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Barkla re-elected chair of Pierce County Board

ELLSWORTH - Paul Barkla, River Falls, was elected to his second two-year term as chairman of the Pierce County Board when newly-elected supervisors met to reorganize April 22.

He had no opposition for the position.

  • Jeff Holst, town of Diamond Bluff, was elected vice chairman, filling the seat formerly held by Kirstin Schilling, who did not run for re-election to the board.
  • Jerry Kosin, town of Oak Grove, was re-elected second vice chairman.
  • Four new members were seated on the 17-member board. They are Nikki Shonoiki, River Falls; Greg Place, Ellsworth; Ken Snow, rural Spring Valley; and Jim Ross, Elmwood area.

    Supervisors elected members to these six committees:

  • Finance and Personnel: Ron Lockwood, Bill Gilles, Jim Camery, John Kucinski and Dan Reis. The County Board chairman and vice chairman also serve on this committee.
  • Agriculture and Extension Education: Mel Pittman, Don Rohl, Kosin, Ross and Ben Plunkett.
  • Highway: Camery, Kosin, Plunkett, Pittman and Chip Simones.
  • Human Services: Newly elected members are Place and Nikki Shonoiki.
  • Land Management: Barkla, Holst and Rohl. The committee also has two citizen members: Pat Harrington, rural Ellsworth, and Eric Sanden, River Falls.
  • Law Enforcement: Kucinski, Lockwood, Rich Purdy, Ross and Simones.

    Supervisors also serve on a number of appointed committees and boards. Barkla said he would make those assignments after he had a chance to go through requests submitted by board members.


    The board approved new annual salaries for three elected officials: County clerk, treasurer and register of deeds.

    The salaries for these three will be increased 2.5% for each of the four years of their new terms, which begin in 2009.

    The current salary for each of the jobs is $50,121. The new salaries will be $51,374 for 2009; $52,658 for 2010; $53,974 for 2011; and $55,323 for 2012.

    This fall will be first time the three positions are elected for four-year terms.

    The sheriff and clerk of court, who were elected to four-year terms two years ago, were given only 1% increases for 2009 and 2010.

    Traditionally, the salaries for clerk of courts, treasurer, county clerk and register of deeds have been the same. But the clerk of court's salary will be $50,622 in 2009 and $51,128 in 2010.

    Supervisor Pittman suggested that in the interest of fairness, the treasurer, county clerk and register of deeds be given only 1% raises for 2009 and 2010.

    The board usually gives elected officials the same increases as the non-union group, which includes other department heads and managers, said Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence. That group, he said, just got 2.5% increases.

    The County Board made a mistake two years ago when it gave the sheriff and clerk of court the smaller increases, said Supervisor Purdy. He said supervisors shouldn't compound that error by limiting raises for the other three elected positions.

    The board can adjust salaries for the sheriff and clerk of court before their next election cycle begins in 2010.

    Pittman's amendment failed on a 4-13 vote. The resolution to give the 2.5% raises was adopted on a 16-1 vote.

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