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HomeNewsLake County Board of Commissioners Meeting; May 23, 2023

Lake County Board of Commissioners Meeting; May 23, 2023

Attorney Russ Conrow met with the Lake County Board of Commissioners at their May 23rd meeting to give an annual update on the work of the County Attorney’s office. The office handles criminal, mental health, child support, tax appeals and Child In Need of Protective Custody (CHIPS) cases. One of the challenges that personnel at the At­torney’s office are facing is the fact that they are currently understaffed. In addition to Mr. Conrow, there is one additional attorney and one staff member who works directly with witnesses and victims. Subsequently, the folks who serve Lake County citizens in the prosecutorial capacity have their hands full. One of the areas where the County Attorney’s office has seen an increase in activity is in cases related to mental health issues. Mental health has become more of a concern across the country and Lake County is not immune to that reality. Often, a sticking point for this can be between the needs of the county to get people into treatment and the space available in State facilities to accommodate patients. The staff of the Lake County Attorney’s of­fice is looking to hire additional staff as they continue to work to meet the needs of our lo­cal citizens.

Tom Suppes, Risk Management Consultant with the Minnesota Counties Intergovern­mental Trust (MCIT), was on hand to talk with commissioners about the relationship that exists between MCIT and the county. MCIT is a public joint powers entity that is dedicated in helping members manage risks so that they can carry out their public service mission to citizens. MCIT offers awareness and prevention materials and training and facilitates access to employee assistance pro­grams, among other services.

Several people were appointed to the Plan­ning Commission at Tuesday’s meeting. Brock Ernest, Tyler Ellefson and Joseph Ernest will each serve terms running until December 31st of 2025. Scott Shelerud will serve as an alternate member of the Planning Commission until December 31st of 2024. Beth Hippert and Mike Hoops Sr. were ap­pointed to the Board of Adjustment. Both will serve three year terms.

Finally, the Commissioners approved the recruitment of one full time Assistant Vet­erans Services Officer, one full-time female Dispatcher/Jailer and one full-time Apprais­er. They also authorized the Board Chair to sign the labor agreement between Lake County and Teamsters Local 320. This agree­ment will cover Courthouse employees for 2023 – 2025.

The next County Board meeting is sched­uled for June 6th at 2:00 p.m.

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Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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