The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors wasted little time Tuesday morning in unanimously approving the 2016 county budget.
As part of a budget overview, administrative coordinator Randy Scholz advised the board of many brighter points of the current budget compared to years past, including a 1.19% decrease in the mil rate, a 2% wage increase for county employees as well as employees paying .2% less into the Wisconsin Retirement System.
“For the second consecutive year, we are seeing net gains in overall employee wages and benefits, upon employees meeting wellness goals,” Scholz added.
“Also for the first year in many years, county tax payers are seeing increased service to their communities, by having an additional social worker in the budget.”
Thirteenth District supervisor Jim Alber credited a focus on local spending for the upswing in the current budget.
“The more our citizens keep dollars in Lincoln County, the more revenue we will continue to bring to our communities. I feel the state of the current budget is an example of what can happen when we keep our spending local.”
Following budget passage on Tuesday evening, chairman Bob Lussow officially announced his resignation.
“It’s been interesting,” Lussow stated. “Managing a board of 22 members hasn’t always been easy. But the time has come, so let’s get on with it.”
With that, Lussow rose from the chair and took a vacant seat at a supervisor table.
Following a board vote, 15th District supervisor Bob Lee was elected the new board chair over 18th District supervisor Curt Powell by a vote of 10-9.
In the wake of the sudden passing of vice chair Dan “Hank” Caylor, the board also took on the responsibility of electing a new vice chair Tuesday morning.
Second District supervisor Bob Weaver would go on to win the seat by a 14-4 vote, over 10th District supervisor Loretta Baughan.
Chairman Lee brings 16 years of service to county board administration. Vice-chairman Weaver brings 25 total years of service to county board administration, having served from 1978-88 and re-elected again in 2000.