Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 16 Human Services and County Board Meetings: Staffing, NE MN Small Business Consultant, Tennis Courts, Event Permits

Cook County Human Services Board Meeting
Human Services Board Chair Sue Hakes and Board Members Heidi Doo-Kirk, Garry Gamble, Carla LaPointe, Jerry Lilja and Bruce Martinson were all present for today's Human Services Board Meeting.  Also present were Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Director Sue Futterer, Fiscal Supervisor Jan Parish, Personnel Director Janet Simonen and Case Aide/Office Support Andrea DeBoer. Jan Hall was absent.

Committee Reports
Several Human Services Board members reported on the various committee meetings they have attended in the past month including:  Arrowhead Health Alliance Joint Powers (Sue Hakes), Arrowhead Regional Corrections (Garry Gamble), Public Health & Human Services (Jerry Lilja), North Shore Collaborative (Sue Hakes).  (For further information on any of these committee meetings, please contact me or the board member that attends.)

Child and Family Safety Review 
Social Services Supervisor, Grace Bushard, reported on the Cook and Lake Counties Minnesota Child Family Safety Review (CFSR).  The CFSR is a process to help achieve positive outcomes for children and families by monitoring state child welfare services.  The Cook County review period is from June 2012 to July 2013. The last review in Cook County was in 2007.  Bushard is extremely familiar with the process having been a peer reviewer in the past.

June Financial Report
Income Maintenance and Fiscal Supervisor, Jan Parish, reported on the PHHS Budget for June 2013 noting that the costs for Out Of Home Placements continue to be of concern for the budget.  Parish also said that PHHS Director and Staff will be using the 2013 Budget to prepare their 2014 Budget.

Director's Report
PHHS Director, Sue Futterer, Reported on several items:
-  Cook County Human Services was found to be in compliance after its 2013 Blue Plus Audit.  The audit produced some minor findings, but no recommendations or mandatory improvements were made or are required.  Futterer and Staff will work to improve based on the findings.
-  Cook County Wilderness Outpatient Program received a Facility Site Audit Review score of 98% and a Treatment Record Review score of 87% from OPTUM. OPTUM's Lead Quality Improvement Specialist congratulated Cook County for providing quality care and a safe environment for OPTUM members and families.
- All County Human Services Administrators throughout the State received a Memo from Chuck Johnson, Department of Health Deputy Commissioner, regarding implementation of a new county performance management system.  This transition time is difficult for Counties due to the many unknowns.
-  The TXT4LIFE Annual Progress Report for its first year, 2012, is packed full of information regarding TXT4LIFE, a program that originated in Carlton County and is intended to be in use across all MN Counties by 2015.  If you, or somebody you know, needs to talk, Text LIFE to 839863.
-  Staffing continues to be a challenge in the PHHS Department due to resignations, changes in processes from the State, and unknowns that are resulting from the Affodable Health Care Act.  Futterer and Staff continue to work to fill the gaps by shifting responsibilities and also replacement hires.
-  Director Futterer and Staff continue working diligently on their 2014 Budget.
-  Futterer gave the Board an update on Region 3 Redesign.

Items for Board Actions
-  The Board authorized hiring a Temporary Eligibility Specialist during the transition and training of new staff at a cost estimated between $3-5,000 total and maximum of 6 months.
-  The Board authorized continuing the employment of Temporary Support Staff during the Financial Assistance Transition and EDMS Implementation.
-  The Board authorized Futterer to continue working with Carlton County for mentoring of new Cook County Eligibility workers.

Cook County Board of Commissioners
Vice-Chair Bruce Martinson, along with Commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk, Garry Gamble, and Sue Hakes were all present for the July 16 County Board Meeting. Board Chair Janice Hall was absent.  Also present were Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen and Bev Wolke.

Public Comment
Pat Campanaro came before the County Board to let them know she has just been hired as a MN Small Business Development Center Consultant for Cook County through Cook County Higher Education and the UMD Center for Economic Development.  Campanaro will provide professional business consulting in Cook County for 15 hours/week at no cost to the small business owner.  Campanaro brings a wealth of business experience and enthusiasm to this position and is already working with several local businesses.  If you have questions about starting a new business or operating your existing business, do not hesitate to call Pat Campanaro for support.  You may reach her at: 218-387-3411 or

Highway Department
The Board authorized (2) Event Permits:  a)  The 84th Annual Fisherman's Picnic Parade, and b)  The North Shore Dragon Boat Festival Parade.

Highway Engineer, David Betts, reported that he interviewed 3 candidates for the open Assistant Mechanic position.

Auditor-Treasurer, Braidy Powers, Miscellaneous
-  Braidy Powers presented the Second Quarter 2013 Budget for Board review.  Expenditures are exactly 50% of the 2013 budget.
-  The Board approved a permit to hold a raffle at the Gunflint Firehouse #1 Community Center on August 8, 2013.
-  The County received $32,701.97 of Title III funds that may be used to carry out Firewise activities, reimburse the County for Search and Rescue and other emergency services performed on Federal Lands, and develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans.  The Firewise Committee has a recommendation for the use of these funds which will be presented for approval by Cook County Emergency Manager Jim Wiinanen at next week's Board Meeting.
-  The Board authorized the purchase of (2) Dell Gigabet Ethernet switches for $3900.  This purchase for network upgrades to support incoming fiber connections and new network storage units was planned for and included in the 2013 IT capital budget.
-  The Board approved contracting with Boreal.TV for $6000 to video all regularly scheduled County Board Meetings taking place in the Courthouse for the next year. This is the same rate as last year.

Grand Marais Tennis Courts
Wade Cole of ORB Management, presented site plans for drainage and accessibility on the east side of the county-owned tennis courts.  The estimated cost for this work is $15-25,000 and is not part of the One Percent Project.  Both ORB and JLG Architects are working on this project at no charge.  The Board authorized Cole to obtain quotes from local contractors for this work on/before August 5 for Board consideration.

Cook County Administrator Position Profile
The Board approved the final draft of the Cook County Administrator Position profile and authorized David Unmacht at Springsted to move forward with advertising for this position.

County Road 7 Construction Project
County Engineer David Betts reported that test strips for the new pavement on County Road 7 are being done near Highway 61 this week.  Pavement on County Road 7 will be done sometime next week, weather pending.  Betts reported that calcium chloride is down to minimize dust during this road construction.  If you have any questions or concerns about this project, contact Sue Hakes or David Betts.

Meeting Minutes
A copy of the final meeting minutes for today's County Board meeting will be made available on the Cook County website or by calling Janet Simonen at 387-3602.  A video this meeting in its entirety may be seen on-line at Boreal.TV.