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Buitenwerf resigns as county assessor

The Hubbard County Board has 90 days to appoint a new county assessor, unless they receive an extension from the state.

Hubbard County Assessor Ginger Buitenwerf submitted her resignation, effective Dec. 25. The county board accepted it at their Dec. 15 meeting, which prompted a discussion about organizational restructuring.

Human Resources Director Gina Teem said the board must accept Buitenwerf’s resignation because it is an appointed position. The board has 90 days to select a replacement.

“If you have an assistant or a chief deputy in the department, statutorily, in that timeframe between when someone is appointed or reorganization, that person assumes that responsibility,” Teems said, noting the county does have an assistant assessor.

Board chair Char Christenson suggested combining the county assessor position with the recorder’s office. “They work hand in hand, so structurally we could make that into one department and the assessor, instead of being a department head, could be a supervisory position,” she said. “Whoever is the next board chair can lead that discussion, but that’s what I’d like us to think about.”

County commissioner Tom Krueger said he prefers keeping the county assessor as a department head. “I believe all of our departments are unique. Job roles that they have are all important,” he said, expressing concern about reduced access and communication with the county assessor if he or she reports to a supervisor.

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County commissioner David De La Hunt said it could take three or four months to complete the county strategic plan, including organizational restructuring.

The board passed a motion, 4-1 with Krueger opposed, to seek an extension from the state for making the appointment due to strategic planning.

  • Authorized Teems to submit to the Bureau of Mediation Services a joint petition with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 65, Local #2768 for clarification or amendment of removing the office administrator/accountant position in the Sheriff's Office.

  • Approve payment of the 2021 Association of Minnesota Counties annual dues, totaling $12,694.

  • Learned that the land survey department set 67 new corners in 2020. Hubbard County Land Surveyor Ryan Miller said 3,108 of the county’s total 3,664 corners – or 85 percent – are certified. Twenty-three were reset due to road construction, disturbance, etc. and 3,070 corners now have final GPS positions (83 percent).

  • Approved an updated personnel policy regarding the Hubbard County cafeteria contribution for 2021 and 2022. Employees will share equally any premium increase above 5 percent per year, for so long as Hubbard County employee insurance is provided through Prime Health.

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding with AFSCME Local #2768.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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