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Tricia Grebin Seated On Marinette County Board

Marinette County Board welcomed Tricia Grebin as its newest member on Tuesday, April 18, when they confirmed her appointment to replace Dennis Marcely as District 3 supervisor for parts of Dunbar and Athelstane. Judge David Miron administered the oath of office at the start of the meeting and she was seated immediately.

Marcely resigned abruptly last month.

Board Chair Mark Anderson commented there were some excellent applicants. He had interviewed three of them during a visit to Dunbar before selecting Grebin.

The other two applicants were Kelly Barnes and Gregory Reinhart, both of whom have long histories of involvement in town and county government. Barnes retired from a county surveyor post in 2011.

Grebin was strongly recommended for the post by Dunbar Town Chair Harry Sokel in a letter to Anderson and the entire County Board. Sokol said Grebin is a local business owner who has demonstrated prior organizational skills, is a concerned citizen in tune with public affairs, has a charming personality and has demonstrated a positive attitude.

In her application, Grebin wrote: "My husband, two children, and I moved to Dunbar in 2004 and have been involved in our communities. Bill Stankevich recommended that I consider the board seat. Bill and I have volunteered together on Goodman's Economic Development (GED) Committee, established the Goodman-Armstrong Creek High School (GACHS) Varsity Club, and volunteered at numerous community events. I believe that my bachelor degree in business management, experience in the community, and knowledge of the area will be a positive contribution to the County Board.

"I was the treasurer of both the GED Committee and GACHS Varsity Club. While on the GED, I designed and created the Goodman-Armstrong Creek brochure that was distributed around the midwest. I was fundamental in the establishment and coordination of the Goodman-Pembine H.S. Cross Country team. My business skills were essential as advisor of a successful yearbook program for four years. I am still active in the Varsity Club, Parent Teacher Organization, and at St. Joan of Arc.

"As Business Manager of my husband's electrical engineering firm, I manage the website, handle all of the financial, bookkeeping, benefits and reporting. We also own and are actively renovating/preserving two properties in Marinette County. One is the old Goodman Store where we have apartments and provide space as a small business incubator and store.

"We enjoy living on our hobby farm in Dunbar where we have chickens, guineas, honeybees, vegetable gardens and an orchard. Marinette County provides great entertainment for our extended families as they visit yearly to ride ATV's, hike, fish, hunt, kayak, snowshoe, berry pick, and sit around the campfire. Our daughter and son were both local high school graduates. They both studied Computer Science in College, our daughter graduated from St. Norbert College and work for WE Energies/WPS. Our son will graduate from the University of Minnesota in May and will be working for United Health Group."

At the start of the meeting Supervisor Robert Holley pointed out that a motion that had been made was not recorded he said there was an error in regard to a call for the question. Holley said a call for the question had been handled as an automatic and discussion was cut off. Reading from Robert's Rules of Order, he said a person wishing to call the questions needs to be recognized by the chair, and the call needs a second and then approval by two thirds of those present before discussion is cut off. That did not happen at the board's meeting on March 28 in regard to the $7.5 million loan to the city of Marinette.

Holley declared that motions to call for the question "are not a hammer to bludgeon your colleagues with," adding that it can be abused, "and it was abused at our last meeting." Robert's Rules say if the two thirds majority needed to stop debate is not received, discussion is to continue until there either is action on the issue, a motion to table is approved, or another call for the question is approved after being properly made and seconded. If there is no second the motion dies and debate goes on.

"To cut off debate is anti-democracy," Holley declared. "We need vigorous debate to have a functioning democracy!"

Anderson accepted the input, and promised he will see to it that the error in regard to a call for the question does not happen again.

Ironically, some of the comments in the questionnaire responses distributed by UWEX Community Developoment Resource Educator Ellen Geisler later at the meeting in regard to supervisor responses on what they would like to see changed in county operations included complaints that that there is too much time spent on talk at board meetings.

The board agreed to contract with Johnson Controls, Inc, for the long-awaited replacement of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at the UW-Marinette Fieldhouse pool, including the Dectron unit. Cost for the option chosen is $377,370, and the board had budgeted $425,000, so there should be money left for other work at the Fieldhouse. They will also be replacing two corroded gas fired furnace units. Other work planned there for the future includes repairs to the buildings exterior, and parking lot improvements that include new lighting and repaving.

Administrator John LeFebvre reported on position grades and pay ranges in the Carlson Dettman Wage/Compensation study, which is still in progress. How to implement the plan will be a future decision for County Board. The three options LeFebvre mentioned carry respective price tags of $400,000, $500,000 and $1.5 million.

LeFebvre said in addition to a decision on how quickly and at what levels the raises will be given the board will need to decide on short and long-term appeals processes, how the ranking process can be identified, and how positions created in the future will be slotted into the plan. They need to settle issues involving 35 versus 40 hour work weeks overtime policies and sick leave that are left over from contracts involving the various unions that represented county employees before Act 10.

LeFebvre said he has a plan to address those issues, and also would like to reward employees who serve as lead workers but not as department administrators. There are also some insurance issues to settle that currently prevent the county from taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise of retired employees who might be willing to fill in or do part time work.

Geisler presented results of the county board goals questionnaire she had distributed at a previous meeting, but said most comments seemed centered on conduct of board meetings rathe than a vision of what they would like the board and the county itself to be.

Anderson suggested holding a special County Board session for strategic planning at Newingham's in Wausaukee in early June, from 6 to 9 p.m.

"It sounds like a good idea...Why wait until June?' asked Supervisor Don Pazynski. Anderson said the thinking is that daylight hours are longer and supervisors will not have to drive home after dark. Also, they will have time to review all the questionnaire responses distributed by Geisler. Motion to hold the meeting was made by Supervisor Dave Zahn, seconded by Russ Bauer and approved without dissent. Supervisors Joe Banaszak and Christopher Schmidt were absent.


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