MEETING OF THE RUSK COUNTY
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
AUGUST 26, 2003
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chair Randy Tatur.
Roll Call. Present-17. Excused-4. Present: DuSell, Herrmann, Svoma, Wester, Halmstad, Kaiser,
Tatur, D. Taylor, Meisegeier, Skogen, Ellmann, Willingham, Bricco, Platteter, Jonas, Schneider, Golat.
Excused: Solsrud, Hofacker, Rosolowski, C. Taylor.
Invocation given by Pastor David Smith of Ladysmith Baptist Church.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Richard Jonas, District #18 Supervisor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Golat, second by Ellmann to approve the minutes of July 29, 2003. Motion carried by aye
RECOGNIZE SPECIAL GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS
Rosemary Schmit updated the board on the activities and entertainment planned for the Labor Day
Community Block Party. John Stencil commented on the cost of the Mutual Aid Agreement for
Emergency Public Health Preparedness and encouraged public hearings if there is to be a cost.
Supervisor Hofacker arrived at 7:14 p.m.
REPORT – FLAMBEAU INTERFAITH COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC.
Lyn Frederick, Director of Flambeau Interfaith Community Services, reported on the closing of the
FICS office scheduled for September 20th and provided a summary of $1+ million in monetary gifts
and matching funds available to the community. The majority of this money has been distributed to
160 cases determined to have no insurance or shortfalls in coverage. The FICS office processed 155
repairs or rebuilds-including businesses and residences. Frederick commended all levels of local
government, the initial 4,000+ volunteer effort, and the 323 volunteers that worked on projects this
summer. United Methodist Church Council on Relief funded the administration of the FICS program
and a final report will be filed with that organization and be made available to the public. Funding will
be designated for tree planting next summer. Frederick noted plans to memorialize the recovery from
the tornado with a black granite memorial to be placed at the south end of the Brooklyn Bridge.
RESOLUTION #03-45 TO INCREASE AMBULANCE RATES
WHEREAS, the fees charged by the Rusk County Ambulance Service are currently set at $225 base
and $7.00 per loaded mile and the charge for event coverage is set at $35.00; and
WHEREAS, there continues to be a significant increase to the cost of providing ambulance service;
WHEREAS, these increased costs cannot be offset without either an adjustment in ambulance charges
or a significant increase in levy to the taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, the economic climate in Rusk County demands that we limit our levy to the greatest
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the rates charged by Rusk County Ambulance Service
be set effective September 1, 2003 at $250.00 base and $7.50 per loaded mile and the fee charged for
event coverage be set at $50.00.
Submitted by the Emergency Government/Ambulance Committee.
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 2)
Motion by Schneider, second by Meisegeier to adopt. Resolution adopted by aye vote.
RESOLUTION #03-46 ORDINANCE TO REZONE A PARCEL FROM RESOURCE
CONSERVATION TO AGRICULTURAL, TOWN OF FLAMBEAU, GARY MILLER,
The Rusk County Board of Supervisors does ordain as follows:
SECTION 1: A public hearing having been held by the Zoning Committee and the Committee having
acted, subsequent thereto, in recommending the following amendment in application of the Zoning
Code to subject real estate upon a petition submitted by the town of Flambeau; the affected lands as
The East 254’ of the North 270’ of the East 5/8th of the NW ¼-NE ¼, Section 31, T35N, R6W. Town
It is hereby ordained that said parcel of real estate be rezoned from Resource Conservation to
Submitted by Zoning Committee.
Motion by Jonas, second by Meisegeier to adopt. Jonas noted a public hearing was held with no
testimony against rezoning the 1-1/2 acre parcel. Resolution adopted by aye vote.
RESOLUTION #03-47 APPOINTED OFFICALS AND NON-REPRESENTED EMPLOYEE
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the Personnel Committee to recommend salaries for appointed
officials and other courthouse employees; and
WHEREAS, the Personnel Committee has reviewed the salaries of all appointed and nonunion
WHEREAS, the Personnel Committee is recommending a 2.75% annual increase for 2003 and 2004,
based on an average of recent union contract settlements; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rusk County Board of Supervisors approves a
2.75% annual increase for 2003 and 2004 for full-time and part-time appointed officials and hourly
Submitted by Personnel Committee: S/Willingham, Platteter.
Motion by Platteter, second by Willingham to adopt. Motion by Willingham, second by Platteter to
strike “Personnel Committee supports” and replace with “Rusk County Board of Supervisors
approves”. Motion carried by aye vote. Discussion on change in personnel motion from increase of
2.5% to 2.75%, which is more in line with the union contract settlements. Kaiser commented on value
of benefit packages and until the total can be analyzed he can not support this resolution. Motion by
Kaiser, second by Halmstad to table until we get a total benefit package. Motion to table defeated by
aye vote. Discussion on value of employees, negotiation of insurance and current union negotiations.
