County faces resignations | News, Sports, Jobs

FAIRMONT– The Martin County Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of county Auditor/Treasurer, Jessica Korte, during Tuesday’s meeting. Korte has held the role since 2019. Her last day will be Oct. 14.

Korte said she had a better opportunity come up for her family and herself that she could not pass up, but expressed regret for leaving her role, which she said she’s enjoyed.

Human Resources Director, Leigha Johnson, said they’ve discussed next steps with the personnel committee and recommend that John Thompson, former Faribault County Auditor/Treasurer, serve as interim Martin County Auditor/Treasurer through the remainder of the year.

Johnson said that Don Kuhlman, former Auditor/Treasurer for Watonwan County, has also agreed to help out to get the office where it needs to be.

“Both John and Don have very long, extensive leadership in the office,” Johnson said.

The board authorized the hire of both Thompson and Kuhlman.

The board also accepted the resignation of Dawn Schultz, accountant in the Auditor/Treasurer office. Schultz’s last day will also be Oct. 14.

Moving to other maters, Chuck Mixson, Martin County Veterans Memorial volunteer, provided an update to the board.

He said Lawn Solutions was hired to seed the 15,000 sq. ft. of lawn from the back of the wall to the helicopter. The bid was about $3,200. S & J Excavating and Fairmont Public Utilities installed a water box for the memorial. Mixson said it was about $4,000 for the excavating work.

“We’ve had water for about a month. I’ve been down there watering everyday, seven days a week… the grass is starting to come up and not looking too bad,” Mixson said.

Mixson said they’ve had some issues with attempted vandalism at the memorial. He detailed an incident that happened several weeks ago involving four juveniles.

“One kid was jumping on the statues. He actually tried to kick the flag out…,” Mixson said.

Because there are cameras down there, Mixson said the police came down and caught the kids within half an hour. He said no real damage was done but the parents were notified nonetheless.

Mixson said they determined there’s a blind spot so another camera is going to be installed to monitor behind the wall.

He also shared that the seventh cutting was done last week and an additional 40-some names were added to the wall. All names that have been submitted are now on the wall.

“Because we have wheelchairs and a lot of older people that come into the park, we’d like to keep from having bicycles and skateboards on the grounds down there,” Mixson said.

However, because there are a number of signs on the property already, Mixson suggested stenciling the sidewalks with some additional messages detailing 24 hour surveillance, no bicycles/skateboards and a message for pet owners to pick up after their pets.

“I’m okay with the stencils. I think the more signs you get, the more it takes away from what we have there,” said Commissioner Richard Koons.

The board thanked Mixson for his work on the memorial but reminded him to communicate plans with the board before they’re put into action.

“It’s a wonderful project and it seemed like we can all work together on it but that hasn’t been the case… quite frankly we own the park. We want to work together with everyone… we get the final say. That’s just the way it has to be,” said Commissioner Elliot Belgard.

In other news, the board:

— Renewed the medical examiner agreement with Dr. Kelly Mils.

— Accepted the resignation of a full time temp/ part time correctional deputy and authorized recruitment to fill the vacancy.

— Approved the end of employment for seasonal water patrol deputies and seasonal summer highway maintenance workers.

–Approved the hire of a full-time assistant library director.

–Set a public hearing time and date of 10 a.m. Nov. 1 to consider a tax abatement request for new construction of a single family home in Elm Creek Township.

— Authorized execution of the TZD (Toward Zero Deaths) enforcement grant in the amount of $15,000 effective Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023.

— Rescheduled the first board meeting in December due to a conflict with the AMC annual conference. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8.

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