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Salary hike for County Administrative Coordinator approved

After a 35-minute debate in closed session, the Pierce County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday in favor of granting a four percent salary increase to JoAnn Miller, administrative coordinator.

The vote was 12 in favor, two voting no (Supervisors Dean Bergseng and LeRoy Peterson) and one abstained (Supervisor Robert Mercord). Supervisors Jeff Holst and Scott Bjork were absent.

Miller will now make $113,000 a year, effective Dec. 1. She was hired in December 2011 after the county went three years without a full-time administrative coordinator.

In other action, the county board approved transferring $145,900 from the contingency fund to cover the replacement phone system project. Information Services Director Janet Huppert explained the current phone system was installed in the annex in May 2005 due to a lightning storm, which damaged the previous system. Huppert said the phone system reached its end-of-life in 2012, meaning no new parts will be manufactured.

She added replacing the current phone system with a modern phone system less susceptible to lightning damage means going with a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system. There is a rush for this project, she said, because officials want to have the new system up and running by April 1, 2014, an estimated day for spring weather to start.

Supervisor Michael Kahlow asked why the rush because this was budgeted for 2015. Huppert replied it was Holst’s decision to change the schedule out of fear of what one more lightning season could do. The vote was a 13-2 margin, with Kahlow and Cecil Bjork the only nos. It was noted over $200,000 was earmarked in the contingency fund for the project.

Barry Foy presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Award to Supervisors Mel Pittman, Jim Ross and Holst, who make up the Veterans Service Committee. The award was established to recognize businesses for their support of employees who are in the National Guard or Reserves. Veterans Service Officer David Till, a First Sergeant in the 1-128th Infantry, said because he was almost deployed three times in the last 12 months, he wanted to recognize the committee members for their help and understanding.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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