More flexibility in meeting times for county board
The Oneida County board of supervisors finally settled on, and passed, a resolution that will give them more flexibility on when or where county board meetings can be held. This was a topic of discussion at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
For months, the board has tossed around the idea of having their meetings in the evenings. Currently, they are held on the third Tuesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the Oneida County courthouse. At prior meetings, residents came to the board requesting that the board meet in the evening so more residents can attend. It was also thought by some supervisors that evening meetings would encourage more people to run for supervisor positions, without having to miss work during the day. A new resolution was needed because the times, places and days the regular county board meeting is held is part of the county code.
The new provisions in the resolution give the board the option of changing the time a meeting can start; if a night meeting is voted on by the board, it “shall recess at 11 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. the next day.” Also added was the provision that the board can call a special meeting and “that the board could meet as a committee of the whole at the call of the county board chairman.” Another change was that the board chair person can schedule a meeting of the county board as a public hearing solely for the purpose of taking public comment.
While the resolution listed the third Tuesday of every month as the regular meeting day, the new resolution would give supervisors not only the flexibility of changing the time a meeting is held, but also its location. “We can hold meetings at different locations if there is a particular issue that needs to be addressed in a certain town,” said supervisor Dave Hintz, chairman of the administration committee that authored the new resolution. “I consider this resolution taking baby steps in the right direction.” The resolution passed with all 21 supervisors approving it.
The board also adopted a revised floodplain ordinance. “Currently, we are working on taking our paper maps of floodplains within the county and digitalizing them,” said Karl Jennrich, director of Oneida County Planning and Zoning. “This is giving us a more precise way to determine where floodplains are.”
For some property owners, this is turning out to be an extra insurance expense. “I had one constituent call and say his homeowners insurance was going to go up by $2,400,” said supervisor Bob Mott. “The old map did not show this guy’s boat house in the floodplain, but now a corner of it is.”
Jennrich explained that large lending companies and insurance companies were obtaining these revised maps. “They look at these maps to determine what kind of liability there is as far as loaning money or insuring a home in a floodplain,” he said.
There are many reasons for updating the floodplain resolution and defining floodplains. Some listed include: minimizing expenditures of public funds for flood control purposes; minimizing rescue and relief efforts undertaken at the expense of taxpayers; minimizing the occurrence of future flood blight areas in a floodplain; discouraging the victimization of unwary land and homebuyers; and discouraging development in a floodplain if there is any practicable alternative to locate the activity, use or structure outside of the floodplain.
In other business the board:
• Welcomed a new board member, Greg Oettinger, from District 8 which encompasses Wards 2 and 3 in Pine lake and Ward 1 in Stella. He is taking the seat of Paul Dean, who passed away April 13.
• Welcomed Lynn Feldman who was hired as the new UW-Extension Youth Development agent.
• Discussed revisions to the Oneida County Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Ordinance.
• Approved contracts with the Oneida County non-protective and social worker union employees determining a 1 percent raise for those employees that went into effect Jan. 5, 2013. A 1 percent wage increase for all other general municipal employees was also approved.