County Board reviews new way of voting
Technology could play a role in the way Oneida County board members cast their votes in the future.
At their monthly meeting held last Tuesday, board members got a preliminary look at a system called RollCall-Pro manufactured by Current Works, Inc. which is based in Ringwood, Ill.
The automated voting system would allow board members to vote with a remote and the results would be displayed on two large screens which would be placed in opposite corners of the board room.
Bob Schroyer, a representative from Current Works, Inc., demonstrated the system to board members. Each board member would have a remote control and when they decided on how they wanted to vote they would press a button and the results would be projected on the screens.
“Lots of county boards throughout the country are going to this,” said Schroyer. “It is a time saver as far as taking a voice vote.”
Currently the board votes simply by saying “aye” or “nay” on an issue. For some board members that was an issue citing that a vote could be swayed one way or another when board members heard each other voting.
“I’ve seen too many times votes skewed because of how other people vote,” said Tom Rudolph, board supervisor. “With this system everyone is responsible for their own vote. We looked at a system similar to this a few years ago and it was a fraction of the price. It is high time we make use of this technology.”
Jack Sorenson disagreed.
“People vote on the merits of the issue,” he said. “I don’t vote one way or another because another person voted a certain way. I don’t think that is really a problem.”
The system would cost close to $19,000. That would include the remotes (at least 21), system software, mounting gear and cables. The screens proposed would be 70-inch across and the proposal included two. In addition, there would be a $2,000 yearly fee for software updates and maintenance of the system.
The board got a chance to try the new system by actually using it to decide if they wanted to pursue implementing the technology. Supervisors voting no to the system included Sonny Paszak, Jim Intrepidi, Greg Oettinger, Sorensen, Ted Cushing, Billy Fried, Mike Timmons and Billy Fried. Bob Metropolis abstained. Eleven supervisors voted to further investigate the proposal so the motion passed.
In other business the board heard glowing reviews from Vilas County Judge Chip Nielsen on the new courtroom that was just recently remodeled.
“Judges throughout the Ninth Judicial District toured the new courtroom in May and we are very, very pleased with what we saw,” he told the board.
The room is on the first floor of the courthouse and will be used primarily for family court matters and other hearing as well.
The board also approved:
• The hiring and salary of Dan Hess, chief deputy with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, at a wage of $84,531.
• Survey of the former location of the Daily News on Courtney St. so property lines could be straightened and to also include surveying it in a way that if the board decided in the future to sell a piece of that property they could without having to pay for another survey. The property will be used as a parking lot particularly for Department on Aging visitors.