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County Board holds annual meeting

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Government

Tom Kaase, Marc Prestby and Chuck Amunrud take the oath of office for county commissioner administered by Judge Robert Benson on Tuesday, January 6.

The Fillmore County Commissioners annual meeting was dominated by the yearly housekeeping docket on January 6. The first order of business was the oath of office given by Judge Robert Benson and sworn by the two incumbents, Chuck Amunrud and Marc Prestby, and the newly elected commissioner, Thomas Kaase. Amunrud was elected by the board as Chairman and Duane Bakke as Vice-chairman.

Kaase thanked the citizens of the first district for the opportunity and privilege of serving and also his wife and son for their support. He added that the county is faced with tough times, with budget cuts that will result in sacrifices by county employees and citizens. Kaase insisted that he would be open and approachable. Prestby thanked the residents in district five for his reelection.

Chairman Amunrud thanked the constituents that supported him. He added that he will take the job seriously and that the real challenges that lie ahead need to be met with strategic planning and reforms.

The board worked its way through a long list of items, many that require board action annually. The one conspicuous ingredient throughout the morning was the diligence and determination by all members of the board to keep spending limited to those things that are absolutely necessary.

Other Business

• Thomas Kycek was appointed Chief Deputy Sheriff for 2009 as recommended by Sheriff Daryl Jensen. He has held the position since May. His salary was set at $67,275, which represents a 3.5% cost of living raise. A 2009 wage adjustment for nonunion part time law enforcement employees was approved at 3%. These wages had been frozen at the 2007 level. Jensen noted that his department is cutting back on part time employees to save money.

• The Bluff Country Reader submitted the lowest bid and was approved as the official paper. The first financial statement will be printed in the Fillmore County Journal and the second statement in the Republican Leader. The Delinquent Tax List will appear in the Bluff Country Reader. All approvals were for the low bid. The decision on Additional Notices was tabled as board members wanted more information. County departments have been printing Additional Notices which include advertising for employment in several papers.

• There was disagreement on a motion to close the court house at 2:00 PM on December 24, 2009. Prestby insisted that law enforcement has to stay open and there is a question whether state statute allows the early closure. Kaase said that employees have the option of using their own time to get off early. Dahl said if the judge can close court administration windows, then the early closing on Christmas Eve should be allowable.

The early closing for Christmas Eve, 2009, passed with Prestby and Kaase voting against.

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