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Conflict resolved: Lalouette named vice-chair

Staff writer

Absent last week, commissioner Lori Lalouette was present Monday as commissioners cleared the way for her to become vice-chair.

Chairman Randy Dallke blocked Lalouette’s appointment last week, citing unresolved concerns about her ability to sign county budgets.

Dallke told Lalouette that it was brought up due to people asking questions.

“People like to see our transparency,” chairman Randy Dallke said. “Questions are out there and that’s the reason why we brought it up.”

Lalouette told commissioners that signing off on a county budget in August could have caused a complication for district judge Mike Powers, but informed them that a subsequent advisory opinion determined there would be no conflict, and that she is free to sign future budgets.

Holub then resigned as vice-chair interim, and nominated Lalouette as vice-chair, “as long as I don’t have to move away from the coffeepot,” Holub said. The motion was approved.

Menno Township board members Dwight Flaming, Carol Duerksen, and Greg Washmon, spoke with commissioners about a lack of road signs in their township.

According to the board, intersection signs at crossroads of 130th and Eagle Rds., 130th and Meridian Rds., 140th and Meridian Rds., 150th and Chisholm Trail Rds., and 160th and Eagle Rds. are all gone.

Flaming said 150th Rd. is also showing wear and tear on the road itself.

“From our perspective, we don’t want 150th Rd. to be forgotten,” Flaming said. “It’s showing signs of deterioration, which will, from a layman’s standpoint, go fast if not addressed.”

Commissioners remembered talking about fixing 150th Rd. in the future, but weren’t sure as to the exact year.

“I think it’s in our plan,” Lalouette said. “I don’t’ remember if it’s for next year or this year.”

A road and bridge work session at next week’s meeting will address the issue.

In other business:

  • A full-time planning and zoning assistant position was approved for Tonya Roberts.
  • Sheriff Robert Craft informed commissioners that a possible reason for last week’s jail fire was a motor in a duct that had gone bad.
  • Commissioners designated this week as “Marion County School Choice Week.”
  • Pay raises based on performance evaluation scores were approved. Commissioners budgeted for an overall raise of 2 percent but workers will receive different monthly or hourly amounts based on their score.
  • Clerk Tina Spencer informed commissioners that the cost of clothing for employees who work outside went over the budget due to freight charges. Commissioners agreed to not make employees pay the overcharge. “It’s a learning curve,” Dallke said. “We can see if we can do better.”

Last modified Jan. 20, 2016

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