Corporation Counsel advises not including the county board chair within this resolution. Roll call
vote. Voting yes-14. Voting no-4. Voting yes: DuSell, Svoma, Wester, Meisegeier, Skogen,
Ellmann, Willingham, Bricco, Hofacker, Platteter, Jonas, Schneider, Golat, Tatur. Voting no:
Herrmann, Halmstad, Kaiser, D. Taylor. Resolution adopted by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION #03-48 TO PARTICIPATE IN MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT FOR
EMERGENCY PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS
WHEREAS public health emergencies may require resources above and beyond the capabilities of the
Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services and other allied agencies in Rusk County;
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 3)
WHEREAS the Rusk County Health and Human Services Department participates in a nine county
consortium including Barron County Health and Human Services Department, Chippewa County
Department of Public Health, Dunn County Health Department, Eau Claire City-County Health
Department, Pierce County Department of Health and Human Services, Pepin County Health
Department, Polk County Health Department and St. Croix County Department of Health and Human
Services, whose sole purpose is to address public health preparedness issues; and
WHEREAS a mutual aid agreement will facilitate mutual assistance between members of the nine
county consortium in the event of bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks and public health
threats and emergencies; and
WHEREAS Wisconsin Statute 66.0301 requires that county boards approve mutual aid agreements.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rusk County Board of Supervisors does hereby agree to
participate in a mutual aid agreement, attached hereto and incorporated herein, with the above-
mentioned counties for purposes of response to public health emergencies. Effective date upon
Submitted by Health and Human Services Board: S/Schneider, Golat, DuSell, Spangberg, Frafjord,
Motion by Ellmann, second by DuSell to adopt. Kathy Mai, Director of Public Health, noted that
Federal funds are available to set up the nine county Public Health Consortium, stating mutual aid
could provide assistance for staffing disaster shelters or for isolation units in case of an epidemic of
communicable disease or chemical disaster. Noted mutual aid agreements assist in recouping funds
expended through FEMA in case of declared disaster. Motion carried by aye vote.
RESOLUTION #03-49 CHILD SUPPORT PERSONNEL
WHEREAS, the Rusk County Board of Supervisors has contractual responsibility to provide child
support services to Rusk County residents; and
WHEREAS, appropriate and adequate child support personnel are necessary for Rusk County to
administer the child support program successfully.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Rusk County Board of Supervisors authorize the
elimination of the Child Support Director position ($16.42 per hour), the part-time Child Support
Assistant position ($12.37 per hour) and the part-time Child Support Clerical Position ($9.24 per hour)
and authorizes the creation of a Child Support Supervisor position (currently $14.92 per hour) and a
Child Support Lead Worker position ($13.71 per hour).
Submitted by Health and Human Services Board: S/Schneider, Golat, DuSell, Spangberg, Frafjord,
Motion by Schneider, second by Ellmann to adopt. Gary Rivers commented that this organization
would take advantage of the set up of the H & H Services department and that the lead worker position
is not a supervisor but has specialized task responsibilities. Resolution adopted by aye vote.
RESOLUTION #03-50 AUTHORIZING ETHICS BOARD TO HIRE OUTSIDE LEGAL
WHEREAS, the Ethics Board for Rusk County has been created by Rusk County Ordinance and is
responsible for rendering opinions on potential ethics violations and also for investigating and
prosecuting complaints of actual ethics codes violations; and
WHEREAS, presently the ordinance provides that the Rusk County Corporation Counsel shall provide
all legal assistance to the Ethics Board that the Board deems necessary; and
WHEREAS, perceived conflicts of interest may arise by the Corporation Counsel’s involvement in
representing the board during ethics violations hearings; and
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 4)
WHEREAS, the Ethics Board has determined that it is essential for the proper operation of the board to
avoid even perceived conflicts of interest in its operations or activities; and
WHEREAS, other boards in Rusk County have the authority to employ outside independent counsel to
assist them in the performance of their operations, specifically the Rusk County Board of Adjustment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Rusk County Ethics Board is authorized to retain
counsel in cases where investigations have determined that probable cause exists, that violations of the
Ethics Code have been committed, and the Ethics Committee has determined that a hearing on those
alleged violations is necessary.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a budget be created for the Ethics Committee starting in the year
2004 to provide for the employment and payment of such counsel.
