The Kewaunee County Board’s Personnel, Advisory and Legislative Committee on Wednesday plans to discuss committee appointments, an apparent response to public criticism of a specific appointment by County Board Chairman Robert Weidner.
A number of county residents have called into question whether Supervisor John Pagel should continue as chairman of the Land and Water Conservation Committee. As a farmer he is a founding member of the Dairy Business Association, which recently filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Natural Resources, alleging that the DNR has exceeded its authority in regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Pagel’s Ponderosa dairy farm is among the largest of Kewaunee County’s 16 CAFOs. Former County Board Chairman Ron Heuer appointed Pagel chair of the Land and Water Conservation Committee in 2014, and Weidner re-appointed him in 2016.
In the past Pagel has said his position in the agriculture industry allows him to communicate the need for regulations more directly to his fellow farmers. A half-dozen members of the public spoke at the Aug. 9 Land and Water Committee meeting, saying the DBA suit is the latest example of what they say is Pagel’s conflict of interest.
The minutes of the Aug. 23 Personnel Committee meeting indicate that Weidner told the panel “he is getting emails asking to reconsider committee appointments.” The matter has been placed on Wednesday’s agenda as discussion of “County Board committee assignments.”
The Personnel, Advisory and Legislative Committee is scheduled to meet at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the County Board room of the County Administration Center, 810 Lincoln St., Kewaunee. The eight-member panel is chaired by Weidner and comprised of the chairs of the board’s standing committees, including Pagel.