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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Mike Rogodzinski Joins Pound Village Board

Issue Date: May 9, 2019

The Pound Village Board at its meeting on Monday, May 6 welcomed Mike Rogodzinski as its newest member. He replaces trustee Jerry Rogge, who had not sought reelection and reportedly has been ill.

The meeting again generated some intense discussion on the employees handbook, need to complete inventories for the still pending audits, and desire of the board for monthly reports that list budgeted amounts, amounts spent, amounts committed, and available remaining balance.

The board has been particularly concerned since learning at a special meeting in March that the village is within $7,000 of its maximum allowable debt limit.

The request for the detailed budget balance report has been made at several meetings, and was discussed in some detail last month, when Town of Stephenson Supervisor Jeff Lieuwen was present on another matter. Trustee David Navis said in a conversation after the meeting Lieuwen had told him the Town of Stephenson board gets the kind of budget report Navis was requesting for Pound, and suggested that the two who prepare it - Trustee Kevin Solway (who also heads the Marinette County Information Services Department) and Clerk Elaine Olsen would probably help Pound Clerk Treasurer Patricia Schutte get it set up.

Navis said he subsequently called Solway and was told Olsen had agreed to join him to help Schutte get the program started for Pound, and they would come to the Pound Village office to help set it up.

Solway confirmed in a conversation with the Peshtigo Times that he had talked with Olsen after speaking with Navis and they will both be glad to help. He added that of course there will be no charge. "We're small communities and we need to help each other to whenever we can, " Solway commented.

The subject came up near the end of the regular monthly Pond Village Board meeting on May 6, when the agenda included several items Navis had asked to have included.

He had asked if village ordinances could be posted on line, and after some discussion Schutte agreed to do that when she has time. She said the only ordinances she has are those that she prepared, as the village has no codified ordinance book. She said anyone can come to the village office when she is there and view the ordinances.

Navis then asked if there should be a water commission budget. He noted they do get a profit and loss statement for the village-owned utility. Trustee Mary Meyer asked if it was even possible to have a water or sewer budget, and Navis replied the budget information is what tells them how much money they expect to have, how much they expect to spend, and what they have to work with. Meyer suggested with the water utility, the village has to do whatever the state tells them to do. Navis repeated once they know that, they can plan ahead.

He then repeated his request for a financial report each month showing available balances in the various categories for the village budget, and explained the conversation with Solway.

"We have to have a budget balance update for every meeting," he declared. "We need to know where we stand." He agreed there are always unexpected expenses, "but we need to start with a budget." He addd that once they have a budget to work with, they can do a five year or 10-year plan as Public works Director Kevin Schutte has been telling them they should do.

"If we would have had a budget, I guarantee we would not have put in Walker Street!" Navis declared. "We need to have a budget so we can make informed decisions."

After he explained Solway's offer of assistance, there was an attempted motion to take advantage of that offer. Trish Schutte said of course she will work with them, so it was decided there was no need for a motion instructing her to do that.

Next Navis had an item "Professionalism and courtesy of employees in communications," placed on the agenda. He said this was due to some of the language used at the April meeting and declared he had been cussed at two times by his employers and each time he gave his two weeks' notice.

"If you can't keep it (your comments) professional and courteous, we need to make change," he warned. He also objected to a comment by Kevin Schutte last month that maybe board members needed to use crayons to figure things out.

"Does it work both ways?" Trish Schutte asked. "Where is the courtesy to me?'

She referred to the forensic audit the board had approved to be done by Sikich, and said no one had ever told her what they thought she had done wrong. She was insulted by that audit. Navis said he had not asked for the audit because she had done anything wrong, but because there had been no audit since 2000. Schutte said that was a board decision, not hers.

The board had hired Johnson & Rennie to do an audit for 2016 and that s not yet finished. Earlier in the meeting there had been a sometimes angry discussion on need to complete a more detailed asset report on village-owned tools and equipment that has been requested by Joel Rennie. By law, the audit report must include the inventory. The inventory is supposed to include name, current replacement value and approximate purchase year of the tools and equipment.

Kevin Schutte said he does not have time to do the inventory, and there was a suggestion that maybe they needed to hire a part-time person to help him. This was met with comments that there was no money.

Navis asked Trish Schutte to not get mad, and she shot back, "You filed a complaint against me with the Sheriff's Department!"

"I called one person and asked questions," Navis replied.

He asked, but she declined to answer, how she had learned about his question to the Sheriff's Department.

"If there's something wrong and you don't know it's wrong, you're not doing anything wrong," Schutte declared.

"Put it on the record that I haven't said you're doing anything wrong," Navis told her.

In other business of the meeting the board approved revised plans for a mobile home park being developed by Dennis Lepinski after detailed discussion on location of fire hydrants. All expenses for utilities are to be paid by the property owner, since it is basically a private subdivision. Previously the village had no easement for its storm sewer there, but now it does. Lepinski assured the board he will follow state codes, and at the request of Meyer, he will provide the board with a copy of the rules packet that will be given to tenants of the mobile home park.

The board also approved a one-time variance to allow renters or owners to keep two horses on a specific 15-acre property within the village limits but bordered by the highway and no neighbors, and reviewed the Fire Department asset list as had been presented.

Navis said he had received a complaint last year about weeds in the flower garden by the cemetery, and Kevin Schutte said he weeds it three times a year.

Rogodzinski said he had been told there would be no Spring Cleanup Day for the village this year due to cost and low usage. He offered to come in as a volunteer for four hours on a Saturday morning, but probably not until late summer or early fall.

The Peshtigo Times had formally asked to be notified of board meetings in accord with the state Open Meetings Law. This was not done, and Clerk Schutte apologized, saying it was an oversight.

Navis asked Fire Chief Turner Gross about grants the department had gotten over the years, and Gross said he will get that information for the board.


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