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Debbie Thompson, a 22-year employee and longtime assistant coordinator, was promoted to county coordinator following interviews Wednesday. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Carlson bids board goodbye; Thompson gets promotion

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Carlson bids board goodbye; Thompson gets promotion
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Wednesday was a day of transitions and tears at the Hubbard County Board meeting.

Outgoing Dist. 1 commissioner Don Carlson was heralded by environmentalists and fellow commissioners as they presented him with his official county signature stamp as a parting gift.


Kathy Grell, who defeated Carlson, was invited to participate at the board table.

Newly appointed county coordinator Debbie Thompson received a hug and well wishes from county recorder Nicole Lueth, the applicant also vying to succeed retired coordinator Jack Paul.

"We are very fortunate to have two very well qualified candidates," board chair Lyle Robinson said.

"It's an awful decision to have to make," commissioner Dick Devine said. "It's like cutting the baby in half."

There were tears all around until board members advised Thompson "now forget everything Jack taught you."

The board presented service awards to the following employees: 5 years - Jarod Andersen, Carl Angell, Andrew Barnum, Eric Buitenwerf, Tammy Eischens, Carice Golberg-Cummins, Jeremiah Johnson, Nancy Mitchell, Alfred Opsal, Shane Plautz, Paula Ruiz, Donald Rumpza, Jeff Stacey, Julianne Stuemke, Rande Woodrum, Heather Zacher; 10 years - Caroline Beavers, Mark Bethel, Curtis Hadrava, Roxann Yliniemi, 15 years - Johnny Carver, Lowell Koebnick, Mark Krossen; 20 years - Corwyn Aukes; 25 years - Sheila Rognstad, Jerry Tatro; 30 years - Judy Harsha.

In other business the board:

n Approved hiring another financial worker for Hubbard County Social Services. Caseloads continue to rise, as do requests for financial and food assistance. Many caseworkers have more than 200 clients.

"People keep pestering the workers" for determinations on eligibility, director Daryl Bessler said. "They need help. I thought this thing was going to turn around but it isn't."

And Bessler said during the winter months, needs spike upward.

n Learned that the survey department is increasingly being asked to help settle property line disputes for both the county and forestry department. As more permanent monuments are re-established, lines are constantly changing, surveyor Mike Branham told the board, leading to disputes over long-established property lines that may have been incorrectly placed.

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364