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Committee wants new role for Sauk County Board vice chairman

Sauk County Board Chairman Marty Krueger of Reedsburg proposed new rules that would give the board's chair and vice chair roles on a new and powerful committee.

News Republic file photo

A committee Tuesday finalized recommended changes to Sauk County Board rules, approving a last-minute addition that would put the board’s vice chairman in control of a powerful new committee.

In February, the board’s Executive and Legislative Committee put its stamp of approval on a proposed rule change that would merge the board’s Personnel and Finance committees into one.

During a discussion Tuesday, the committee finalized its recommendations on numerous suggested rule changes, and recommended two new ones that had not been proposed until recently.

The changes — proposed by County Board Chairman Marty Krueger of Reedsburg — would give the board’s chairman and vice chairman roles on the Personnel and Finance Committee, if the new panel ultimately is created.

Krueger’s changes would make the board’s chair a non-voting member of the committee. The chair only would have voting privileges if serving as an alternate for an absent member.

Krueger also proposed that the supervisor the board appoints as its vice chair shall automatically become chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee, giving that person significant say over the purse strings of county government and employee matters.

He said he suggested the change to ensure the board’s two leadership positions are involved and apprised of what’s happening with the all-important panel.

Supervisor Tom Kriegl of Baraboo raised a concern that Krueger’s proposal would take away the new committee’s authority to appoint whichever member it wants as its chair.

“We shouldn’t be telling all committees who they have to have as their chair or vice chair,” Kriegl said. “(The Executive and Legislative Committee) has been that way, and now we’re doing it with finance and personnel.”

Members of the Executive and Legislative Committee said the new rule would put that decision in the hands of all 31 board members. They decided to recommend Krueger’s proposals to the next board for possible adoption.

“I think we can put it forward and if the board chooses to take it out during approval of the rules, they can take it out,” said Vice Chair Joan Fordham of Baraboo.

All 31 supervisory seats are up for election April 3. During an organizational meeting later that month, the new board will adopt its rules and vote to appoint leadership positions, including the chair, vice chair, and members of the Executive and Legislative Committee.

The elections will feature eight competitive county board races, five newcomers running unopposed to replace outgoing incumbents, and 18 incumbents running unopposed.

Follow Tim Damos on Twitter @timdamos

Reporter for the Baraboo News Republic.