County board declares state of emergency
In a special meeting of the Monroe County Board last Thursday, supervisors unanimously passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency in the county due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The action gives flexibility to county administrator Tina Osterberg to manage current policies in the face of state and federal mandates triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, such as sick leave and family leave.
Under the resolution, the administrator can temporarily change policy on personnel matters and on budgets, giving Osterberg the authority to approve spending funds not originally budgeted in the 2020 budget that would be directed to staff and public health and safety measures.
According to Osterberg, that would include spending on additional staff or supplies to deal locally with the pandemic.
The meeting was held in the county board assembly room at the Justice Center. However, the seating was rearranged to deal with social distancing guidelines. Two supervisors, Nodji VanWychen and Mary Von Ruden, attended the meeting via telephone.
The resolution authorizes the board to hold future meetings remotely. Osterberg said the county would potentially set it up so the public can call in to hear the proceedings. The resolution is in effect for six months unless it is rescinded or extended by the board.
In other business, the board approved a 2% across the board salary increase for three elected offices.
State statute requires elected officials’ compensation be set prior to the date when candidates can take out papers to run for local office. In Monroe County, the county clerk, register of deeds and county treasurer will be up for election next November. They can begin circulating nomination papers as of April 15.
The board approved a resolution to the board calling for 2% increases in the salaries for each year of their four-year terms. Under the committee’s proposal the county clerk’s four-year pay progression from 2021 to 2024 would be $65,097, $66,399, $67,727 and $69,081.
For the register of deeds and the treasurer, the pay progression would be $60,541, $61,751, $62,986 and $64,246.
The board rejected a proposed resolution raising for the treasurer’s and register of deed’s salaries to be equal to the county clerk’s for all four years.