Waushara County Board of Supervisors approves hiring Amanda Thoma as Waushara County Medical Examiner

At the January Waushara County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 29 the board approved the hiring as Amanda Thoma as the Waushara County Medical Examiner.  Presently Thoma serves as the elected Coroner for Green Lake County and will begin her duties in Waushara County in March.

As part of the cultural transformation of Waushara County government, last year the Board of Suprvisors scrapped the elected coroner position and created a Medical Examiner position.  To be a county coroner, the only required qualifications included being an adult and a county resident.  The Medical Examiner is selected on the basis of education, qualifications, and experience. Thoma brings a medical and legal background to the position as well as many years of experience conducting death investigations.

In other business Bob Sivick, Waushara County Administrator, discussed the fact that the courthouse would not close due to cold weather.  He explained the difference between a heavy snowfall and cold weather and how it affects his decision whether to close the courthouse.  He said a heavy snowfall makes travel on roads dangerous and places a safety risk on employees driving to work.  He added that danger constitutes a risk which cannot be effectively managed.  “On the other hand sub-zero temperatures do not pose a danger to workers if they dress properly and avoid prolonged exposure to the elements,” he added.

Sivick said that the sub-zero temps did pose a danger to the children and elderly which is why the county closed its senior dining centers.  He turned to Deb Paavola, Department of Aging Director for a more clear explanation on how they met the needs of those on the home delivered meals.  Paavola said in her 16 years with the department she had not seen anything like this and she said her department and volunteers helped deliver frozen meals to those on the home delivered meal program.

The County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution creating a County employed Agricultural Agent position.  The Board designated Ken Williams to fill that role on a limited part-time basis.

Williams served as Ag Agent through a contract the County had with the University of Wisconsin-Extension until he retired in January, 2018.  The position has been vacant since then due to difficulties faced by the University in making the position multi-county in nature.

County Administrator Bob Sivick said, “We hoped the University would have filled this position for 2019 and we still expect them to do so for 2020.  Since agriculture is by far the largest segment of the County’s economy, the County Board believed we could not go another year without an Ag Agent.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Ken Williams for agreeing to come out of retirement to help our farmers by taking on this vital role.”

Williams started his duties this week with Wednesday and Friday office hours in the courthouse from 8 a.m. to Noon.  When Spring planting begins, office hours will expand to include Monday mornings as well.  The University of Wisconsin is assisting the county’s efforts by providing Williams full access to resources Ag Agents normally use in carrying out their duties.

 

In other business the board approved:

*Resolution increasing the Administrative Assistant position hours at the Sheriff’s Dept. from 8 hours to 20 hours.

*Resolution acknowledg-ing Sheriff Jeffrey Nett’s Service and Retirement from Waushara County

*Ordinance amending Waushara County Zoning Maps for a zone change for Mt. Morris Mutual Insurance Co., Town of Richford, to construct a new insurance office.