New year brings new members to County Board

WashCo_logo            The New Year brings two new members to the Washington County Board of Commissioners when the group holds its first meeting of 2013 Tuesday morning.

New Commissioners Fran Miron in District 1 and Ted Bearth in District 2 join returning board members Gary Kriesel and Lisa Weik in taking their oaths of office at 9 a.m. in the fifth-floor boardroom at the Government Center in Stillwater.

In the November election, Miron defeated longtime Commissioner Dennis Hegberg for the District 1 board seat and Bearth unseated former District 2 Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek.

Among the new board’s first chores are selections of chairman and vice-chairman and setting 2013 meeting dates. Weik served as vice-chairman last year.

Prior to their regular meeting, commissioners will hold a workshop with county administrators to go over commissioner committee assignments for the year.

After their housekeeping chores are done, commissioners will consider approval of a mutual aid agreement for transports of persons facing detention for criminal offenses requested by the Sheriff’s Office.

In a memo to the board, WCSO Chief Deputy Dan Starry said the new agreement adds Mille Lacs, Sherburne, Olmstead and Scott counties as participants along with Washington, Ramsey and Dakota counties.

Starry said the original 2011 agreement was developed by Washington, Ramsey and Dakota counties to provide efficient secure transport for persons facing detention. Because the original pact reduced transportation costs to the three counties, other counties asked to participate, Starry added.

“The agreement would streamline the transport of inmates that are going to the same locations as those from the other six counties,” he said in the memo. “This agreement will reduce the amount of time and number of miles driven by each county resulting in lower transportation expenditures.”

Starry added that all county transports are done by county personnel and costs are included the current county jail budget.

Tuesday’s session is the first County Board meeting in two weeks, due to the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day holidays falling on Tuesdays. A reception for Miron and Bearth is set after the board adjourns.