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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.
The Pierce County Board voted last week to rezone 177 acres--137 from Exclusive Agriculture to Primary Agriculture and 40 acres from Primary Agriculture to General Rural Flexible. Both rezonings will allow a greater residential density. Supervisors questioned both proposals, but when it came time to vote, little opposition was heard. Slightly more than 137 acres in the Town of Salem was rezoned from Exclusive Agriculture to Primary Agriculture.
Paul Barkla, who has served on the Pierce County Board since April 2004, was elected its chairman when the board met to reorganize last week. Barkla, 73, River Falls, has worked for several labor unions as a researcher, wrote training manuals, and has been an educator and business agent. He has also been active with various health, environmental and political organizations, and worked as a legislative assistant for two U.S.
Land Management Department Administrator Andy Pichotta will serve as interim director of Pierce County's Land Conservation Department as county supervisors try to sort things out in the wake of David Sander's resignation. The finance and personnel committee changed course last week following a closed meeting with members of the land conservation committee.
Pierce County Land Conservation Committee members and the county's soil conservationist complained Friday they need help soon to run the land conservation department. But finance and personnel committee members said they want further discussion before agreeing to hire a new department director. David Sander, who had been the director since November 2002, resigned March 24 during a finance and personnel committee meeting. A grievance filed by Sander was apparently discussed during that meeting.
A woman who was injured in an accident that took the life of another young woman has filed a lawsuit against the man convicted of causing the crash. Heather M. Everson, 165 Susan St., Ellsworth, is seeking actual and punitive damages in a civil lawsuit filed March 23 against Ryan C. Foley, Stanley Correctional Center, and his insurance company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Everson was injured in an April 18, 2003, automobile accident east of River Falls on Hwy. 29.
The Pierce County Board voted last week to provide the Village of Ellsworth with a permanent easement for a sewer main across county-owned property north of the recycling center. The work will extend utilities to development in the southwest quadrant of Hwy.
Desi Foy, a 2001 Ellsworth High School graduate and former local radio news reporter, has been hired as an advertising sales representative at the Pierce County Herald. He described his Herald sales territory as "Prescott to Durand and all spots in between, basically the county." Foy, 23, said he is starting to meet the people on his current client list and will "then see who else is out there that we can help with their advertising." He has an associate degree in radio broadcasting from Brown College and previously worked as a freelance reporter for the Herald, co
The Pierce County Board voted last week to rezone 242 acres in the Town of Trimbelle to allow residential development. The land, which is northwest of Ellsworth, is in the village's extraterritorial zone and is subject to the village's subdivision ordinance. The change in the 227 acres now zoned Primary Agriculture will increase the maximum number of residential lots from 11 to 97.
RIVER FALLS: While State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has some good things to say about the 2005-2007 state budget, by the end of last week she promised to draft a constitutional amendment to limit the governor's line-item veto power. "Wisconsin citizens would be shocked if they saw how major funding decisions are being made in the budget signed...by Gov. Jim Doyle," said Harsdorf, R-River Falls.