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Paynesville Press - January 21, 2004

Stearns County Commissioners elect new chair

By Michael Jacobson

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

*The board elected Larry Haws as chair. The board elected Vince Schaefer, who represents the Third District, including Eden Lake and Munson townships, as the new vice chair. Haws is beginning his fifth year on the board, and Schaefer is starting his second.

*The board set their schedule for 2004. The board will continue to meet the first, third, and fourth Tuesdays of every month. The second Tuesdays will be open, which will allow for special events or meetings with department directors to discuss subjects in greater length.

All the board meetings take place in the board room of the Stearns County Administration Center in downtown St. Cloud.

*The board approved salary increases for four county officials. Sheriff John Sanner and county attorney Janelle Kendall received two percent increases from 2003. County recorder Diane Grundhoe-fer received a 1.5 percent increase, and auditor-treasurer Randy Schreifels received a 2.5 percent increase.

Last year, the commissioners voted to freeze their own salaries for 2004.

*The board voted to keep county offices closed on Friday afternoons. The county started this practice In May 2003 in response to the state budget crisis last year and the loss of state aid. The decision will be reviewed again in six months, after the legislature has ended its session and the financial impact to the county is known.

Although the administration center is closed on Friday afternoons, the License Center West keeps its normal hours. Sheriff's deputies and county parks also continue to operate on a normal schedule.

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