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Osakis Voices: Eagle Valley School District dissolved

On June 20, the Todd County Board passed the resolution and order dissolving Independent School District 2759, Eagle Valley Public School and attaching its territory. The County Board chose option 2, which was more of a north/south split. The old Eagle Bend School went to Bertha Hewitt and the Clarissa school went to Browerville.

On a motion from Becker and second by Neumann, the resolution was introduced and adopted by unanimous roll call vote.

On an interesting note, we did have a group of people come to the board meeting to push their option. As a board, it was the first we saw or heard from these individuals. This option was #3 and it was more of an East/West split, which both superintendents were against.

Kneisl made the motion second by Kircher to include an attachment of territory under map option 3, which failed by roll call vote.

The commissioners and school superintendents from Browerville and Bertha Hewitt worked very hard to get this resolved. As of July 1, 2017, Eagle Valley Public School no longer exists.

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I have been asked what a County Commissioner does. We are elected officials who oversee county activities and work to ensure that citizens' concerns are met, federal and state requirements are fulfilled, and county operations run smoothly.

County commissioners spend a lot of time working with and representing people. We attend regular meetings of the county board as well as meetings of board sub-committees and county-related boards and commissions.

We represent county concerns before local, state and national boards and commissions, including school boards, city councils, township boards, and state and federal offices.

As county commissioners, we work with constituents and respond to constituents concerns.

As county commissioners, we have administrative duties, as well as financial and legislative responsibilities. Following is a partial list of these duties and responsibilities.

County management, administration

• Establish policies and procedures for central administration and county Departments to meet County goals.

• Coordinate activities of the County Board, central administration and county departments with those of the independently elected officers, including auditor/treasurer, recorder, attorney and sheriff.

• Oversee the county personnel system: authorize the number of county employees, establish salaries and conditions of employment, approve a county benefit schedule, negotiate and approve labor agreements, supervise appointed county department heads, participate in and approve the recruitment and employment of key county employees, and oversee the implementation of the county pay equity plan and the county affirmative action/equal opportunity plan.

• Review liability issues and take appropriate measures to protect county employees and entities.

• Adopt and oversee the process for the purchase of equipment and supplies for use by the county.

• Establish a plan for the review and evaluation of county services and programs.

Taxation/finance

• Review, adjust and adopt the annual county budget and program as presented by the central administration or county departments.

• Authorize the levy and collection of county-wide property taxes.

• Serve as a board of equalization on disputes regarding appraised property values for taxing purposes.

• Authorize the application for and/or receipt of funds from federal and state governments and their use within the county budget.

• Adopt and participate in the implementation of fiscal management policies for the county in the areas such as investments, reserve policy, short-term borrowing, use of bonds and risk management/insurance.

• Monitor the overall fiscal health of the county through regular reports of the auditor/treasurer and finance departments.

• Establish a process for approving the payment of expenses incurred by the county.

• Develop and adopt a capital improvement program/budget covering major county expenditures over a series of years.

I will have more on the duties of a county commissioner and what I personally do as the District 5 commissioner next month.

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