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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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County Welcomes Kevin Solway As Information Services Director

“I think this is very exceptional for the county,” declared Supervisor Ken Keller after Marinette County Board was formally informed by Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison that the administrative team has chosen former Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Kevin Solway to head the county’s Information Services (IS) Department.

Keller’s sentiments were echoed by others on the board Tuesday, July 29 as they welcomed Solway to the new job that he was to officially start the following day. In actual fact, he began on June 24, shortly after the departure of former IS Director Larry Schultz.

Mattison, Finance Director Pat Kass and Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger are filling the role of County Administrator since the abrupt departure of Ellen Sorenson in April.

Mattison informed the County Board at its regular monthly meeting that naming of the department head is an administrative function, and they had selected Solway for the job. She explained when director former Schultz “left rather abruptly, we needed someone quickly to secure the system.”

She said they knew Solway had much experience with the county’s computer system as a Sheriff’s Department employee, and added, “We were very fortunate that Sheriff Sauve allowed him to come over and help us.”

She had informed the Finance Committee of Solway’s appointment when it met on Monday, July 21, and somewhat apologized to the Sheriff for hiring away his valuable employee.

Keller, who chairs the county’s Law Enforcement Committee and also is an Alderman on Marinette City Council, said the first information he ever gathered for Law Enforcement was done with the help of Solway in 1997, when Solway was an officer with the Marinette City Police Department. He has been with the Sheriff’s Department since 2005. Prior to that he was Senior Information Technology Manager with SunGard Public Sector at Lake Mary, Fla., a Lieutenant with Marinette City police, a paramedic with Bay Area Medical Center, and an EMT instructor for NWTC. He holds several degrees and certifications in technology and public management, and currently serves as a supervisor on the Stephenson Town Board, where he is chair of Finance, Public Safety and Ordinance Committee as well as Technology Coordinator. He also is a volunteer EMT and director/treasurer for Twin Bridge Rescue Squad, a Marinette County 9-1-1 Committee member, member of the state TraCS Advisory Committee, member and treasurer of the county EMS Association, and a member of the Town of Volunteer Fire Department and its Cold Water Rescue Team.

The professional summary attached to the County Board packet describes Solway as, “A dedicated professional with a proven record of leadership, integrity and advancement within the public and private sector, providing superior systems availability, customer service, support and satisfaction, always exceeding organizational goals and objectives while striving to reach the technological vision of the future.”

Motion to accept Solway as IS Director was unanimously supported by the board.

Appointment of Ted VerHaagh to fill the remainder of a vacant term on the Veterans Service Commission that will expire in November of this year was also announced by Mattison and supported by all supervisors present.

On behalf of Gov. Scott Walker, efforts of employees of the county’s Health and Human Services Department were saluted by Christopher Schoenherr, Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration for their outstanding efforts during last winter’s propane shortage. “The efforts of your agency are admirable and will not soon be forgotten,” Schoenherr said in a letter to DHHS Director Robin Elsner. At a recent Health and Human Services Committee meeting, Emergency Government Director Eric Burmeister was saluted for the outstanding work he had done during the crisis.

Proclamations were presented by County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder to retiring county employees Mimi M. Guseck, economic support worker for 20 years and Gale M. Wanek, Long Term Services case manager for 28 years. Other county employees who are retiring but not present to personally receive recognition were Ernest R. Beaber, six years as Parks Caretaker; Christine Crane, 22 years as mental health therapist; Corina E. Dionne, 35 years as director of the Child Support Department; and Katherine Waldvogel, Child Support Specialist for 14 years.

Bay Area Medical Center President and CEO Ed Harding presented the hospital’s annual report.

Without dissent the board approved a resolution that allows the county to accept a Local Road Improvement Program agreement with Wisconsin DOT that will help pay for a paved bicycle and pedestrian path on County B from Belgium Road to County W.

The board approved agreements with Wisconsin DOT to maintain Wisconsin Hwy. 8 between County O and Hwy. 141 for a total of $51,067 and Hwy. 141 from Hwy. 8 and Niagara for a total of $31,278.82.

After a bit of discussion and an explanation from Hwy. Commissioner Ray Palonen the board approved an agreement with the state’s High Risk Rural Roads Program to make safety improvements on County U from Hwy. 8 to the Florence County line, for a total of $12,486 as the county’s share. Questioned by supervisors who did not feel the road was very bad, Palonen said the state evaluates all highways in the state for run off the road accidents, and County U has one of the highest rates in the state. They will add centerline rumble strips, beam guards, chevrons on the curves and will enhance the white lines that mark the sides of the road.

Schroeder felt the Marinette County portion of the road itself is not too bad, the the Florence County portion is very bad, and he believes they are going to redo it this year. The $12,489 represents only Marinette County’s 10 percent of the total cost of doing the work planned on the 4.49 mile stretch of road. The contract includes design and construction along with the added safety measures.

The board agreed to sell a tax deed property adjacent to Tommy Thompson State Park to Wisconsin DNR “as is” for $5,000. An old cabin will need to be torn down and there is cleanup work to be done.

Funds for the office renovations at the Highway Department Building in Peshtigo were approved, with a no vote from Supervisor Shirley Kaufman, as was a contract with Pride Builders to construct the new Law Enforcement heated storage building for $286,893.42, and an asphalt crushing contract with Northeast Asphalt.

They also approved the 2015 capital improvement plan and borrowing to finance it. (See related story starting on Page 1.)


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