Human Resources Officer Kristina Kohn asked the Fillmore County board to consider her own resignation at the board’s June 22 meeting.
Kohn has been with the county for 10 years. Her resignation was accepted with sincere thanks, effective July 16. She gave four weeks notice.
Kohn made a statement thanking the employees for the exemplary work they have done; she told the board “your people are your greatest resource.” She gave a special thank-you to County Administrator Bobbie Hillery for her leadership, courage and moral compass.
When considering advertising for Kohn’s replacement, chairman Randy Dahl said he would like to explore the possibility of combining the HR position with an assistant administrator. He asked that the combined position be reviewed by David Drown Associates before advertising for a replacement.
Commissioners Marc Prestby and Duane Bakke disagreed. In the absence of the administrator other office staff can fill in; they all work together. Bakke didn’t see the need for another management level position. Commissioner Larry Hindt said he would be open to a new combined position if it could take some of the pressure off administrator Hillery. Commissioner Mitch Lentz stated he wanted to utilize the resources we have, but said it should probably be looked at by David Drown.
Kohn said it doesn’t matter what you call the position, if you give out the authority. A motion to advertise internally for an HR replacement was made by Prestby. The motion failed with Prestby and Bakke voting yes and the other three commissioners voting no.
A motion was made to send the position to David Drown for review of responsibilities and title. Kohn then asked the commissioners to consider the timeline as union negotiations are coming up. The process of review would eat up the time Kohn has left. Hillery agreed saying someone needs to be in this position. Kohn suggested advertising for her replacement now and sending it to David Drown for review at some later date after a person is hired to fill the HR position.
The reconsideration of the motion on the floor was approved and the original motion to advertise for the HR replacement internally was approved. Kohn hopes this will give her the opportunity to work with her replacement for a short time.
Approval was given, as recommended by the Personnel Committee, to have David Drown review three job descriptions, including Finance Director, Property Appraiser, and Lead Fiscal Officer (a new position).
A request to permanently change Sydney Gilbert to .8 FTE was approved, effective June 22.
A request to promote Aimee Rodgers to Public Health Nurse was approved, effective June 25.
A request for a temporary change for Lexi Hall from 1.0 FTE to .9 FTE, effective June 25 was approved for up to three months as requested by the Director of Nursing.
A request to hire Donald Lind as a replacement Mechanic, effective July 6 was approved.
Blake Lea was hired as an intermittent employee to conduct septic inspections as requested by the Zoning Administrator.
Other business in brief
•Hillery discussed three Internet Security Policies including Acceptable Use Policy, Cyber Security Incident Response Plan, and Fillmore County Information Security Policies. This was the first reading of the policies. Hillery said the sheriff, county attorney, and herself are working with Marco. Many things are already in place. All items related to Cyber Security will be approved by the board.
•Hillery reviewed the county’s Performance Measures for 2020. They need to be submitted to the state by July 1.
A resolution was approved to continue with the Performance Measures program. There has been discussion as to which of the 27 possible performance measures to choose to work on and set goals for. Ten must be chosen; the county has been setting goals for 13 in past years.
•Darrel Schmitt, Highway Engineering Supervisor, asked for and received approval to advertise for a bridge replacement on CSAH 29 in Newburg Township.
Five bids had been submitted for a bridge replacement on CSAH 15. The low bid submitted by Minnowa Construction in the amount of $289,450 was accepted. The engineer’s estimate was about $364,000 for this project.
Pam Schroeder, Airport Office Manager, requested approval of the AWOS relocation bid results. There were three bids and the low bid was submitted by Neo Electrical Solutions, Inc. in the amount of $90,760. The total project cost including SEH design costs is $115,960. The project is paid for with 70% state and 30% local funding. The county’s share is expected to be $34,788. Dahl noted the property needed for the relocation has not yet been purchased. The low bid was accepted contingent on the land being secured for the site.
•Approval was given to purchase a paper folding machine, plastic lobby chairs (easily disinfected), a paper shredder, media promotion for COVID vaccination, and lab renovations (new outlets and light switch). A COVID-19 grant will be used to pay for all the aforementioned items.
•An access permit to relocate an existing driveway access for Dominic Crawford & Caleb Short, section 32 Fountain Township was approved. The existing driveway will be removed. The new driveway will provide better access to a private cemetery on the property along with the dwelling.
An access permit for Aaron Burkholder, section 27 Bristol Township, was approved. The new driveway will provide access to his woodworking/cabinetry business. The Board of Adjustment approved a variance to allow both the access to his home and the access to his business. There was one condition; Burkholder will need to work with the county engineer to time the construction of the access with new road construction.
An access permit for a new driveway for Dairyland Power Cooperative Service Center, section 10 Harmony Township, was approved.