Submitted by Ethics Board.
Motion by Ellmann, second by Schneider to adopt. Corporation Counsel discussed hiring outside
legal counsel at the point when probable cause has been found by the Ethics Board leading to
scheduling of a formalized hearing. Discussion on not increasing county legal services and the
powers of the Ethics Board. Roll call. Voting yes-6. Voting no-12. Voting yes: Skogen, Ellmann,
Willingham, Bricco, Hofacker, Schneider. Voting no: Herrmann, Svoma, Wester, Halmstad, Kaiser,
D. Taylor, Meisegeier, Platteter, Jonas, Golat, DuSell, Tatur. Resolution defeated by roll call vote.
Recess at 8:31 p.m. Reconvene at 8:46 p.m.
RESOLUTION #03-21A REIMBURSEMENT TO TREASURERS/COLLECTORS FOR DOG
WHEREAS, Wisconsin Statutes 174.07 (3)(c), Laws of 1985, reads "Reimbursement. The collecting
officials may retain 25 cents, or a greater amount established by the County Board by ordinance or
resolution, for each license issued as compensation for the service, if not a full-time salaried municipal
employee. If the collecting official is a full-time, salaried municipal employee this compensation shall
be paid into the treasury of the town, village, or city."
WHEREAS, the compensation can be paid at an amount decided by the County Board, the
compensation for the 2003 dog license collections shall be $.25 per dog.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the following list of treasurers and the number of dogs
listed by them, with the amount each is to receive is presented for auditing.
TOWNS TREASURER # OF DOGS AMOUNT
Flambeau Scott Peterson 80 $20.00
W7920 Pine Drive
Ladysmith, WI 54848
Submitted by Finance Committee: Halmstad, Tatur, Solsrud, Bricco.
Motion by Golat, second by Skogen to adopt. Resolution adopted by aye vote.
RESOLUTION #03-51 ORDINANCE REGARDING TRESPASSING AT TRAILS END
The County Board of Supervisors of the County of Rusk does ordain as follows:
Section 9.15 of the Rusk County Code shall be created as follows:
9.15 Trespass To Trails End Camp
(1) No person shall enter the premises known as the Trails End Camp, located at
N5405 Trails End Road, Bruce, Wisconsin, without the express consent of the
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 5)
Rusk County Trails End Camp Manager, the Trails End Camp Caretaker, or the
Trails End Camp Board of Trustees.
(2) Any person, organization or group who has obtained permission to use the Trails
End Camp by virtue of a Confirmation or Usage Agreement executed by the
Rusk County Trails End Camp Manager, Trails End Camp Caretaker or the
Trails End Camp Board of Trustees shall have the exclusive right to use, occupy
and possess the Trails End Camp during the period of time stated in the Usage
Agreement, and the person, organization or group may exclude all other persons,
organizations, or groups, except those persons, organizations or groups with
express consent granted by the Rusk County Trails End Camp Manager, Trails
End Camp Caretaker or the Trails End Camp Board of Trustees from access to,
entry upon, or use of the Trails End Camp.
(3) Any person, organization or group who enters upon, or remains upon the Trails
End Camp without the express consent of the Rusk County Trails End Camp
Manager, Trails End Camp Caretaker or Trails End Camp Board of Trustees or
the person, organization or group in possession of the Trails End Camp by virtue
of a Confirmation or Usage Agreement shall forfeit an amount of not less than
$100.00, nor more than $1,000.00, plus applicable court costs and assessments.
Submitted by Ag/Extension Committee.
Motion by Wester, second by Ellmann to adopt. Discussion on problems with hunters using camp
area when youth are in attendance. Motion by Halmstad, second by Kaiser to postpone until next
month due to receiving this resolution late. Motion to postpone carried by aye vote. Willingham
called for point of order asking if this should be referred to a committee for review.
RESOLUTION #03-52 ESTABLISHING AN ENDOWMENT FUND FOR THE RUSK
COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER
WHEREAS, individuals have expressed a desire to donate funds to the Rusk County Animal Shelter;
WHEREAS, it would be beneficial to both individuals donating funds and the Animal Shelter, if those
funds were tax deductible; and
WHEREAS, a separate endowment fund, administered by a tax exempt organization would be able to
accept donations that would benefit the Shelter while providing a tax deduction to the benefactor.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Rusk County Corporation Counsel investigate the
formation of a tax exempt agency to administer an endowment fund for the Rusk County Animal
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Rusk County Corporation Counsel work with the Animal
Shelter manager and its Board in the formation of such agency and endowment fund.
Submitted by Randy Tatur.
