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County committee has first female chair

Following an ordinance change that allows the county board vice chairperson to chair the Finance and Personnel Committee, the Pierce County Board's executive committee elected its first chairwoman.

Kirstin Schilling, Spring Valley, was elected first vice chairperson of the county board Tuesday, and Finance and Personnel Committee chairwoman when that committee met two days later. Schilling has served on the county board since April 2002.

"It allows more flexibility," said Supervisor Rich Purdy, River Falls, who made the motion to change the rules. Previously, the person who elected to chair the county board automatically became chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee.

The change, supported by new County Board Chairman Paul Barkla, says either the county board chairman or vice chair may head the Finance and Personnel Committee.

Purdy said the change allows the county board chairman to give up some duties and power.

"I don't think it really hurts to have the option," said John Kucinski, a member of Finance and Personnel. In some sense, the change will give the county board chairperson and vice chairperson a little less power, "which is always a good thing," he added.

These are some of the committee appointments made by Barkla last week:

--Board of Health: Ron Lockwood, Ben Plunkett, Pamela Sans, Rich Purdy and Bill Gilles. Citizen members are Donna Miller, Peter Carr and Dr. David Woeste.

--Building Committee: Jerry Kosin, Mike Larson, Don Nellessen, Barkla and Dan Reis.

--Land Conservation: Kosin, Gilles, Mel Pittman, Purdy and Don Rohl. Donald Acker is the citizen member.

--Fair Committee: Reis, Rohl, Kosin, Schilling and Larson. The citizen member is Bob Traynor.

--Drug Court Committee: Kucinski and Larson. Joe Boles is the citizen member.

--Emergency Management: Larson, Kucinski and Lockwood.

--Solid Waste Management: Kosin, Plunkett, Barkla, Gilles and Jim Camery. Citizen members are Don Johnson, Sandra Weix, Greg Engeset and Opal Darr.