NEW ULM – After discussion, by a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, Brown County Commissioners approved the appointment of Brown County Sheriff’s Investigator Jeremy Reed as Deputy Chief Sheriff effective 1 October.
The action came on a motion by Commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by Tony Berg, to set Reed’s salary at $ 42.28 / hour, level XXI, step 9, plus a guard salary of $ 60 / holiday and from $ 55 / day on weekends.
Commissioner Dave Borchert cast a dissenting vote, saying the salary (annual salary of $ 94,352.40 excluding overtime) close to that earned by retired Vice-Chief Steve Depew was too high.
Borchert earlier backed a resolution to pay Reed less, at the 21st grade, echelon 6 level which failed 4-1.
Brown County HR Director Ruth Schaefer said the resolution to pay Reed to Step 9 was determined by his experience and education which includes a master’s degree in criminal justice.
Reed began his law enforcement career with the New Ulm Police Department in 1996. He has been a Brown County Sheriff’s Office investigator since 2018.
“I think we have a good candidate. It might be high, but sometimes you get what you pay for ”, Windschitl said.
Request for leave of Reed from his current investigator position to assume the position of Chief Assistant appointed from October 1 until the end of the current and elected four-year term of Sheriff Jason Seidl with reinstatement to a seniority position, from Similar status and salary if he was available at the same salary he would have received if the leave had not been taken and the position had not been abolished, failed by a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Berg and Jeff Veerkamp voted in favor of the leave request.
Reed said the request was made to provide job security for his family for quitting a union job to work with Sheriff Seidl.
“I think we could open a box of worms”, Borchert said about the leave request.
“I think we need to consider keeping Reed as a veteran employee,” said Berg.
Commissioners previously approved the resignation of Deputy Chief Sheriff Steve Depew effective September 20, motion of Borchert, seconded by Veerkamp.
Depew began working in Brown County as Deputy Sheriff / Court Security Officer on September 26, 2018 and was appointed Deputy Chief Sheriff on January 1, 2019. He resigned on September 10, after 28 years and a half in law enforcement.
The commissioners unanimously approved:
• Hiring a temporary replacement Heartland Express bus driver from a list of eligible applicants for unfilled routes until December 31, 2021 due to employee leave, to avoid conflicting schedule and overtime, motion by Windschitl, seconded by Veerkamp.
• Submission of a large request for $ 30,000 to Family First Children’s Collaborative no later than October 1, motion of Windschitl, seconded by Borchert.
Grant funds are available for organizations to extend prevention and early intervention services to families and children at risk.
The grant application would help support the Universal Contact Home Visiting Program (a home visit offered to every family in Brown County after childbirth, adoption, or the arrival of young children in the area) and follow-up program (a screening tool that helps families monitor whether their child is reaching social developmental and emotional milestones from age 4 months to age 3, and connects families to supportive resources early if necessary).
• Schedule a 9 am hearing on Thursday November 4th in the Law Enforcement Training Room for a preliminary report from the Engineer for Ditch County 44 improvements, motion of Veerkamp, seconded by Dean Simonsen.
Public notices will be mailed to applicants, landowners and political subdivisions likely to be affected by the proposed project in the preliminary investigation report at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
Fritz Busch can be emailed to [email protected]