Board Meeting Minutes - February 2012


Regular Meeting

February 23, 2012



Margaret Peeters                                                                                                   Heron Lake Watershed District
Jan Voit                                                                       Heron Lake Watershed District
Ross Behrends                                                              Heron Lake Watershed District
Lauren Michelsen                                                           Heron Lake Watershed District
Jim Buschena                                                               Heron Lake Watershed District
Dale Bartosh                                                                Heron Lake Watershed District
Jack Beardsley                                                             Heron Lake Watershed District
Gary Ewert                                                                  Heron Lake Watershed District
Marv Zylstra                                                                Nobles County
Gerald Magnus                                                             Murray County
Ron Kuecker                                                                Cottonwood County
Dave Henkels                                                              Jackson County
Ben Crowell                                                                 Jackson County CFO
Jerry Christopherson                                                     Roger Hartman
Sandy Hartman                                                           Mark Hassebroek
Jim Sullivan

1. Call to Order

Jack Beardsley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

2. Agenda

Jim Buschena made a motion to approve the agenda. Gary Ewert seconded this. Motion carried unanimously.

3. Minutes

Gary Ewert made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2012 regular meeting. Dale Bartosh seconded this. Motion carried unanimously.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Jan Voit presented the treasurer’s report and bills payable. Jim Buschena made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. Gary Ewert seconded this.  Motion carried unanimously.

5. Agreement for Professional Services

Jan Voit explained the agreement for professional services with Bolton and Menk. Dale Bartosh made a motion to authorize Jack Beardsley and Jan Voit to sign the agreement. Jim Buschena seconded this. Motion carried unanimously.

6. Watershed Coordinator position

Lauren Michelsen requested that her performance review be open to the public. Information regarding Lauren Michelsen’s performance was distributed to managers. Jan Voit explained the performance reviews, reports, and warnings. Lauren Michelsen distributed information regarding her opinion on the issues.

Ron Kuecker requested to see the personnel information distributed to the managers. Jack Beardsley said that he wanted to err on the side of caution and check with legal counsel regarding whether or not the personnel data could be given to members of the public. If it was appropriate to provide that information, we would be happy to do so.

Because this was a Heron Lake Watershed District employee issue, only the managers were involved in discussing the distributed information. Discussion was also held regarding past performance, the possibility of having the coordinator position working from another office, and that the District Administrator is the supervisor and it is her responsibility to make recommendations regarding staff performance since she works with them on a daily basis.


7. Personnel Policy

Jack Beardsley explained the proposed changes to the Personnel Policy. Discussion was held. Jack Beardsley made a motion to approve the following addition to the Personnel Policy: The HLWD President is authorized to order the immediate suspension with pay of any employee, if the president determines in his or her sole discretion, that such action is warranted. In making such determination, the president shall consult with the district administrator and obtain his or her agreement to the suspension decision. Any suspension by the president shall be reviewed and acted upon by the board of managers at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting duly called and noticed for such purpose.

Discussion was held regarding whether this meant that the president had the authority to terminate an employee. That is not the case. Jim Buschena seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Jim Buschena made a motion to suspend Lauren Michelsen and have a special meeting within a reasonable amount of time to make a decision. Jack Beardsley seconded this. In favor: Jack Beardsley, Jim Buschena. Opposed: Dale Bartosh, Gary Ewert. Motion failed. Discussion was held regarding the possibility of having the watershed coordinator actively working during a possible suspension.

Jack Beardsley exercised his authority to suspend Lauren Michelsen for a reasonable time and to have a special meeting where a decision can be made.

8. District Policies Handbook

Jan Voit explained the proposed changes to the District Policies Handbook. Jim Buschena made a motion to approve the District Policies Handbook as presented. Gary Ewert seconded this. In favor: Jack Beardsley, Jim Buschena, Gary Ewert. Opposed: Dale Bartosh. Motion carried.

9. Reports

District Administrator

Jan Voit reported on the Association of District Administrators meeting, Jackson County Water Plan Committee meeting, Jackson County JD #31, Conservation Tillage Demonstration Plot grant, Alternative Tile Intake Research Proposal, Clean Water Partnership Rule Revision webcast, Watershed Management Plan, Nutrient Efficiency and Management Conference, HLWD Annual Report, manager orientation session, and summer interns.

Watershed Technician

Ross Behrends provided information on the Kunerth terrace project, rock inlets, shoreline restoration projects in the Fulda Lakes’ subwatershed, rain gardens, iFARM program, MDA pesticide sampling on Jack Creek, RIM buffers program, RIM wetland reserve program, and truck tires.

Ross Behrends explained the proposed Jackson County bridge replacement project. Dale Bartosh made a motion to approve the erosion control permit for bridge replacement on County Road 20. Jim Buschena seconded this. Motion carried unanimously.

Dale Bartosh made a motion to purchase tires from Graham Tire. Jim Buschena seconded this. Motion carried unanimously.

Resource Technician

Margaret Peeters informed the board about the LCCMR grant application, Fulda Farm, Home, and Garden Show, shoreline restoration grant, poster and handout for the Nutrient Efficiency and Management Conference, Fulda Phosphorus Reduction Initiative, reviewing work plans, reviewing annual report, newsletter for Conservation Tillage workshop, website updates, and pending grant deadlines.

10. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Dale Bartosh

Acting Secretary


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