The newly-elected St. Croix County Board met Tuesday, May 1, minus one member while a recount is conducted in District 13, and without community access River Channel to record the meeting.
River Channel staff were asked not to attend to video record the meetings as is usually done, according to channel manager Nate Skoog.
County Administrator Patrick Thompson, responding after the HSO print deadline, said he had incorrectly believed the county did not record organizational meetings in the past, and made the decision not to record this one.
“There’s actually a lot of downtime and gaps in coverage where board members are just sitting around waiting,” Thompson said.
He said he’s since realized these organizational meetings were previously recorded, and that citizens do watch them. He said he will make sure all future meetings are recorded.
“I’m glad people are watching the board meetings,” he said.
Messages left for County Administrator Patrick Thompson at his office were not immediately returned.
During the meeting, Supervisor Roger Larson was re-elected as board chair against Supervisor Andy Brinkman.
In discussion before the election, Larson said the county has been doing well during his last four years of service as chair. He said he attends a lot of meeting and events throughout the county, and thinks making himself present brings the attention back to the county board.
“I’ll just stand on what I’ve done for the last four years,” Larson said.
Brinkman said if elected his main objective would be Chapter 51 on mental disorders, developmental disabilities, mental illness, alcoholism and drug abuse, as well as the budget and determining what services the county is required to provide. Changes he would make include meeting when needed rather than when scheduled, retooling how departament head reports are received, forgoing the chair stipend and ensuring all meetings, particularly smaller committee and commission meetings, are video recorded.
“I think that’s only right to the taxpayers as we’re spending their money,” Brinkman said.
Larson won the vote 11-7.
Supervisor Dave Ostness was re-elected as vice chair 10-8 also against Brinkman.
The board also made appointments to the health and human services board and council on aging and disabilities as well as to the standing administration, community development, transportation and public protection and judiciary committees.
Supervisor Tom Coulter asked that discussion of video recording all committee and commission meetings be added to a future agenda.