Cavalier County Commissioners discuss business

The Cavalier County commissioners heard semi-annual updates from the departments and discussed past and future budget items of discussion.


Posted on 4/11/15

By Melissa Anderson

Commissioner Tom Borgen raised issue with the unanimously approved Auditor’s budget for the 2015 year for not making retired Cavalier County Auditor Dawn Roppel’s transition period compensation a line item on the budget.

During the budget planning last October the commissioners created a plan for the transition period from Roppel’s official retirement in May until the end of tax preparation in November  on an as needed basis. The commissioners agreed to pay Roppel $35 an hour with no benefits  when she comes in to assist Tax Director Pam Lefrenz and newly elected Cavalier County Auditor Lisa Gellner when they had questions.

This issue was tabled until the next meeting.

The commissioners addressed the increased compensation request for Department of Motor Vehicle(DMV) duties  performed by the Cavalier County Treasurer’s office. Cavalier County Treasurer Cindy Stremick was present to further discuss the request that was previously tabled.

Borgen began the discussion by stating that the Treasurer’s office already receives $6,000 in compensation for performing the DMV duties and with this new request of an additional $500 per month to be split amongst the two employees in the Treasurer’s office brings total compensation to $12,000 per year.

Borgen stated that he feels that the treasurers office agreed to the duties [of DMV] and therefore should not ask for an increase in compensation for doing duties that were agreed to previously.

The auditors office approached other departments to compare workload to compensation. There is not a department that has a comparable work level to fiscal generation that is also seeing growth in business.

Commissioner Stanley Dick feels that compensation should increase with workload, suggested that this might be better  addressed at budget time.

Dawn Roppel was present to explain how the DMV located in  the treasurer’s office is funded by the state and not with Cavalier County tax dollars. The DMV expenses are reimbursed at the end of the year by the state DMV as a line item in their budget.

Borgen made a motion to deny the request and have the treasurers office continue to  perform the DMV duties. His motion did not receive a second and died. Commissioner Nick Moser made a motion to table the request until budget time and reduce the amount requested to $300 per month. A roll call vote was taken with all commissioners except Borgen being in favor.

States Attorney Scott Stewart discussed the implementation of a grievance policy with the commissioners. Stewart stated that the less complicated the policy is the better, as it will be easier to follow. Stewart referenced policies that are currently being discussed by the county commissions of Walsh and Pemibina counties.

The main difference between those counties and Cavalier County is that there is currently no Human Resources person for Cavalier County unlike in the afore mentioned counties. This is currently being discussed by the Cavalier County Commission.

The commissioners agreed after discussion with Stewart that they would like to review the proposed policy in Walsh County.

Dick discussed with Stewart that he would like to see Stewart begin writing his rulings on legal issues addressed by the commissioners. This is in relation to past rulings that have had no permanent record of Stewart’s statements to refer to when needed.

In Other Business

• The commissioners received gravel suppliers bids. The commissioners will be requesting the suppliers be present at the next meeting to along with Cavalier County Weed Officer Leon Pederson.

• The departments semi-annual updates were mostly business as usual with the few exceptions being the Weed department search for a new facility to store chemical and Tax Director Pam Lafrenz is working on a new website design for Cavalier County.

• Highway Supervisor Terry Johnston discussed upcoming construction plans. Requested that the county purchase new weight limit signs to replace the old signs.