Does a human resources director need a four-year college degree or can 10 years of on-the-job experience equal those qualifications?
Crow Wing County commissioners Tuesday were divided on that question.
Commissioners Terry Sluss and Ed Larsen were in favor of requiring a college degree and five years experience. A motion to that effect failed 2-3 with commissioners Gary Walters, Dewey Tautges and John Ferrari in favor of accepting someone with 10 years or more experience.
A second motion to accept applicants with a decade or more experience who may not have a four-year college degree passed 3-2.
In other business, the board:
Split 4-1, with Walters opposed, to extend Carol Rose's appointment to the Human Rights Commission. Appointments to the commission expire after six years, but the county has made exceptions to term-limits in some cases. Kathy Suav's resignation was accepted and Charles McLaughlin was removed from the board because of limited attendance. Rose was extended on three-year term. Walters, who has two children who are black, did not support the extension noting the commission, which he noted referred to him previously as a racist while Rose was chairwoman.
Agreed to act as a fiscal agent for a Pequot Lakes transportation enhancement grant. The city's project identifies a Highway 371 pedestrian and bike underpass and scenic beautification improvements. The underpass, connecting Pequot Lakes' downtown area after the highway is expanded to four lanes on its current track, may include room for vehicles or snowmobiles to pass below the highway. Now there are at least three places to cross Highway 371 in Pequot Lakes. After the road is reconstructed, there will one crossing at the signal intersection.
Approved additions and changes to the county's fee schedule for 2006. The list includes new charges for alarm fees, including $100 per each false alarm after the third one. Permit to carry guns increased from $10 to $60 for both new permits and renewals and a new $100 charge for liquor license checks and $25 for annual renewals.
Accepted a land donation from Dennis and Pamela Thomsen in Long Lake Township for the development of a park on South Long Lake.
Learned the lease with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program is in its final form with payments of $11,333 per month for the WorkForce Center's space in the recently constructed Community Service Building on Laurel Street in Brainerd.
Heard there may be changes in plans for Central Minnesota Community Corrections. The juvenile detention center may look at providing an intensive program without the more expensive psychiatric option and get a license for chemical dependency treatment. The number of kids in the detention center has been stable at 10 to 11. Additional costs are expected with the addition of programming. "It's evolving," Commissioner Dewey Tautges said.
Agreed to put a request for a rezoning and final plat for William and Joan Grunewald's Green Forest Acres in Center Township on the board's Jan. 10 meeting agenda as a reconsideration. The board previously denied the rezoning and final plat, which called for nine 2.5 acre residential lots and two outlots on about 40 acres. At the time, Center Township Board supervisors Terry Ebinger and Greg Ranweiler opposed the plan, stating the township's comprehensive plan calls for a minimum of 5 acre lots not a 5-acre average. Any changes to the final plat will take a 30-day review.
Those speaking for the applicant expressed surprise at the board's denial. The applicant built a road on the property in anticipation of county board approval. Commissioner Ed Larsen said the message the board has to get out is that applicants should not do anything until a final approval is granted.
Heard a federal budget reconciliation bill, passed by conference committee, approved by the U.S. Senate and with an anticipated approval by the U.S. House , would be a move from "miserable to devastating," said Susan Beck, human services director.
Beck said the bill has major cutbacks in Medicaid payments for targeted case management supporting child welfare, child protection, mental health services and long-term care. Beck said federal funding for child support may decrease from 66 percent to 50 percent in the next few years. Larsen said he was concerned the same thing may happen to the 16-bed psychiatric hospitals if the federal government changes its mind regarding funding. Beck said she'll have a better idea next month on how county services will be affected.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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