Morrison County sig

The Morrison County Board of Commissioners approved a new hire and an hour-adjustment for a separate position at its Dec. 30, 2021, year-end meeting.

Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen came before the Board to get its approval to hire a new jail administrator. The position was vacated by the retirement of Scott MacKissock, Dec. 28, 2021.

“After three and a half months of what I can tell you has been an exhausting and extensive search for our jail administrator, we believe we’ve finally found the right person,” Larsen said.

Larsen said the offer would go to an external candidate who has 25 years of law enforcement experience. Due to their experience and current rate of pay, what Larsen wanted to offer as a comparable wage didn’t fall in the county’s mid-range payscale for 2022. He asked the Board to offer candidate a wage which better falls in line with what they are currently earning.

The offer was for a starting wage at grade 31, step 7 — $40.72 per hour.

“I want to point out that the current budget for 2022 already includes our current jail administrator’s wage, and of course he’s maxed out,” Larsen said. “So, it would be in the budget.”

The Board approved Larsen’s request. As such, the candidate was offered the position pending a background check, drug testing and physical work ability testing. He estimated the new jail administrator would start sometime in mid-February.

“Thank you, Sheriff,” said Commissioner Jeffrey Jelinski. “That was a long time; a tough deal.”

Morrison County Auditor/Treasurer Chelsey Robinson also came to the Board to request a permanent adjustment to a position in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The position, which was originally part-time, capped at 30 hours per week, was temporarily increased in May 2021 to full-time for the remainder of 2021.

Robinson asked to make that change permanent.

“What would happen if we would just leave it the way it is and keep this position at 30 hours?” asked Commissioner Randy Winscher.

Robinson said a big benefit of the 10-hour increase to the position was, staff at the DMV has not been accruing comp time and overtime.

“If you look back at history on the books with our motor vehicle department, it has been a continuous struggle with constant staff coming in early and staying late and always having overtime or comp time accumulating, and not being able to take their time off that they accrue and are eligible to use,” Robinson said. “With this position being 40 hours a week versus 30, that has allowed our staff to not have to come in early, stay late — be able to manage work within the regular hours — and also be able to take their time off that they accrue.”

The Board also unanimously approved Robinson’s request.

Board of Commissioners Briefs:

In other business Dec. 30, 2021, the Morrison County Board of Commissioners:

• Approved a food, pool and lodging license to Crystal Ratke, the new owner of Pierz Ballroom and Lanes;

• Approved an abstract of the food, pool and lodging licenses for existing establishments within Morrison County;

• Approved a gambling exempt permit for the Morrison County Wild Gobblers to host an event March 19, at Falls Ballroom;

• Authorized Chelsey Robinson, Deborah Symanietz and Greg Blaine as signers on the county’s Business Now account at Pine Country Bank;

• Approved the 2022 calendar year licenses for solid waste and recycling haulers, and solid waste facility operators; and

• Recognized and congratulated Mike Wilson on his year of service as Board chair in 2021.

In other business Tuesday, the Morrison County Board of Commissioners:

• Appointed Greg Blaine as Board chair and Jeffrey Jelinski as vice chair for 2022;

• Approved the Morrison County Record as the official legal paper for the county in 2022 at a rate of 96 cents per line and a display ad rate of $7.99 per column inch;

• Approved a request from the Morrison County Public Health/Social Services Department to replace an employee set to retire in March;

• Approved a contract between Morrison and Lake counties for back-up food, beverage and lodging licensing;

• Accepted a letter of notice from Robinson, stating her intention to run for another term as county auditor/treasurer;

• Approved a request to establish an absentee ballot and uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act board for all 2022 elections;

• Heard a recap of events in the Veterans Service Office in 2021; and

• Approved a memorandum of agreement to begin the One Watershed One Plan planning process in the Mississippi River Brainerd Watershed.

The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners is a planning session at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the Board Room at the Morrison County Government Center.

Load comments