Motion by Schneider, second by Golat to adopt. Discussion on private donations and designating
funds. Motion by Halmstad, second by Kaiser to postpone resolution until next month. Unanimous
consent to allow Corporation Counsel to investigate setting up endowment fund and report back to the
RESOLUTION #03-53 ELECTED OFFICIALS SALARIES/DISASTER PAY
WHEREAS, during the months of September and October, 2002, claims were made by some elected
officials that ended in total annual salaries in excess of that allowed by Rusk County Ordinance; and
WHEREAS, Rusk County Ordinance 1.04 reads as follows: SALARIES. The County Board shall
determine, from time to time, by Ordinance or resolution, the annual compensation to be paid officials.
An elected official of the County who by virtue of his office is entitled to participate in the
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 6)
establishment of the salary attending his office shall not during his term in office collect salary in
excess of that provided at the time of his taking office; and
WHEREAS, the Sheriffs salary for 2002 was set at $45,589.00. Records indicate that Dean C. Meyer,
sheriff received disaster pay of $2,816.79, this caused an excess in salary above that set at the time of
his taking office; and
WHEREAS, the County Clerks salary for 2002 was set at $39,943.00, records indicate that Melanie
Meyer, County Clerk received disaster pay of $988.66, this caused an excess in salary above that set at
the time of her taking office; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that these excess payments be returned to Rusk County, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that 60 days is granted for the return of the excess payments or a
repayment agreement with the Rusk County Finance Committee, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if the excess salaries are not repaid or a repayment agreement is
not in place at the end of the 60 day period, Corporation Counsel is directed to immediately file Court
action for its recovery.
Submitted by: S/C. Taylor, D. Taylor, Svoma, Solsrud.
Floor was opened for public comment. William Volkman questioned why the supervisor that
circulated the resolution did not sign it. Dean Meyer asked if he would be recognized as a public
citizen or as an employee, Tatur responded he would be recognized later as an employee. Stan Nelson
commented the Sheriff is not an employee but an elected official. Motion by D. Taylor, second by
Svoma to adopt. Svoma noted he signed the resolution to bring the disaster pay on the floor and
resolve the issue for the public. Discussion regarding letter drafted by Tatur authorizing disaster pay
for hourly/salaried county employees and elected officials, ratified unanimously by the County Board
on September 26, 2002. Discussion on interpretation of County Board ordinance regarding setting
salaries for supervisors and elected officials. John Stencil commented the public is concerned that one
person was singled out for charges of fraud. Auditor Rosemary Schmit provided an accounting of
FEMA funds, explaining the County filed two separate claims - one for county expenditures and one
for mutual aid. Sheriff Dean Meyer presented prepared remarks regarding his salary, the drafting of
the resolution, his rights as an employee and alleged misuse of his personnel records. D. Taylor read
the letter he received from Sheriff Meyer and spoke in support of this resolution. Motion by Jonas,
second by D. Taylor to postpone resolution until we receive Corporation Counsel opinion on ability of
County Board to increase salary of elected officials mid term. County Clerk Denise Nelson
commented on open records request for disaster pay and salary that was released from the office,
noting no other documents were released. Roll call vote. Voting yes-4. Voting no-14. Voting yes:
Halmstad, Kaiser, D. Taylor, Jonas. Voting no: Svoma, Wester, Meisegeier, Skogen, Ellmann,
Willingham, Bricco, Hofacker, Platteter, Schneider, Golat, DuSell, Herrmann, Tatur. Motion to
postpone defeated by roll call vote. Roll call on resolution. Voting yes-2. Voting no-14. Abstain-
2. Voting yes: D. Taylor, Jonas. Voting no: Wester, Meisegeier, Skogen, Ellmann, Willingham,
Bricco, Hofacker, Platteter, Schneider, Golat, DuSell, Herrmann, Svoma, Tatur. Abstain: Halmstad,
Kaiser. Resolution defeated by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION #02-66N AMEND 2003 BUDGET FOR LEGAL FEES/LABOR
WHEREAS, the 2003 budget was established in the fall of 2002; and
WHEREAS, the 2003 budget appropriation for Legal Fees/ Labor Negotiations was set as $16,000.00;
WHEREAS, at the six month comparison for budget use the Legal Fees/Labor Negotiations budget
had already paid out $13,335.76; and
WHEREAS, new Legal Fees/Labor Negotiation bills have came in for payment with a total amount of
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 7)
WHEREAS, these bills would put the budgeted amount over by $15,226.02; and
WHEREAS, one union contract is in the middle of negotiations with two other union contracts that
need to be negotiated yet; and
WHEREAS, there are arbitrations and other labor issues that are still pending this year.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rusk County Board of Supervisors amends the 2003
budget for Legal Fees/Labor Negotiations by $29,000.00, to take additional money from the
contingency fund, bringing the budgeted total amount to $45,000.00.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Rusk County Board of Supervisors authorizes the Finance
Committee to sign the vouchers that have been prepared for the bills that have been received for the
Legal Fees/Labor Negotiations effective upon passing this resolution.
