Board votes to appoint county auditor
Two applicants up for position
GRAFTON –At Monday’s regular meeting of the Walsh County Commission, commissioners voted unanimously to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Sharon Kinsala’s term of office.
Kinsala will be retiring in March, leaving nearly two years left on her term. The commissioners also made it known that they would like to have the county auditor’s position become an appointed position in the future instead of an elected one as it is now.
The board was informed that there are currently two applicants for the position. Those applicants will be interviewed on Monday, Jan. 28, with a decision being made after that.
The motion to appoint a successor to Kinsala and for the position to be appointed in the future was made by Ernie Barta and seconded by Karen Anderson. The motion passed unanimously with all members, Anderson, Barta, Jack Karas, Allen Ruzicka and Luther Meberg present.
“I have no problem with making it an appointed position,” Barta said. “It’s time we make a decision sooner than later.”
Barta contended that making the auditor an appointed position is better because it provides more job security and it gives the commission more supervisory options.
Commissioner Luther Meberg commented that any appointed position should have a time limit on it.
Commissioners discussed conducting performance reviews every 2-4 years.
Meberg said the home rule charter is sometimes vague on what the commissioners can and cannot do legally.
“I would like to get the state’s attorney’s opinion on whether or not we can legally do it,” he told the board.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Walsh County Commissioners approved the first reading of a new tobacco use policy.
The policy falls in step with North Dakota’s smoke-free law passed statewide by voters in November.
Under the policy, tobacco use, smoke or smoke-free area is banned in any county-owned building and is prohibited within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes and ventilation systems of enclosed buildings.
Tobacco use is also probibited in all county vehicles including all county shop vehicles. Tobacco use of any kind is also prohibited when transporting clients or fellow employees in private vehicles while on county business.
The new policy also mandates that “No tobacco use” signs are to be clearly posted in every county owned vehicle and building.
All ashtrays and or butt containers on county property will be removed except in these designated smoking sites. Walsh County Courthouse: 20 feet from the east side of the building with a butt container located at the site. Chase Building: across the parking lot on the east side and south side of the building. Law enforcement center: southeast side of the building, in the cage for employees only. (This site is chosen so that dispatchers can be easily contacted if necessary.)
The Walsh County Fair Building/Shop 7 grounds in Park River will allow tobacco use in personal vehicles only.
The enforcement of the policy is considered to be a shared responsibility of all county employees. If a difficulty arises with non-compliance, employees should notify their supervisors for assistance.
In other business the board
• Was informed that the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inspected the Walsh County Jail in Oct., 2012. In a letter to county officials dated January 14th, the state said the Walsh County Jail is fully compliant with state law.
• Was informed by the Walsh County Extension Agent two new directors were elected at the annual Walsh County Fair Board meeting recently. Brummond said there was discussion on the possibility of building a new horse barn on the fairgrounds, south of the current outdoor horse arena.
Brummond said there are currently 22 stalls in the present horse barn and there is enough interest to fill 60 stalls during the fair. A current proposal calls for a structure 60-feet by 120-feet. Although there have been no bids asked for yet, proposed cost for the barn would be between $60,000 and $250,000. Brummond stressed that the new horse barn is currently in the discussion stage only and no other action has been taken.
Brummond also said the 2012 fair was a huge success in regard to the number of participants. He said with the large number of 4-H kids taking part, the schedule is full and there is some talk of moving the Bull-A-Rama event to the Saturday before or during the fair, or eliminating it altogether.
The Bull-A-Rama is currently held on Thursday evening, the opening day of the fair. He said this year’s Bull-A-Rama lost $2,500.