An ordinance equivalent to Wisconsin Statute regarding possession of marijuana was approved for recommendation by the Pierce County Finance & Personnel Committee to the full county board for acceptance as part of the Pierce County Code.

The penalty defined in the new proposed ordinance states "any person who violates this article by possessing paraphernalia as defined shall, upon conviction, be subject to a forfeiture of not more than $500 together with costs of prosecution and penalty assessment and, in default of payment of such forfeiture rand costs, shall be subject to imprisonment in the county jail until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not to exceed thirty days."

Creating the ordinance offers "added discretion in reviewing and prosecuting drug paraphernalia cases," according to the request to F&P and the county board.

An ordinance of this type "did not live in the current ordinance books, so officers have been acting on state statute," Administrative Coordinator Jason Matthys said at a Feb. 4 F&P meeting.

As stated in the request, Wisconsin Statute prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, classified as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by incarceration and/or fine.

The creation of Article XI of Chapter 176 in the code was a request by District Attorney Sean Froelich in collaboration with Public Defenders. It will now proceed to the full county board for a vote.

Other news

• Scholarships for the Emergency Preparedness Program in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health were granted for the attendance of an emergency preparedness conference this year. The scholarships totaling $5,225 will sufficiently cover costs related to travel and registration fees and no county funds were requested.

• Motion was carried to approve a rectification of the 2018 Treasurer Property Assessment budget deficit of $22,695.98 which was due to a newly hired employee accepting employer-offered health insurance benefits.

• The committee approved the leave of absence for newly elected Clerk of Court to become effective on the date she assumed office, not to exceed four years, to freeze her accumulated, unused sick leave of 188.15 hours.