Submitted by the Finance Committee:
Motion by Skogen, second by Hofacker to adopt. Discussion on using Corporation Counsel for labor
matters and the need for legal counsel when working with professional negotiators representing the
unions. Motion by Halmstad, second by Skogen to amend resolution to include “to take additional
money from the contingency fund.” Motion to amend carried by aye vote. Roll call vote. Voting
yes-18. Voting no-0. Voting yes: Halmstad, Kaiser, D. Taylor, Meisegeier, Skogen, Ellmann,
Willingham, Bricco, Hofacker, Platteter, Jonas, Schneider, Golat, DuSell, Herrmann, Svoma, Wester,
Tatur. Resolution adopted by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION #03-54 REGARDING USE OF COUNTY SUPERVISOR MAILBOX
WHEREAS, Rusk County provides each County Supervisor with a mail box located in the Office of
the County Clerk; and
WHEREAS, it is both a convenience to County Staff and County Supervisors to use the mail boxes to
communicate County business as well as distribute information; and
WHEREAS, there is a cost savings to the County in postage; and
WHEREAS, it is a privilege for members and staff to use said mail boxes to communicate with and
distribute information; and
WHEREAS, all members should have the right to control what is put into the mail box assigned to
their name; and
WHEREAS, members should know at all times the source of all communication placed in their mail
WHEREAS, information placed in the member’s mail box may sometimes be privileged information
which may cause the member to incur liability especially if the source is not identified.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Rusk County establishes a policy that only staff in the
Clerk’s Office may place material in the mail boxes of members and that all material placed in the mail
boxes must be clearly marked at top who placed it in the box and at whose request it was placed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any member may by written statement create a list of persons and
entities whose materials may not be placed in that member’s mail box.
Submitted by Supervisor District #13: S/Willingham.
Motion by Willingham, second by Wester to adopt. Discussion on requirement that sender of mail is
identified. Willingham withdraws resolution.
(County Board Meeting of August 26, 2003 cont. Page 8)
ZONING SHORELAND ORDINANCE UPDATE / ZONING STAFF UPDATE
Jonas announced the next Zoning Committee meeting to be held Thursday, September 4th, with voting
on items previously before public hearing. The committee is ready to submit changes in the ordinance
section 5.21 regarding setbacks, with the intent that board members have time to fully understand
proposed changes. The Zoning Committee would like to seek the assistance of Land & Water
Conservation Department staff in reviewing metallic mining reclamation plans and on-site evaluations
for Shoreland Zoning.
GARVEY, ANDERSON LEGAL SERVICES BILLING
Jonas presented handout regarding payment of legal services. Discussion on insurance protection to
cover legal fees when an action is filed. Discussion on adopting ordinance to cover future legal
counsel needs for county board supervisors. Corporation Counsel stated statute does not require the
County to pay the bill. Discussion on negotiated payment. Motion by Platteter, second by Golat to
postpone a decision to provide Jonas a chance to negotiate bill with his law firm. Motion to postponed
carried by show of hands. Jonas and Tatur abstained.
JORDAN, HERRELL & THEIL LETTER DATED APRIL 22, 1985
Kaiser requested opinion from Corporation Counsel on the letter. Corporation Counsel noted that
three things have happened since Theil drafted the letter in 1985: Northern Pines dissolved and Rusk
County formed the Health &Human Services Board; the Social Services Board of which Willingham
was a member no longer exists; and the issue of conflict of interest has been brought to the District
Attorney who has denied prosecution. Corporation Counsel has discussed this matter with the H&H
Services Board who did not believe it was necessary to seek an Attorney General opinion at this time.
Willingham commented on his position in Westlake and on the County Board. Corporation Counsel
commented on County Board member involvement on non-county boards.
COMMENTS FROM INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS
Tatur received letter offering spraying for mosquitoes to prevent the spread of West Niles disease.
Halmstad noted preliminary budgets are in and the levy is up 21% and encouraged cuts.
Motion by Skogen, second by Ellmann to adjourn. Motion carried by aye vote. Meeting adjourned at
Denise Nelson, Rusk County Clerk
Cathleen Tappon, Deputy I