The joint powers board of Central Minnesota Community Corrections will look for an outside consultant to review the administrative duties of CMCC Executive Director Michael Kafka.
The joint powers board on Wednesday approved spending $1,000 to hire a consultant within 90 days. In making the motion, Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom said she would like the consultant to look at responsibilities of the administrator and his compensation.
Nystrom said she's heard from several constituents who questioned why Kafka receives full pay despite his duties being reduced after the joint powers board closed the Central Minnesota Juvenile Center in May.
"Things have drastically changed in the last year," Nystrom said.
Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede said he opposed hiring an outside firm because the county board had already hired The Carey Group, a Minnesota-based national corrections consulting firm, to look at the feasibility and desirability of opening a juvenile detention center.
Though he agreed with the concept of Nystrom's motion, Thiede said The Carey Group may answer the questions in her motion.
"I'm not sure we want to complicate this right now," Thiede said.
Central Minnesota Community Corrections is governed by a joint powers board with commissioners from Aitkin, Crow Wing and Morrison counties.
Crow Wing County commissioners invited Aitkin and Morrison counties to participate in the $20,800 Carey Group study. Thiede said the study will focus on cost benefit analysis, public safety, goals from stakeholders, what juvenile population would be best served, whether a public or private entity runs the facility and how its run under Minnesota Department of Correction rules. The study is expected back within three months.
Morrison County Commissioner Gene Young said his county might not be interested in ownership of the facility, but would be interested in learning of its feasibility for his county.
Dale Lueck, Aitkin County commissioner, said the amount of money involved in the study was not an issue, but he questioned whether it was a good use of time.
"Some of us have a lot of years invested in dismantling, shutting down what we just had," Lueck said.
Fellow Aitkin County Commissioner Paul Bailey said though the center has had financial problems recently, he believed his county would be willing to participate if another juvenile center was built.
Kafka said The Carey Group would be in Crow Wing County next week, and invited the other counties to sit in on the process.
The joint powers board on Wednesday also heard a presentation from Crow Wing County Drug Court representatives Kris DeMay and Kay Wilson.
The next joint powers meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 17 at the Brainerd Public Library, if a room is available.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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