• 39°

County board proposes to appoint auditor-treasurer, recorder

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to move forward with its intent to change the auditor-treasurer and recorder positions from elected to appointed positions.

Under the board’s action, the county will advertise the proposed resolution allowing for the appointment of the positions for two consecutive weeks and then have a public hearing on Sept. 15 about the issue at the regular board meeting.

Prior to that meeting, the administration will prepare contracts for the positions, including details on salaries and responsibilities to bring before the board.

The board will then decide whether to approve the change. If approved, the appointment would become effective Jan. 1.

The board began in-depth discussion about the issue last year.

Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen said he spoke to nearly all of the area service organizations and had several radio call-in spots to talk about the proposed change and found little opposition once people were made aware of all of the duties the positions provide. He plans to meet with service clubs in the coming weeks to get the word out again about the proposal, as well.

Jensen at previous meetings has expressed concern that candidates for the two positions only need to have $50 and be Freeborn County residents, despite the numerous requirements the positions hold and the multi-millions that the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office works with.

He said 79 counties in the state have changed to appointing these positions or are moving in that direction.

Jensen noted if the action is approved, it is not permanent, and the board could go back to the positions being elected with two-thirds vote.

In other action:

• Approved revisions to the county’s purchasing and procurement policy to be in line with updated state guidelines.

The only change allows the county to take sealed bids from up to $100,000 to $175,000. Jensen said previously any amount over $100,000 required a request for proposal and publication of bids.

• Approved the final payment for the mill and overlay of portions of Freeborn County roads 12, 14, 17, 25, 32 and 51 by Ulland Bros.

The total cost was about $3.27 million with the final payment being about $253,000.

• Approved the final payment for various road striping in the county by Sir Lines-A-Lot of Edina. The total cost was about $185,000, and the final payment was for about $9,200.

• Approved a contract between Freeborn County Public Health and the Albert Lea school district for early childhood screening and immunizations as necessary.

• Approved a contract between Freeborn County Public Health and the Alden-Conger school district to provide vision, hearing and scoliosis screening and referral and to monitor student immunization status. The school nurse will provide counseling, surveillance, screening and referral services for medical needs. The county will also provide early childhood screening.

• Approved a contract between Freeborn County Public Health and the Glenville-Emmons school district to provide vision, hearing and scoliosis screening and referral and to monitor student immunization status. The school nurse will provide counseling, surveillance, screening and referral services for medical needs. The county will also provide early childhood screening.

• Approved a contract between Freeborn County Public Health and Hollandale Christian School to provide vision, hearing and scoliosis screening and referral and to monitor student immunization status. The school nurse will provide counseling, surveillance, screening and referral services for medical needs.

• Approved placing employees Erica Larson, Sheila Wenzel, Timothy Frazier and Alyssa Shlaak on regular full-time status.