By Craig Marx, Editor
Thanks to the majority of the Langlade County Board on Tuesday morning, three correctional officers and an administrative assistant of the Langlade County Jail will receive one time payments for the extra work they undertook while the county searched for a new jail administrator from mid-2015 to earlier this year.
Before hiring Jail Administrator Don Bergbower approximately seven months ago, the abovementioned staff of the jail went above and beyond, performing both normal duties while assisting the county to help compile a daunting jail inspection last year. The resolution presented offered the ladies a one-time payment of $1,500 plus fringe benefits for their additional work, but an attempt to amend the total to $800 was eventually outvoted. As presented, the resolutions passed 15-6 for both the correctional officers and the administrative assistant.
Here is a short video of the vote to amend the resolution to $800, undertaken just prior to the 15-6 vote to pass the $1,500 resolution as is:
“Everyone is always talking about a low morale in the county and the sheriff’s department. If we don’t do this for these people, we’ll lower it even more,” board member Richard Burby said before voting.
The county board also agreed to stay in partnership with Lincoln and Marathon Counties in the North Central Health Care program. Robin Stowe of the Corporation Counsel was appointed by the board members as Langlade County’s representative on the NCHC board as well as the Retained County Authority Committee in cooperation with the two other counties. Lincoln and Marathon Counties will subsequently vote on the same issue later on Tuesday.
After highlighting the deteriorating condition of the runway at the Langlade County Airport, the board unanimously voted in favor of allotting $115,000 to cover the costs of redoing the taxiway. While the project was not going to be addressed until a few years from now, the cost of patching the runway temporarily only to have it redone in the near future seemed like a fruitless endeavor to many present at the meeting.
Short-term changes will be made as the county’s Director of Finance, Gary Olsen, will be looking into the Highway Department’s clerical roles come February. Without backup plans in place should positions be vacant, cross-training in financial and clerical positions would help alleviate concerns within the department. To that note, the board also voted in a separate resolution to change the wording of its position on temporary jobs in county departments, requiring their respective employers to post the job listings of vacant positions that are filled by casual employees within 30 days of the temporary worker’s hire.
Changes will also come to the county board’s meeting structure itself. Feeling a lack of information sharing from sub-committees to the collective board, a second, monthly meeting in which committee heads will give five to ten minute synopses about their organization’s activities and concerns was added at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We are just not getting any input from committees at the county board meetings,” Chairman David Solin remarked.
Several board members remarked that the committee meetings’ minutes, of which are posted online, do not accurately portray a detailed reflection of the meetings themselves. The first informational meeting was scheduled tentatively for February and will most likely be held at night, though the board will still have to finalize its creation at their January meeting.