The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met for a Special meeting on Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:20 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse immediately following the Public Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget.

Present: Commissioners Don Cooper, George Kinsella, Jesse Knoll, Don McLean, Jim Moore and Chairman Shackleton.

Also Present:  Sheriff Robert Savoie, Undersheriff Michael Bitnar, Prosecutor
Brian Peppler, Tim McKee, Ann Mikolowski, County Treasurer Marjorie Hank, Chuck Leonhardt, Deputy Administrator Kelly Church, Administrator Jim German and Cathy Maleport, Clerk.

Additions/Deletions to Agenda

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, seconded by Commissioner
Kinsella, to add to the agenda, under Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, 4a - December meeting dates.

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, seconded by Commissioner Postula, to accept the agenda as amended. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Public Comments

Chippewa County Prosecutor Brian Peppler

Anticipating a move to adjust his budget, Chippewa County Prosecutor Brian Peppler referenced observations he had made that reflect an increase in criminal filings as well as why the Board should not eliminate an assistant prosecutor position in his office.

He went on to say that if it is the Commissioners desire to eliminate an assistant prosecutor in his office, which would be a 25% cut in workload, that he be allowed to make such cuts with either a lawyer or with staff.

New Business

The purpose of the Special Board meeting was to finalize and have a balanced budget for the FY2013.

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, seconded by Commissioner Kinsella, to accept the proposed FY2013 budget submitted by the Administration. A discussion ensued.

Chairman Shackleton explained that anyone can make motions to amend the budget, further explaining you can either vote on this one as it was presented or any Commissioner can offer to amend the amendment.

GASB Funding

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, to put that back to at least $200,000 with Chairman Shackleton stating that that will give us a $75,000 deficit. A discussion took place.

Chairman Shackleton noted that they have a motion on the floor made by Commissioner Knoll, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, to eliminate the GASB reduction and in fact increase it by $75,000.

On a voice vote, the motion failed 3 to 4.

Yeas:  Commissioners Don Cooper, Jesse Knoll, Don McLean

Nays:  Commissioners James Moore, George Kinsella, Ted Postula, and Scott
Shackleton.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, to eliminate a full time assistant prosecutor position. A discussion ensued.

On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Yeas:  Commissioners Cooper, McLean, Kinsella, Knoll and Postula.

Nays: Commissioner Moore and Chairman Shackleton.

A discussion took place regarding full time positions in the jail together with vehicles.

Also addressed was the Building Department savings in comparison to the elimination of a position. It was stated that the $20,000 savings already anticipates some part time hours. Commissioner Postula stated that he would like the personnel committee to look at this.

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, seconded by Commissioner McLean, that they eliminate the funding and the proposal to increase people that are at 35 hours one hour a year, until reaching 40 hours. A discussion ensued.

On a voice vote, the motion failed 3 to 4.

Yeas:  Commissioners Don Cooper, Jesse Knoll and Don McLean

Nays:  Commissioners George Kinsella, Jim Moore and Chairman Shackleton.

Commissioner McLean stated that the work put into this budget was really tremendous and that he really appreciated it.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, seconded by Commissioner Moore, to accept the proposed budget as amended.

Commissioner Cooper stated that he has serious concerns about the spending patterns the County Board has adopted over the past several years. It wasn’t that long ago the County was in serious financial difficulties; through a series of expenditures, we spent all of our fund balance and ended one year with a fund balance of only $700.00. Over the years of thrifty spending and tight budgets we created a healthy fund balance. He went on to say that he feels we are on the fast track of financial difficulties; adding, “I cannot in good conscience vote for the budget that has been submitted.”

On a voice vote, the motion carried as follows:

Yeas:  Commissioners George Kinsella, Don McLean, Jim Moore, Ted Postula
and Chairman Shackleton.

Nays:  Commissioners Don Cooper and Jesse Knoll.

4a) Meeting Schedule Adjustment (added to the agenda)

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, seconded by Commissioner Kinsella, that they adjust the following December meetings as follows:

  • Finance Claims & Accounts will be held on December 13, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Regular County Board meeting will be held on December 17, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.

On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Commissioner McLean stated that because of him running late, he was not able to add to the agenda the Crisp Point Light Land Project; furthermore, informing the rest of the Commission that they would like some kind of consensus as to whether we are for or against such. It was suggested that at this time to tell them that major concerns are not being brought up, but if they want something more formal, we need to take it to a committee and investigate more closely. Chairman Shackleton instructed the Administrator to assign this issue to a committee for consideration.

Commissioners Comments

Chairman Shackleton addressed Commissioner Cooper’s comments and stated that he was glad that he was concerned and agreed that we always need to be concerned and very protective of the fund balance; adding, he hoped that his predictions were wrong.

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Kinsella, seconded by Commissioner Moore, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the Board did adjourn at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cahterine C. Maleport, Clerk                                

Scott Shackleton, Chairman