the Department of Schools and Public Lands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to read our entire newspaper online for an affordable price? Then you will love our e-Edition! Click Here to Subscribe to our e-Edition Today!

Weekly Poll

Ads: