Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Human Services and County Board Meetings of 2013

Human Services Board Meeting
Human Services Board Chair Sue Hakes and Board Members Jan Hall, Jim Johnson, Carla LaPoint, Jerry Lilja, Bruce Martinson, and Fritz Sobanja were all in attendance at today's meeting.  Also present were Sue Futterer, Jan Parish, Martina Mellang, and Janet Simonen.

Introductions of New PHHS Staff
Public Health and Human Services Director Sue Futterer was pleased to introduce several new employees at today's meeting including Sheila Wieben, Beth Faraone, Jared Scheel and Alison McIntyre.  All were welcomed by the Human Services Board.

Committee Reports
(for more details on any of these committees, contact the representatives identified below)
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency--Sue Hakes reported AEOA will meet tomorrow 12/19/12.
Arrowhead Health Alliance Joint Powers--Sue Hakes reported AHA did not meet ine December.
Arrowhead Regional Correction--Jan Hall reported ARC will meet this Friday.
Community Health Board--Jan Hall reported on the results of the County Top 10 Health Issues.
Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee--Jerry Lilja and Carla LaPointe reported the Advisory Committee has not met this month.
Health Care Planning Committee--Jim Johnson reported on Hospital budget, Ed Niemi retirement.
North Shore Collaborative--Sue Hakes reported on the (5) major goals of the NSC.

Health Care Access Transportation
Jan Parish gave an information report on Medical Assistance Access Transportation, explaining that this service is for persons eligible for Medical Assistance in need of transportation to medical facilities.  Parish reported that approximately 60 clients/year are provided approximately 20 rides/month. This is an important service provided to ensure access to medical care for those in need.  The County is reimbursed 100% for providing this service, volunteer drivers are paid 20 cents/mile.

November Financial Report
Income Maintenance and Accounting Supervisor Jan Parish gave an overview of the Budget through November 30, 2013.  Use of the PHHS Fund Balance is over the budget by ~$50,000.

Director's Report
Director Sue Futterer reported on the progress of Region 3 Redesign for Child Support services. A regional meeting of Human Service directors, County Administrators and Commissioners will be held January 29, 2013 at a location to be determined.

Futterer also reported on the "Top 10 County Health Issues" which were identified by a Community Health Assessment conducted in Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Counties.  The Top 3 Health Issues in each of these counties was the same with 1) Obesity, 2) Mental Health, and 3) Alcohol, Tobacco & Drug Use all of highest concern.

Futterer reported that she participated in a free service at the December Association of Minnesota Conference entitled "Insights Discovery Profile and the Service Value Wheel".  She enjoyed taking the assessment and the raising of self awareness.  Tools such as these could be useful tool for understanding others and improving teamwork.

I Am Adam Lanza's Mother article
Sue Hakes recommended the Board and the PHHS Staff read the article entitled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" which has spread like wildfire over social media in the days since the Newtown, CT school shooting.  A discussion followed that acknowledged that we are all Adam Lanza's neighbor, aunt, mother, teacher, sister, employers, social workers and friend.  As the Human Services Board and Human Services staff we are uniquely positioned to help those in need of mental health services, get those services.

Items for Board Action
The Board made a motion to accept 2012 donations in the amount of $5650 to be used to support those in need.

The Board raised the rate of pay for In Home Support contract workers to $16/hour.

County Board Meeting
County Board Chair Jan Hall and Commissioners Hakes, Johnson, Martinson and Sobanja were all present for this last Board meeting in 2013.  Also present were Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.

Fritz Sobanja and Jim Johnson, December 19, 2012.
Commissioners and County employees bid farewell to Commissioners Jim Johnson and Commissioner Fritz Sobanja by celebrating with cake and coffee.  Both Sobanja and Johnson served for 8 years.

Public Comment
No member of the public opted to come before the County Board at today's meeting.

Wetlands Management Plan Committee
Planning & Zoning Director, Tim Nelson, and David Demmer came before the Board to request a motion to support the development of a Cook County Wetland Management Plan Committee for 2013.  The first goal of the committee will be to establish Cook County's highest priorities for wetland management.  If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact David Demmer at 387-3634, or your commissioner, to learn more.

2013 Cook County Budget and Levy
The County Board approved the 2013 Budget and set the property tax levy for 2013 at 2%, a reduction from the preliminary levy set at 5.76%.

The Board approved the purchase of a dual band radio for the Search & Rescue Hall at a cost of ~$560 as recommended by Jim Wiinanen (Emergency Management) and Rowan Watkins (Radio/IT Technician).

The Board passed a motion for Cook County to enter in a contract to perform general demolition, concrete and excavation work on the Cook County Family YMCA, subject to review by the County Attorney's Office.  The Board also authorized purchasing concrete rebar now as it is anticipated these costs will go up in the coming weeks.

Personnel Committee 
The Board authorized (4) changes to job descriptions and grade levels as recommended by the Personnel Committee (Jan Hall, Bruce Martinson, Diane Booth, Sue Futterer, Brian Silence, Janet Simonen).  These jobs were in the IT and PHHS Departments.

Subordinate Governmental Service District for Tom Lake Area Roads
The Board discussed the pending Subordinate Governmental Service District for Tom Lake Area Roads which was approved November 13, 2012.  Some of the affected property owners have voiced opposition since the Public Hearing.  The Board discussed the process for citizens to follow if they want to reverse this decision.  For more information, the public is encouraged to contact Braidy Powers at 387-3646.  Go to MN Statute 375.B to read more about County Subordinate Service Districts.

One Percent Projects
Sue Hakes distributed the construction progress meeting notes reviewed and discussed at the weekly Construction Progress meetings held on the Cook County Family YMCA.  This information is available on the County Website.

County/USFS Land Exchange
The Commissioners expressed concern over the values proposed by the USFS for lands to be exchanged between the USFS and Cook County.  Commissioners Sobanja and Martinson, Assessor Betty Schulz and Highway Department personnel will be meeting with the USFS to discuss.

Meeting Minutes
A copy of the formal meeting minutes for the December 19 meetings may be obtained by contacting Janet Simonen at 387-3687 or by going to the County Website.  For a video of these meetings go to Boreal.TV.