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Boreal Community Media

January 8 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Jan 09, 2019 11:47AM ● By Editor

January 8, 2019 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, Jan 8 Board of Commissioners Meeting:

 Oath of Office

The following newly and re-elected County Officials were sworn in and took the Oath of Office administered by Court Administrator Kim Shepherd:

  • Robert Deschampe, Commissioner District 1
  • David Mills, Commissioner District 3
  • Virginia Storlie, Commissioner District 5
  • Patrick Eliasen, County Sheriff
  • Molly Hicken, County Attorney
  • Dusty Nelms, County Recorder
  • Braidy Powers, County Auditor/Treasurer


Election of 2019 Cook County Board Chair
Motion was made and carried to approve appointing Commissioner Virginia Storlie as 2019 Board Chair (3-2).

Election of 2019 Cook County Board Vice-Chair

Motion was made and carried unanimously to approve appointing Commissioner Myron Bursheim as 2019 Vice-Chair.

Additions/Adjustments to the Agenda

  • Robert Deschampe, Commissioner District 1 Oath of Office
  • Travel and mileage reimbursement updated rates
  • YMCA cardio equipment capital purchase

Public Comment Period

  • Steve Frykman thanked the Board in advance for approving the annual review of his permit.
  • Liz Wagner gave blessings to Board members and elected officials.

Consent Agenda
All items on the consent agenda were approved unanimously: 
A.  Claims
B.  Minutes of Dec 18, 2018 Board Meeting
C.  John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Event Permit
D.  Firewise Agreement Amendment 
E.  Retraction of Case Aide Resignation Letter 
F.  Posting to hire the two annual Seasonal Deputies


2019 Travel and Mileage Reimbursements
After discussion and review of travel and mileage rates to-date and standard rates, the Board approved adopting the standard IRS mileage rate of $.58/mile and meal reimbursement of $37 daily total for Cook County. Motion was made and unanimously carried to approve.

Discussion was tabled for a later time, regarding increasing the daily meal reimbursement to coincide with the GSA standard amount of $55 daily from the current $37/day and how that would impact the budget. 

Appointment of County Commissioners to Various Boards, Committees and Commissions

Board reviewed and made corrections to the Board & Commissions list to include updating Commissioner names, removing old committees, as well as adding The Sawtooth Bluffs Recreation Planning Committee, Cook County Restorative Justice and the Shared Lake & Cook County Highway Committee to the list.

2019 Meeting Dates for the Cook County Board of Commissioners

  • Board approved the Board of Commissioners Regular Meetings to remain being held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, starting at 8:30 am.
  • Committee of the Whole (COW) Meetings: Motion was made and carried to approve (4-1) to hold the COW meetings separate from the regular Board Meetings and to be held the 3rd Tuesday of the month, after the Public Health & Human Services Board Meeting. The decision came after review of public attendance at evening 2018 COW Meetings.  COW meetings were held in the evening last year in an attempt to make them more accessible to the public; however, due limited attendance over the course of the year, COW meetings have been moved to the new time following the PHHS Board.
  • Exploration of Additional Public Engagement/Input Opportunities: As it is a priority of the Board to be responsive to the public and values citizen input, discussion was held on exploring options to hold additional Public Input Forums and/or Town Hall meetings in 2019. This item was tabled for additional input and discussion and will be brought back to the Board soon. Watch for additional information and input opportunities.

Auditor Report
Braidy Powers, Auditor/Treasurer brought the following items to the Board for action:

  • Authorize designation of Official Depository to remain with the Grand Marais State Bank. Motion was made and carried unanimously. Authorize designation of Official Newspaper. There was only one bid received from the Cook County News Herald. Motion was made and carried unanimously. Authorize 2019 Non-County Levies: Motion was made and carried unanimously. YMCA Cardio Equipment Capital Purchase: Motion was made to purchase the equipment outright to save money on finance fees. Motion was made and carried to approve (4-1).

Northeast Emergency Communications Board (ECB) Joint Powers Agreement
Rena Rogers, Director MIS, requested the Board authorize the ECB Bylaws and Joint Powers Agreement. Motion was made and carried unanimously.

Land Services

Bill Lane, Zoning Administrator brought the following items to the Board:

  • Authorize appointments of Judy Motchenbacher, Greg Mueller and John Schloot to the Planning Commission. Motion made and carried unanimously.
  • Authorize appointment of current member of Planning Commission, Adam Treeful to the Board of Adjustment and newly-appointed member, Judy Motchenbacher of the Planning Commission to the Board of Adjustment. Motion was made and carried unanimously.
  • Authorize eight out of the 11 Gravel Pit Permit Reviews and revisit the remaining three reviews at a later date. Motion was made and carried unanimously.
  • Authorize Permit Review of Home Business. Request approval of the 2018 Interim Use Permit review allowing continuation of Steve and Sharon Frykman's Home Business operation on County Road 44. Operations were found compliant and no business-related activities were found to be disruptive to the neighborhood landscape. Motion was made and carried unanimously.

Employee Concerns/Commissioner Concerns
Commissioner Deschampe discussed concerns that were brought to him regarding the wording on the Public Health & Human Services job postings and why they list both Cook County and Grand Portage. What is the reasoning behind this?


January Employee Anniversaries were recognized. Cook County thanks the following employees for their year(s) of service to the citizens of Cook County and dedication to supporting community through quality public service:

Nanette Arrands

Highway Department

8 Years

Michaela Clingaman

Soil & Water Conservation District

2 Years

Leah Ekstrom

Attorney’s Office

4 Years

Jamie Green

Sheriff’s Office

1 Year

John Groth

Sheriff’s Office

5 Years

Andrew Hayes

Sheriff’s Office

1 Year

Martina Johnson

Public Health & Human Services Department

12 Years

Adam Nelson

Highway Department

3 Years

Holly Schroeder

Recorder’s Office

20 Years

Brian Silence

Maintenance Department

19 Years

Brody Smith

Land Services Department

1 Year

Mitchell Travis

Land Services Department

2 Years

Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas and Minutes at All County Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings are open to the public.


Contact: Jeff Cadwell, Cook County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or [email protected]



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