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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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What is fair. . .?


Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, December 18, 2000

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, and a changing of the guard just around the New Year corner, the Fillmore County Board dealt with the difficult issue of pay at last Tuesday’s meeting.

It is interesting to note the contrast between how the Board arrives at the salary levels of elected officials and how it arrives at the salary (or hourly wage) levels for union workers in the highway department. Both tasks were on the agenda. The former took merely a handful of minutes while the latter has taken many hours of negotiation over several weeks.

The process began with the elected officials. Each Commissioner received a spreadsheet showing a comparison of the salaries of Fillmore County’s elected officials to those same positions in other counties. There are six elected positions in the county: Commissioner, Auditor, Treasurer, Recorder, Sheriff, and County Attorney. Across the bottom of the spreadsheet was the line "2001 Request."

While the "Request" line for the Commissioner column was blank, Commissioner Helen Bicknese began with a motion to raise the commissioners’ annual salaries by 2.5%, from $13,627 to $13,968. There was no opposition to this motion and it was quietly approved.

The Auditor was next. In the "request" box, Auditor Angela Burrs had written, "What is fair." As Burrs sat quietly listening, offering no input as to what she thought was fair, a motion by Commissioner Don Boyum brought her a salary increase of 4% to $44,735.

The Treasurer and the Recorder each received the increases they requested on the "bottom line." The Treasurer received a 4% increase to $44,928, and the Recorder received his requested increase of 5% to $$40,936.

Up to this point the process had been unanimous. But when the Board reached the Sheriff column on the spreadsheet, dissent began to rear its head. The Sheriff was asking for an increase of 8.9% from $56,000 to $61,000. At first there was silence, then, Commissioner Duane Bakke moved to raise the Sheriff’s salary by 4% to $58,240.

Quickly, Commissioner Bicknese announced her dissent to the motion, saying, "This is a 365-day a year, 7 days a week, 24 hour a day job."

Commissioner Boyum joined the discussion, asking County Attorney Matt Opat, "Do they have the right to come back on this?", referring to an appeal.

"We’ve allowed them to come back in the past," replied Opat.

Feeling comfortabl .....
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Concerns raised over highway upgrade through Preston

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

A plan to upgrade U.S. Highway 16/52 through Preston has a number of business owners concerned about the economic impact the project will have on their futures.

The project, which would upgrade Highway 52 from ..... 
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Election 2000:

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
Posted in

One for the history booksBy Al MathisonMonday, November 13, 2000

Fillmore County voters turned out in large numbers last Tuesday, November 7. The auditor’s department reported that as of 7 a.m. on Election Day there were1 ..... 
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The Getaway

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 11, 2000

My wife and I like to take a short trip every year after Labor Day. We decided that this year we would return to the Black Hills and see how the work was getting on at the Crazy Horse monument, visit Mount Rushmore an ..... 
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The Gift of Life

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger a ..... 
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One of Our Own

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When a sadistic act of violence leaves a woman dead, when a tainted piece of evidence lets her killer walk, how far would you go to see justice done? This is an excerpt from the book, A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag.
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The Underground

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, November 27, 2000

Earth
Day after day
Wave after wave
Where are you going? Where are you going?
Earth wounded by so many wandering men!
Earth fertilized by the bodies of so many.
But the earth is us,
We' ..... 
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Bird Brains

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday,December 11, 2000

While some may beg to disagree, I believe most birds are smart, real smart. Far more intelligent, in fact, than science ever gives them credit for. Unlike many ornithologists (bird scientists) who evaluate avian though ..... 
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Escape from America

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess I’m a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like it’s going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecu ..... 
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