Anoka County Central Communications Division Recognized
The Anoka County Board of Commissioners designated the week of April 14-20 National Public Safety Telecommunications Week in the county. This designation was to recognize the important work of the county’s Central Communications Department, or 9-1-1. Commissioner Julie Braastad, chair of the county’s Public Safety Committee, lauded all the county’s dispatchers, noting that in 2018 they answered 450,000 calls. She also commended the four employees at the county’s Radio Shop, who maintain about 2,800 radios used for emergency purposes throughout the county; they also service 10 tower sites with 700 pieces of equipment. Next, Val Sprynczynatyk, the communications manager for the Central Communications Department, spoke further on the impactful work of employees in her department. Commissioner Scott Schulte, serving as chair for the meeting, then concluded chair’s remarks by asking the audience to join him in a round of applause in recognition of the Central Communications Department employees.
Several items from the Transportation Committee were brought before the board. All items were approved unanimously.
• The board adopted a resolution authorizing the county administrator to execute the necessary documents to convey two Anoka County properties in the city of Ramsey. These properties, which are part of a holding pond area, are located on the south side of Highway 10, between Ramsey Boulevard and Armstrong Boulevard. This land swapping action was to afford easier development in the area, and to ensure the county maintains property stormwater drainage.
• The board entered into a joint powers agreement with the city of Blaine for the reconstruction of 125thAvenue, between Lexington Avenue and a point about 1,200 feet east of Lever Street in Blaine.
• The board awarded a contract to Forest Lake Contracting, Inc. for construction of school flashing beacon systems in the city of Columbia Heights.
• The board awarded a contract to North Pine Aggregate for the replacement of the County State Aid Highway 13 bridge in Oak Grove. The bridge, just north of County Road 22, is failing, as is the nearby roadway, so both the bridge and roadway in the area will be reconstructed.
To read more about these items, click HERE.
The Bundles of Love Charity in New Brighton contacted the board about donating items for infants and newborns receiving services from Anoka County. The board accepted this gift.
The board unanimously approved the purchase of a secure document transport system that will ensure county information, such as data, videos and photos, continues to be transported in a secure, reliable manner.
The board unanimously approved the acquisition of a DNS and URL filtering solution, which is security that will provide a front-facing protective layer to existing county internet security systems. This will help ward off malicious threats before they enter county computers.
To read more about these items, click HERE.
Memorial Day Observances
Pursuant to Minnesota State Statute, the board chose to allocate $200 to posts of local recognized military service organizations to help offset the cost of Memorial Day exercises. The same donation was made to recognized military service organizations that are headquartered outside of Anoka County but hold Memorial Day Services in the county. The reimbursements were not to exceed a total of $1,000.
Hiring Process for the County Administrator Position — Internal
With the impending retirement of County Administrator Jerry Soma May 1, the board considered a resolution to fill his position that called for an internal search of qualified candidates. This resolution noted the job posting would be made available for 30 days, and at the end of that time the board would choose at least two candidates to interview. After those interviews, the board would then select a candidate for the position. This resolution failed on a 4-2 vote. Commissioners Scott Schulte, Julie Braastad, Robyn West, and Matt Look voted in opposition. Commissioners Mandy Meisner and Mike Gamache voted in favor.
Appointment of the Position of the County Administrator for Anoka County
The board considered the appointment of current Anoka County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah to the post of county administrator. This resolution failed on a 3-3 vote; commissioners Meisner, Gamache and Look voted against. Commissioners Schulte, Braastad and West voted in favor.
Motion to Conduct an Internal Search for Qualified Candidates for County Administrator
Commissioner Look offered a motion that entailed conducting an internal search for a new county administrator, with involvement by the current administrator. Look noted the job posting would stay open for 30 days, and at the end of that time, Soma would reduce the applications to three (if more than three candidates apply). The board would then interview those candidates to select a new county administrator. This motion failed on a 3-3 vote, with commissioners Schulte, Braastad and West voting against. Commissioners Look, Meisner and Gamache voted in favor.
To view the video on the county administrator position discussion, which starts at the 50:15 mark, click HERE.