The Hubbard County Board approved a contract for professional services with Kay Mack, who will serve as interim county administrator, effective Jan. 11.

Kay Mack is pictured back in 2012 when she became Beltrami County administrator.
Kay Mack is pictured back in 2012 when she became Beltrami County administrator. (Bemidji Pioneer file photo)

Eric Nerness resigned as county coordinator, as of Jan. 2.

The board also officially moved to adopt an administrative model of government, effective Jan. 1.

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Fifty-eight out of 87 counties – including Beltrami, Cass, Becker, Todd and Otter Tail – have established a county administrator. Hubbard had been among 13 counties that still utilized a county coordinator.

Mack, a Bemidji State University graduate, retired in Dec. 2019 as the Beltrami County administrator, a role she had since 2012. Mack began working for Beltrami County in 1977. She became county treasurer in 1986, and was then auditor/treasurer when the two roles were combined.

“I hope to add some value to Hubbard County,” Mack said Tuesday at the board meeting. She attended via telephone conference.

County commissioner Tom Krueger questioned why Mack’s contract wasn’t discussed in December by the full board, noting he received the contract for services Tuesday morning. “I don’t like getting stuff that way,” he said.

County commissioner Char Christenson took responsibility, saying the ball was dropped after Nerness left. “It just slipped through the cracks,” she said.

Mack added that, as a retired public employee, she was not allowed to take another job until there had been a 30-day separation from her previous job.

Christenson said the contract with Mack goes through March 15, with an option to renew, if need be.

County assessor opening

Human Resources Director Gina Teems reported the Minnesota Department of Revenue requires the county assessor position to be filled with 90 days, but will authorize an extension if the county is actively seeking someone to fill the position.

Teems submitted a job description for the board to review, highlighting portions that would need to be removed if they chose to not make the county assessor a department head, as was discussed at their December meeting.

County commissioner Char Christenson said she would be fine with leaving the assessor as a department head.

Teems reminded the board that, by statute, the deputy assessor fulfills the role until someone is hired.

The board authorized a public posting of the job opening until it is filled. County commissioners Krueger and Ted Van Kempen were selected to sit on the interview panel, along with subject matter experts, to make a candidate recommendation to the full county board.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Accepted a $1,500 donation from the Park Rapids American Legion Post 212 to the Hubbard County Veterans Service Office.

  • Named county commissioner David De La Hunt as the board chair and Van Kempen as the vice-chair.

  • Approved the Park Rapids Enterprise as the legal publication for the county.

  • Approved a $10,496 quote from Connect Interiors of Detroit Lakes for office furniture for the county public works building.

  • Approved a $9,890 quote from ETS Health of St. Augusta, Minn. for hard sealing tile and grout at the public works building.

  • Approved the low quote of $94,969 from Midwest Machinery Co. of Wadena for a John Deere 6130M tractor and the sole quote of $42,288 from Diamond Mowers of Sioux Falls, S.D. for a 60-inch side and 60-inch rear mower combo. These items were budgeted to be replaced for the highway department.

  • Approved the sole quote of $126.50 per acre for spraying, $60 per pound for Velpar and $10 per gallon of nitrogen. from Eric Roberts Spraying, Battle Lake, Minn. for plantation release of 68 acres with microsite herbicide application

  • Approved payment of the 2021 Minnesota Association of County Administrators’ annual dues of $771.

  • Approved License Center hours of 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

  • Approved change to new vendor, Streamworks, for outsourcing tax statements and valuation notices. The current vendor is National Business Systems.

  • Approved a change in allocation to the Sheriff’s Office administrator/accountant position and authorized posting the position, as recommended by the county sheriff, human resources director and a Bureau of Mediation Services Unit clarification order.

  • Approved Russ Johnsrud’s and Randy Avenson’s reappointment to the county park Board.