At least one member of the Kewaunee County Board is wondering how two departments got merged without a vote by the County Board.
After Zoning Administrator Glenn Selner retired earlier this summer, the functions of his department – which had consisted of Selner and his administrative assistant – were absorbed into the Land & Water Conservation Department. The merger was OK’d by the board’s Land & Water Conservation Committee and its Personnel, Advisory and Legislative Committee, but the merger proceeded without a vote by the full board.
“I was very disappointed to learn of this merger in the newspaper,” Supervisor Linda Teske said. “I knew nothing about any of this ahead of time. There was no communication of any kind.”
There also was no resolution for the board to approve the merger in the agenda for the Tuesday, Aug. 21, meeting, supervisors’ first meeting since the merger occurred, she said.
“People don’t have a voice on this board to be for it or against it,” Teske said. “I don’t know how anybody else feels about all this, I just feel that there was no communication of any kind.”
County Board Chairman Robert Weidner said he had discussed Teske’s concerns with her before Tuesday’s meeting.
“It is a rather important decision, but I believe it’s within the purview of the Personnel Committee, which is comprised of almost half the board,” Weidner said. “The two oversight committees also have addressed this in committee, so while it may be true that not everyone was privy to all the information, I think eventually it was all considered, and this decision was (a) well thought out and organized decision.”
No other supervisors commented about the process.
In his report to the board earlier, County Administrator Scott Feldt did make a point of telling the board that he and Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard had entered into conversations with officials in Door County, where the public health director recently retired.
“We had very preliminary discussions as to whether there are opportunities to share services or combine departments,” Feldt said, adding that there had been only one, very preliminary discussion and the board would be kept in the loop as those talks progress.
Auxiliary editor C.J. Townsend contributed to this report.