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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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County Board Applauds Selection Of Glenn Sartorelli To Head DHHS

Issue Date: February 24, 2021

Questions and concerns over the Covid-19 inoculation program sponsored by Marinette County Health Department and Prevea Clinic occupied much of the discussion at the monthly Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Information on making appointments to be inoculated with the vaccine at no charge can be found on the Marinette County Health and Human Services website.

As expected, the board enthusiastically endorsed Administrator John LeFebvre's appointment of Glenn Sartorelli as head of the Health and Human Services Department to replace Robin Elsner, who retired last month.

Sartorelli had been assistant director of the department, and his appointment to the full time post was unanimously approved before drawing a round of applause from the board.

Supervisor Mike Behnke, who made the motion to name Sartorelli as DHHS Director, said he had been on the Health and Human Services Board for his entire 19 years as a County Board Supervisor, and declared, "Glenn has been outstanding in every aspect of HHS, and I am honored to make the motion to have him put in this position."

LeFebvre said Sartorelli is a graduate of the University of Northern Michigan and has been a Marinette County employee, starting in 1997 when he was hired by Roger DeGroot, who was then the Marinette County Administrator. He had worked for the Finance Department before being transferred to the Finance Department of health and Human Services in April of 1999, and became Finance Director there in 2000.

Also unanimously approved was appointment of County Conservationist Sarah Topp to the Lake Michigan Area Land and Water Conservation Association for a term expiring in April of 2022, and appointment of Ruth Jicha to the Housing Authority for a term expiring in December of 2025.

LeFebvre advised the board that the Development Committee is in charge with re-districting following the 2020 census, but because census numbers were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will most likely also be a four month delay in re-districting, which would mean new district boundaries will not be in place until well into 2022, which could create difficulties for candidates who need to circulate nomination papers for the Spring elections that year.

LeFebvre said in 2011 the Development Committee had set a priority list of redistricting considerations, and these will be followed for the 2021 redistricting as well they include first, preservation of political subdivisions to the greatest extent possible, equal numbers of residents into contiguous districts to maintain one resident, one vote equity and without strange configurations; and finally, preservation of existing incumbent districts. LeFebvre said in spite of this final goal, the 2011 redistricting had resulted in pitting incumbents against one another because both ended up as residents of a single district.

On a happy note, LeFebvre told the board negotiations are underway with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources through which Marinette County may become owner of the 137-acre former Thunder River Fish Rearing Station and Hatchery on the County's western border. Some of the property involved had been acquired by the DNR from Marinette County back in 1936, 1940 and 1982. LeFebvre explained some of those property transactions had included reversionary clauses through which the land returns to county ownership if the DNR quits using it for the intended purpose.

LeFebvre said he will keep the Infrastructure Committee informed as negotiations progress.

County Board Chair John Guarisco announced a meeting of the Marinette County Tourism Alliance is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3. It will be the first meeting of that group in almost a year.

The meeting began with some technical glitches preceding a "Zoom" presentation by Prevea President/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai, MD on Covid vaccination efforts. County Public Health Officer Molly Bonjean was present in person to field questions from supervisors. Due to social distancing requirements, the board meeting was again held at the Theatre on the Bay on the UW-Green Bay campus in Marinette rather than at the Courthouse downtown.

Bonjean's department has partnered with Prevea to distribute Marinette County's allocation of the Covid-19 vaccine from a clinic set up at the UW Field House in Marinette.

Some supervisors questioned lack of efforts to bring the vaccine to northern areas of the county, and several, including Supervisor Don Pazynski, objected to persons being required to fill out Prevea information forms and give their Social Security numbers before being inoculated.

Bonjean said becoming a Prevea customer is not a requisite for the vaccine, but they do require making appointments and setting up a Prevea account for record keeping purposes. However, she said, those who object to giving their Social Security number can fill the blanks with all ŝs" and it will be accepted. She said the information must go to the Wisconsin Immunization registry.

Supervisor Clancy Whiting said he does not want to get the vaccine until he is tested, and has been told the cost would be $800.

Bonjean said there should be no charge at the Prevea clinic in the UW Fieldhouse, except for an administration cost if it is covered by insurance. Tests are being given at various sites in the community, including at the County Highway Shop in Peshtigo. Supervisor Mike Behnke said the tests there are now being done only on Saturdays. Bonjean said she will check into test sites and be sure the latest information is posted on her web site. She also invited Whiting to contact her office if he needs help scheduling a test.

Bonjean said the first rounds of vaccines were to go only to first responders, health care workers, and persons over age 65. Starting March 1, the vaccine will be made available for educators, child care providers, grocery store workers and other essential employees, and once those needs are met it will be available for others.

However, the only site for administering the vaccine is in Marinette, and previously there had been talk of finding ways for residents from more distant parts of the county to be transported to the vaccine clinic in Marinette.

Bonjean agreed there have been issues with getting the county inoculation clinic going, and expressed thanks to everyone "for being patient with us."

In other action, County Board unanimously approved:

*A resolution asking the state to provide increased funding for county Child Support agencies;

*A one year lease with Marinette County Elderly Services starting on April 1, for kitchen and office space for a portion of the building located at 569 Washington Avenue in the City of Niagara for rental payment of $150 per month;

*A one year lease with Forward Services, starting April 1, for room C026 in the Courthouse building located at 1926 Hall Avenue, Marinette for rental payment of $1,957 per month;

*An amended transport service agreement between Marinette County and REDI Transport for the term beginning January 1, 2021 for 1 year at a base cost of $45,000 per year for transport of jail prisoners;

*The 2021 through 2030 Land and Water Resources Management Plan as recommended by the Development Committee;

*Accepting a 2021 Department of Public Health Consolidated Contract in the amount of $441,259 that contains additional COVID funding of $200,184 not previously included in 2021 budget;

*Increasing the 2021 contract with Advocates for Healthy Transitional Living by $60,840.28, bringing the total contract amount to $719,580.28. Advocates operates Share Academy for the county, and provides other services, including helping to locate suitable foster care for a juvenile with mental issues who had been institutionalized at Childea at a cost of $600 per day;

*Annual renewal of a contract with Cisco for hardware and software support effective February 15, 2021 at a cost not to exceed $41,928.83;

*Amendments to the County Personnel and Policies and Procedures Manuals for sections covering Personal Leave and Health and Dental Insurance benefits; and

*An Infrastructure Committee recommendation to purchase a new emergency generator from Access of Neenah at a cost of $52,196 to supply emergency power backup for the new Courthouse Data Center and Information Services.

Supervisor Bonnie Popp asked if they had solicited bids for the generator, and LeFebvre said they had solicited as many proposals as they could, but after three months of trying, this was the only quote they could get. Whiting asked if the firm was capable, and LeFebvre said the county has worked with the firm before, they are a good company, and the generator comes with a 5-year warranty. LeFebvre said they had not been comfortable with getting the new system up and running without a backup energy supply in place.


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