Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Human Service Board and County Board Meetings for January 17, 201

Cook County Human Service Board Meeting
Today's Cook County Human Services Board was called to order by Chair Sue Hakes.  Also in attendance were Jan Hall, Jim Johnson, Carla LaPointe, Jerry Lilja, Bruce Martinson, and Fritz Sobanja.  County Staff in attendance were Sue Futterer, Jan Parish, Anna Sandstrom and Kristine Swanson.

The first order of business for today's meeting was to appoint (3) persons to the Public Health & Human Services Advisory Committee:  Carla LaPointe (President), Jerry Lilja (Vice President) and Sylvia Manthey.  As President and Vice President, LaPointe and Lilja are automatically members of the Human Services Board.  LaPointe, Lilja and Manthey all bring expertise, professionalism and passion to their roles on this Board.

The next order of business was to elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for the Cook County Human Services Board.  I'm thrilled to let you know that I was elected as Chairperson and look forward to serving in that capacity for the 2nd year.  Fritz Sobanja was elected as Vice Chair.

Committee Reports
Brief reports for for Arrowhead Economic Opportunity, Arrowhead Health Alliance, Arrowhead Regional Corrections, Community Health Board, Public Health & Human Services Advisory Committee, Health Care Planning Committee and North Shore Collaborative were made by those serving on these committees.

Family Child Care
Kristine Swanson, County Licensor, and Anna Sandstrom, Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Worker, joined to give the Board an overview of the County/State Child Care Licensing procedures and also information regarding CCAP.

Both Licensed Child Care Providers and Legal Unlicensed Providers exist in Cook County with licensed facilities being routinely inspected by Swanson to ensure State requirements for child/adult ratios, physical environment, safety, sanitation, etc. are being met.  Swanson reported that there are currently 8 licensed providers in Cook County.  For information about Child Care licensing, contact Kristine Swanson.

Sandstrom reported that qualifying families may obtain financial assistance for child care through CCAP. This assistance is available for both Licensed and Legal Non-licensed Day Care Providers and there is a maximum to the level of support.  For information regarding the Child Care Assistance Program, contact Anna Sandstrom.

This work done by Swanson and Sandstrom helps to improve access to safe and healthy child care for children in Cook County.  Clearly, the work they do is important to them and to the community.

Financial Report--Jan Parish, Income Maintenance and Fiscal Supervisor
Jan Parish complemented the Family Child Care presentation by explaining that funding for the CCAP program is provided by the State and not the County.  Parish also gave the Board an overview of the 2011 Budget as it is known today.  Final expenditures and collections won't be finalized until March.

Director's Report--Sue Futterer
Sue Futterer reminded the Board of the Region 3 Redesign Meeting in Eveleth on January 31, 2012 and encouraged Board members to attend.

Futterer then gave an excellent overview of the MN Association of County Social Service Administrators Policy Vision entitlted "Shaping Minnesota's Human Services Future".  In this paper, MACSSA provides a vision of the unique role counties are positioned to and should fulfill in the delivery of human services for Minnesota.  MACSSA also recommend guidelines for future policy.  It's an interesting read and I appreciated Futterer's commentary about the work.

Cook County Board Meeting
County Board Chair Jan Hall called the meeting to order.  Also present were Commissioners Hakes, Johnson, Martinson and Sobanja.  County Staff present included Janet Simonen and Braidy Powers.

Public Comment
No member of the Public opted to come before the Board.

Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
The Board approved a letter of support for a grant to complete a water quality assessment of the Lake Superior Shoreline in Grand Marais as requested by Kerri Fabius, Supervisor of SWCD.

Title III Firewise Funding Request
Richard Johnson and Mike Prom of the Gunflint Trail Fire Department were supported by Dick Parker of the Firewise Committee in their request for Title III Firewise funding to purchase communication equipment to better outfit trained wildfire firefighters.  The Board supported this $15,000 request as recommended by the Firewise Committee.

County Sheriff Mark Falk 
The County Board voted to accept a Snowmobile Safety Enforcement Grant similar to the grants received in the past as recommended by Sheriff Falk.

Sheriff Falk introduced Greg Gentz as the new hire for the deputy sheriff position assigned to the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.  Deputy Gentz brings 13 years of law enforcement experience to the job which includes approximately 5 months as a seasonal deputy in Cook County in 2009.  Cook County and the Grand Portage Tribe are working together in this effort; the Grand Portage Tribe will reimburse Cook County for this position.

The County Board authorized the purchase of (3) squads and the equipment to outfit them:  2 replacement squads and 1 additional squad for the Grand Portage Deputy Sheriff position.  Squads to be replaced are a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe with 105,000 miles and a 2005 Chevrolet Impala that was totalled.  The Grand Portage RTC will pay for the squad to be used in Grand Portage.

Office of Planning & Zoning
As recommended by the Planning Commission, the County Board approved an Interim Use Permit request to allow use of a Recreational Vehicle (RV) for habitation within the Resort Commercial/Residential zone district.  The property owners are making this request to provide temporary housing for themselves during the renovation of their residence and build-out of their property.

As recommended by the Planning Commission, the County Board approved (9) gravel pit permits and (2) gravel pit permits with conditions.

Permit for Lawful Gambling Activity
The County Board approved a permit application for lawful gambling activity for the Cook County Snowmobile Club.  The Club will have a fundraiser including a raffle and bingo on February 4 at The Landing on Devil Track.

Broadband Commission Grant Application
The Board voted to authorize application for a Blandin Foundation grant to conduct a tele-health pilot project to demonstrate the use of broadband in helping seniors to stay in their homes longer.  North Shore Health Care Foundation is also a potential grant source for this work.  The grant application is due February 5, 2012.

Closed Session of the County Board 
The County Board conducted a closed session to discuss labor negotiation strategy.