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A Tribute to Our County Board

Written By: Jim Swanson  |  Posted: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

A majority of the citizens of Eau Claire County are unaware of the sacrificial service provided us by the County Board of Supervisors. I certainly wasn't until I spent a delightful hour recently with my own representative, Kathleen Clark. The work of the county itself is somewhat hidden behind the more visible city. Yet, the county employees oversee
many services for Eau Claire County's 100, 000 residents including maintaining 30 miles of Interstate Highways, and several hundred miles of smaller roads in its 655 square miles of area. The twenty-nine county board members receive a salary of only $110/month plus $25 for each committee meeting they attend. This averages about $3000/year. They are reelected every two years and, if opposed as five or six are this April, campaign costs run as much as $5000. Obviously they are not serving for the money! Though some of the supervisors are on more committees than others, the average is about three to four. Kathy Clark is chair of the Human Resources committee that is presently negotiating with the union. At least 13 meetings are needed for this. The Finance and Budget Committee of which she is Vice Chair, is in charge of preparing and presenting the annual budget. This involves three to four meetings a week. The task has been especially difficult this year as they just learned that income from sales tax dropped $758, 000 in the last year (.5% of the 5.5% sales tax goes to the county.) Previously the board voted themselves a wage freeze so that thecounty could remain debt free. Other work of the county is outlined in the nine committees (not to mention another 26 subcommittees). Besides those mentioned above are these: Administration, Highway Committee that keeps the highways in good repair, Human Services Board that provides various types of assistance for those in need, Judiciary and Law Enforcement that keeps our county safe for law-abiding citizens, Parks and Forest that maintains
a number of county parks, Planning and Development, and UW-Extension Education.
Our county board of supervisors has worked sacrificially to provide superior service for the
citizens of Eau Claire County. Thank you! Present board of supervisors in alphabetical order: Colleen A. Bates, Gloria Christensen, Kathleen Clark, John B. Derosier, James A. Dunning, Ronald B. Erickson, Will Fantle, Ken Fulgione, Gary G. Gibson, Roger H. Hahn, Ray L. Henning, Ardyth Krause, Patrick L. Lavelle, Robin J. Leary, Paul A. Lokken, Sr., Howard Ludwigson, Joel L. Mikelson, Gregg Moore, Stella Pagonis, John Price, Jean D. Schlieve, Mark J. Schmitt, Tami Schraufnagel, Maureen T. Slauson, Gordon C. Steinhauer, Michel Sultan, Gerald L. Wilkie, Bruce Willett, Richard Ziemann.

James Swanson, M.Div., M.R.E., is the Director of the Eau Claire Bible Training School and is the author of Some Aspects of Sowing and Reaping. He and his wife Ruby have seven children, sixteen grandchildren and live in Eau Claire.

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