When someone typically thinks of the job of a county commissioner, it involves their Tuesday board meetings that are live-streamed on YouTube. But, their jobs go far beyond that.
In reality, the primary job of the commissioners – or at least the most time-consuming – are the numerous committee and advisory board assignments they all have.
At the first meeting of 2020, among the annual items that get done first is assigning the commissioners to committees and advisory boards. This year, that number totals 57 – 17 committees and 40 advisory boards. Some committees/boards include more than one member and some have alternates in the event the commissioner assigned to the board or committee is unable to attend the meeting.
The assignments range from committees that handle issues related directly to the county and advisory boards that cover a wide range of groups and organizations that include Wright County, but also include other public and private entities as well.
Commissioner Mike Potter said the committee/advisory board system is critical to the operation of the county because is not only prevents marathon county board meetings, but also gives Wright County a voice a the table on advisory boards.
“The different committee and advisory board assignments all have a purpose that ties back to the public,” Potter said. “The purpose of the committees is to take a deeper look at issues – have the discussions about different topics and come up with a recommendation to bring to the county board. We couldn’t have all those discussions at the board level because our meeting would start at 9 o’clock on Tuesday morning and end about midnight. With the advisory boards, most of them include a lot of people from outside the county or county government. We’re their representing Wright County on those boards. Seeing as some of them allocate money, we want to be sure we have the representation we need so we can get our share of it.”
At the Jan. 7 reorganization meeting of the Wright County Board, the commissioners set out their 2020 assignments to committees and advisory boards with very few changes. Potter said that is the result of a board that has varied interests and pre-commissioner careers that lend themselves to specific committees and boards.
“When we were down at the AMC (Association of Minnesota Counties) meeting, I had a couple of people tell me how unique they thought our county board was,” Potter said. “Our five commissioners have five distinctly different backgrounds, experiences and skill sets. You have some counties where their boards are all retired teachers or all retired cops or all retired farmers. We have five different commissioners who have their own areas of expertise because of their backgrounds and we tend to steer them in the direction of the committees and advisory boards where that background is the most valuable.”
Here is the list of 2020 commissioner committee and advisory board assignments (alternate members are denoted in parentheses):
Budget Committee of the Whole: All commissioners; Building Committee: Potter, Charlie Borrell (Darek Vetsch); Ditch Committee: Borrell, Mark Daleiden (Christine Husom); Finance/Capital Improvement Project Committee: Borrell, Daleiden; Nuclear: Husom, Vetsch; Owners Committee – Justice Center: Potter, Borrell (Daleiden); Owners Committee – New Government Center: Daleiden, Vetsch (Potter); Owners Committee – Tactical Training Center: Husom, Borrell (Potter); Personnel/Employee Relations Committee: Husom, Daleiden (Vetsch); Safety Committee: Husom, Borrell; Security Committee: Borrell, Husom; Tax Forfeit Committee: Potter, Borrell; Technology Committee: Daleiden, Vetsch; Transportation Committee of the Whole: All commissioners; Ways & Means Committee: Husom, Borrell (Potter); 911 Planning Committee: Husom, Borrell (Potter).
AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) Advisory Board: Husom, Vetsch; Area Transportation Planning: Potter; Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board: Daleiden, Vetsch; Central Minnesota Economic Development 7W District Joint Powers Board: Potter (Vetsch); Central Minnesota EMS Region Joint Powers Board: Husom (Borrell); Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Joint Powers Board Workforce Center: Husom; Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board – Regional Radio Board: Borrell (Husom); Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership: Vetsch, Daleiden; Clearwater River Regional Watershed Board: Vetsch; County Extension Service: Borrell, Potter; Crow River Organization of Water (C.R.O.W.): Borrell (Potter); Delegates to the Association of Minnesota Counties: All commissioners; East Central Joint Powers Board: Vetsch; Economic Development Partnership Board: Potter; Great River Regional Library Board: Potter (Vetsch); Highway 55 Coalition: Potter, Husom; Historical Society: Potter; I-94 Coalition: Potter; Law Library Board: Husom; Legislative Matters: All commissioners; Mentorship Education and Drug Awareness Coalition of Wright County (M.E.A.D.A.): Husom; Minnesota Rural Counties Board: Borrell (Potter); Monticello Joint Planning Board: Vetsch; One Watershed, One Plan Committee: Borrell; Parks Advisory Board: Daleiden; Planning Commission: Borrell; Public Works Labor/Management Board: Husom (Vetsch); Region 7W Transportation Board: Potter; Regional Crime Lab: Husom; Safe Communities of Wright County: Husom; Safe Harbor Task Force: Husom; Soil & Water Conservation District: Borrell; Trailblazer Joint Powers Board: Vetsch (Potter); The Turn Steering Committee (formerly known as Drug Court): Husom; Twin Cities Urbanized Areas Boundaries: Potter; Water Management Task Force: Vetsch; Wright County Ag Society: Borrell; Wright County Area Transportation Advisory Board: Vetsch, Potter; Wright County Community Action Council: Borrell, Daleiden; Wright County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee: Husom.