Chairman Mike McCullen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Glen Williamson and Alden Shute, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Alden Shute, Tracy Riley, Kim Felton, Jim Bredesen, Steve Menth, Kathleen Ackerman, Janet Egan, Cindy Klienschmidt, Christine Valley, and Dale Kirshberg.
Clerk’s Report of May 3 Board Meeting. Alden moved to approve; Mike seconded; passed.
Road Report: Alden graded Lost River Road, River Cabin Road, Mona Drive, North and South Duncan Roads, Schmedeke Lane, Fust Lane, Vink Road, McCullen Road, Tamarack Pine Drive, Dollar Lake Roads, some of them twice. He also did work on the range line roads, Crooked Lake and Eagle Head and Heller Drive and gave Paul the billing information. The culvert extension will done on Eagle Head road this Friday. He tried to inform Steve Grabau about the road closure and he posted a sign it will be closed June 9. Alden said he wants to regrade and shape up Tamarack Pine Drive before we put down red-rock gravel.
Road Inspection Meeting: Was Monday, May 22, and the report is online. Major project for 2023 will be re-graveling Tamarack Pine Drive with redrock gravel. There are beaver abatement issues on Eagle Head Road and Heller Drive.
State, County and Township Road Emergency: Mike and Duane have started clearing trees that were leaning or on the right-of-way. During the road inspection meeting, the board moved to purchase an electric chainsaw and pole saw and extra batteries. Mike was able to get it all for $829. All claims need to be on employee claim forms with the STORM designation so we can submit them to the county. Alden moved and Glen seconded to have Hopkins use their bobcat and trailer to pick up all the debris and dump it in his gravel pit so we don’t need to rent a chipper.
Reimbursment Rate for Private Equipment: During the road inspection the board voted to reimburse personal use of equipment like chainsaws at $10/hour.
OLD BUSINESS: Fire Hall Light: At the April meeting, Mike moved that we have Ervin Kleinschmidt purchase and install a motion-sensitive solar powered light facing east on the hall. Erv bought and installed it but does not want to be an employee, so the fire department can pay him for the labor.
Town Park Sign: Erv checked on prices for a sign on the park (the 36 acres behind and west of the Eagle Head Fire Station), identifying it as the Wilma Town Park, with boundary markers. A carved wooden sign like the DNR uses for state forests costs over $700 for cedar, $500 for pine. Cindy said Erv will check on alternatives.
ECE Fiber-Optic Broadband for Wilma: Patrice got an email saying that ECE has started stranding and laying fiber-optic cable in the project for our county. Mike said it may be two years before it reaches us.
Plow Display: Discussion on removing all the trees along the road in front of the hall to make the plow display visible. Patrice said we only need to trim all the low branches and it will be easily seen. Paul said that she is a genius and Alden said that’s why she is paid the big bucks. Paul will do it when he mows.
NEW BUSINESS: At the May 3 meeting Glen presented a resolution [“Resolution to Request Michael McCullen Resign Either as Chief of DVFD or as Supervisor Because Such Positions Could be Deemed an Incompatability of Offices.”] Glen said that four of the five attorneys he contacted (Bob Ruppe, Steve Fenske, Graham Berg-Moberg, Reese Frederickson, and Kevin Hofstad) believe that the two positions are or may be incompatible or at the least a conflict of interest. Mike resigned as Fire Chief.
Mike contacted the attorneys and got a different answer from all of them. Kevin Hofstad: “That is not directly applicable here as a municipal fire department is not the same as an independent, nonprofit fire department.” Reese Frederickson: “My thoughts are that this might not be an incompatible office because the fire department is not a public one, but a non-profit.” Robert Ruppe: “It is my opinion that given these facts, the position of Fire Chief of the Fire Department is not an incompatible office with that of Township Supervisor.” Steve Fenske: “Strictly speaking, the cases and law on incompatibilities and conflicts of interest do not fit well with the situation posed by your township. The situation may not amount to incompatibility or conflict.” All of the attorneys agreed that there could be conflict of interest issues: Reese Frederickson: “Just because there may be a conflict of interest (and I’m not saying that there is or is not one here), it does not mean a person has to resign. It means the person must determine if there is such a conflict, and then take appropriate measures such as abstaining from voting or abstaining from discussion of the contract.” Wilma has several layers of protection for conflict of interest issues: A Resolution of Interest, Affadavits of Interest, and the Supervisor abstaining from the discussion and vote on the contract or issue.
Mike presented a resolution, “A RESOLUTION TO CENSURE SUPERVISOR GLEN WILLIAMSON FOR A FALSE AND MISLEADING ALLEGATION AND RESOLUTION,” asking the board to acknowledge that the two offices are not incompatible and asking Glen to apologize to Mike and to the township for months of conflict and disagreement leading up to Mike thinking he had to resign either as Supervisor or as fire chief. Glen insisted that his resolution merely said “could be deemed,” and Alden did not have to vote for it, and Mike did sign it, and he said clearly that four of the five attorneys he contacted agreed with him, not all. Mike said he thought he had to sign it as Chair once the board approved it, but that Steve Fenske told him today in an hour-long call that he did not and should not have signed it. Alden said he only voted for Glen’s resolution because he was sick of months and months of conflict during board meetings where citizens were allowed to discuss fire department issues which had no business in board meetings. Patrice said that is because Glen was chair and he allowed it. Mike said he hated that our meetings spent so much time on fire department issues and all the anger and shouting, and that he ran for Chair just to end all fire department discussions in board meetings, and he will not permit any in the future. Mike moved to adopt the resolution but there was no second.
Couri&Ruppe Legal Seminar: Will be Saturday, September 16 in Rutledge, 9-4. They will answer all legal questions for free.
Wilmatownship.com: It was on the agenda to vote to approve Wilmatownship.com website for another year. The claim was submitted and paid without a vote in April. Glen said just by submitting the claim and Mike and Alden signing the cover sheet of claims made the renewal legal and effective without a board vote. Mike said they don’t have time to look at every claim; Patrice said the board needs to take the time to study each claim. Glen said it doesn’t matter, he is resigning as moderator of the Wilmatownship.com website effective tonight. Mike said we have at least one more year since the board did sign the contract in the April meeting and paid Aspire $400, which will give the board time to find another host and Paul will continue to post township records. Glen had said that the domain name, Wilmatownship.com belongs to the town, not to him.
Garbage Board Representative: Glen said he is also resigning as the Wilma representative on the garbage board. They meet every other month in the Wilma Town Hall. Glen nominated Alden to serve; Mike seconded. Passed. Paul said if Alden needs him to heat the hall on meeting nights, to let him know. Alden said he can do it.
2022 Wilma Township Population: April 1, 2022, population 73; households 37.
Couri&Ruppe Legal Seminar: Saturday, September 16 in Rutledge, 9-4.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report. She was having computer problems and could not give a total for claims or transfer. Glen moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds when she knows how much. Alden seconded. Passed.
Patrice said it is so difficult and complicated to have three different payrolls: board pay, employee pay (for work not board related) and Storm Damage employee pay she asked if she could pay employees at the next month’s board meeting. No motion or vote, but Patrice said she will have to do this. Even if some board members got their claims into her a week early, it wouildn’t help because she has to do all the payroll at the same time. This does not appply to contractors like Duane Glienke.
Meeting adjourned at 10:10.
Paul Raymond, Clerk