The Oneida County board has eight new supervisors after the April 1 election and all but one was sworn in this past Tuesday (Lance Krolczyk was absent) to become part of policy making in Oneida County.
New members to the board include Tom Kelly, Robb Jensen, Mitchell Ives, Lisa Zunker, Alan Van Raalte, Alex Young, Bill Freudenburg and Krolczyk. Judge Michael Bloom swore in all supervisors who were present at the meeting before election of board officers took place.
The board voted unanimously to elect Dave Hintz as chairman of the board. He replaces Supervisor Ted Cushing. Supervisor Sonny Paszak nominated Hintz with no other nominations coming forward.
After he was chosen as chairman Hintz gave old and new members of the board some personal advice.
“Have respect for others’ opinions and listen,” he said. “Be willing to change your mind.”
Then Supervisor Scott Holewinski nominated Jack Sorensen for the position of first vice chairman. Supervisor Bob Metropolus nominated Supervisor Tom Rudolph. Supervisor Billy Fried wanted to nominate himself, but was told by Corporate Counsel, Brian Desmond, that was not allowed.
Positions within the county board are voted by written ballot. The results for first vice chairman resulted in 17 votes cast for Sorensen, two for Rudolph and one for Fried. The board voted unanimously to have Carol Pederson serve as second vice chair person.
The board also voted for five members to serve on the Highway Committee. Six supervisors were nominated including Sonny Paszak, Scott Holewinski, Mike Timmons, Ted Cushing, Rob Jensen and Lance Krolcyzk. Because six were nominated and only five serve on this committee another ballot election was held. Krolcyzk came in with only six votes which was the least amount so he was not elected to this committee.
After elections the board took public comments. Former Supervisor Bob Martini spoke to “share some suggestions.” Those included challenging new chairman Hintz to set the Oneida County board meetings at 5 p.m. instead of 9:30 a.m.
“There was a petition that 250 signed for this to happen,” he told the board. “This will allow more people to run and I think more people will show up to meetings if you change the time.”
He also told the board he thought they did OK as far as day to day issues but was concerned about their lack of strategic planning skills.
“I’ll give you a good example, the shoreline protection ordinance,” he said. “We rank second in the state for having the most lakes and yet 50 changes to this ordinance have occurred over the last 14 years with many cuts. This is an issue that has long term effects and must be studied more.”
Martini also commented on the broadband issue and the unemployment rate in Oneida County. Before he was elected off the board, Martini proposed that Oneida County should develop “business incubators” to promote more business growth in Oneida County.
“Vilas County has three and we have zero,” said Martini. “The issue hasn’t been addressed.”
Joel Knutson, a supervisor on the Crescent town board also spoke telling the board the recent election was a “simple cheap partisan hack job.”
He referred to two mailings that went out targeting certain voters in particular areas of the county. One of the mailings concerned removing all dams from local waterways and the other referenced the sale of the WPS building which was sold just recently for $185,000.
“These types of politics have no place in local politics,” Knutson said.
In other business the board voted to amend the county budget for the 2014 wage study cost to implement wage adjustments and they also passed a resolution that moved Solid Waste from the Facilities Committee and joined it with Public Works.