Dunn County postpones job description for supervisors

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  Anyone who is thinking about running for the Dunn County Board in the April election will have to take out nomination papers without a job description.

The Dunn County Board postponed adopting a job description for supervisors at the November 12 meeting.

“With the election coming up, we thought it would be good to have a position description for county supervisors,” said David Bartlett, county board supervisor from Boyceville.

The job description is intended to give more information to potential candidates about serving on the county board, he said.

The job description puts it in writing the best practices for county board supervisors as policy makers, said Steve Rasmussen, county board supervisor from Boyceville and chair of the Dunn County Board.

“The genesis for the resolution came out of a WCA (Wisconsin Counties’ Association) workshop,” he said.

“There is a group of citizens who have no idea about public office,” said Elton Christopherson, county board supervisor from Elk Mound.

“People need to know what they are getting into, and this can help lead them in the direction of understanding the job,” he said.

Kitz Cleary, county board supervisor from Colfax, objected to what she described as a “heavy emphasis on going with the flow.”

The document applauds consensus but does not leave enough room for minority dissent, she said.

“We need to hear all opinions,” Cleary said.

County board supervisors debate agenda items and vote on them, Rasmussen said, but the final decision comes from a consensus of the board.

Donald Krause, county board supervisor from New Auburn, suggested postponing a vote on the ordinance.

If it is postponed until January, it is essentially postponed for two years, Bartlett said.

The Dunn County Board does not meet in December.

Candidates for the Dunn County Board can begin circulating nomination papers on December 1. Papers for non-candidacy must be turned in by December 27. Nomination papers are due by January 7.

The entire Dunn County Board is up for election in April for another two-year term.

James Tripp, county board supervisor from Menomonie, said he believed the county board “should get it right,” that he supported the document in general, but that he also believed the job description needed some adjustments.

“This document can and should be the cornerstone of how we serve Dunn County,” he said.

Although an amendment was offered to change some of the language about consensus, the county board ultimately postponed the job description until the January meeting.

A total of 13 county board members voted in favor of postponing the ordinance, and ten county board members voted against postponing the ordinance.