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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Tom Mandli, Ginger Deschane Named To County Board Posts

When Marinette County Board meets on Tuesday, Aug. 29 supervisors will be asked to approve appointment of Rick Rickaby as the new Highway Commissioner. Rickaby and Joe Baranek, both veteran employees of the department, have been serving as co-commissioners since former Commissioner Ray Palonen resigned in January.

They also will be asked to approve appointment of Ginger Deschane as the new supervisor for District 12, the Village of Crivitz, replacing Janis Porfilio, and Thomas E. Mandli to replace Christopher Schmidt as the supervisor for District 17, parts of the towns of Grover and Peshtigo. Both Schmidt and Porfilio recently resigned. Court Commissioner Francis M. Boyle is to administer the oaths of office to the new supervisors and they are to be sworn in and seated immediately.

Other appointments to be approved include Mandli and Deschane to the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and Supervisor Tricia Grebin of District 3, Dunbar and Athelstane, to replace Porfilio on the Finance and Insurance Committee.

Supervisor Don Phillips, as a member of the Elderly Services Board, is being appointed to the Aging and Disability Resource Center board.

Action for the board includes consideration of a postponed request to fund a half time assistant District Attorney position for 2018 and 2019. If granted, the request would allow hiring another assistant district attorney, since the state already provides for the DA and one and a half assistants. The request had been forwarded to the board last month by Finance Committee without a recommendation. Law Enforcement Committee wanted a look first at what assistance, if any, the state would provide, and the Personnel Committee committee forwarded the request to the full board with a recommendation for approval. The Personnel Committee vote in favor of funding the half time pay was four to one, with County Board Chair Mark Anderson opposed.

Approval of the 2018 pay adjustments as identified in the Policies and Procedures manual is expected.That action has been recommended by both Personnel and Finance committees.

Both committees also recommend creating a Mental Health Therapist immediately for the Department of Health and Human Services and eliminating a Mental Health Manager position when it becomes vacant.

UWEX Community and Resource Development Agent Ellen Geisler is to report on results of the county board visioning session and on her extended bicycle travels.

Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger will report on the U.S. Department of Labor investigation into a labor complaint that apparently was filed against the county.

The board is expected to approve a resolution urging legislation to allow input from adjacent government entities on the regulation of Sulfide Mining Operations along boundary waters between Michigan and Wisconsin, pertaining to the proposed Back 40 Mine operation in Stephenson, Mich. A year ago, supervisors unanimously supported a resolution specifically opposing the mine.

At its meeting on Monday, Aug. 21 the Finance Committee approved a number of transfers that will be presented for County Board approval, and received the 2016 audit report from outside auditors of Schenck and Associates.

At the morning Finance Committee meeting and the afternoon Economic Development and Tourism Committee meeting supervisors considered a request from Marinette County Association for Business and Industry Executive Director Ann Hartnell to participate financially in a study of Marinette County housing needs.

The discussion involved funding part of an estimated $9,445.25 for the housing study, which would be done by Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission (BLRPC).

The original agenda item had the county funding $5,000 of the study, but the committee only approved funding $2,500.

"This is going to look at the entire county, breaking out all the cities and villages in the Highway 8 corridor and look at what housing stock is, what's the demand, what is projected to be needed and what kind of housing," Hartnell said.

"We're losing workforce-age people and it's going to get worse," Hartnell said. "We aren't attracting them in."

Mark Anderson said "Our population numbers in Marinette County have gone down for the past five to seven years" The biggest thing that has bothered me coming back on the county board is that Marinette Marine got a multi-billion dollar contract to build all these ships and you see no influx of population like we used to see in the olden days. They're all coming in from somewhere else. Why is that? We need to answer that question because that drives our economy as far as school districts" reimbursements for programs. All of that stuff comes from the population base and we're shrinking and we've got to stop shrinking. Some people want to see status quo, but that's the death trap" We need to start growing. I'm in favor of doing something. There's no doubt."

Anderson asked if Hartnell had approached the Realtor's Association, but Hartnell said she had not approached them for money.

Committee Member Al Mans questioned how necessary the housing study was, saying he thought some real estate organizations "should have some skin in the game."


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