County board approves employment agreement with new county administrator

Nov. 1—The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved the employment agreement with Candace Pesch, the county's new administrator.

Pesch, who was selected for the position last week by the board, will begin in the position on Wednesday. The board considered four finalists during interviews last week from a pool of candidates narrowed down by search firm South Central Service Cooperative.

The agreement states Pesch, who previously worked for the county for about eight years as the personnel and human resources director, will have a starting annual salary of about $135,500 and will receive the same cost of living adjustments as other nonunion employees.

She will replace former Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen, who resigned in June. Contracted Administrator Jan Fransen has assisted the county in the interim.

Pesch will have an initial performance review in six months, and if at that time is found to be providing satisfactory performance will be awarded a one step increase on the county's wage scale, the agreement states.

She will enjoy the same group hospital, medical, dental, life and disability insurance benefits as other nonunion employees, as well as holidays. She will be credited with any PTO that exists in her current position and will accrue PTO in accordance with the county's personnel policies.

Other benefits include reimbursement at the federal rate for use of her automobile for county business, as well as other professional development.

The agreement also outlines terms in the event of a termination.

In other action, the board:

—Approved a contract with Medica to provide special needs basic care services to enrollees under 65 and disabled. Medica is one of the insurance companies that will provide medical assistance to those that qualify and that choose or are assigned to the company if they don't make a choice.

The county has provided these services for a health plan that will no longer be a choice in Freeborn County.

Medica will reimburse $115 per month per client for clients on the program that are providing care coordination.

—Accepted an additional about $2,850 in grant funding from the state for adult protection services in the county.

—Accepted the resignation of Kim Waller, executive administrative assistant, who has accepted a job in another county. The board voted to refill the position.

—Approved private land easements for County Ditch 54 with the Shell Rock River Watershed District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

—Approved final payment of about $119,000 for micro-surfacing on County roads 20, 25 and 46 by Asphalt Surface Technologies Corp.

—Approved final payment of about $101,000 for a mill and overlay project on part of Freeborn County Road 6 to Ulland Bros.

—Approved the installation of a three-phase electrical service at the fairgrounds that will be used to power the sound stage for large concert events.

The almost $60,000 cost will be covered by returned sales tax money gathered during the fair and from cash payments made by the fair board in annual installments.

Sales tax amounts are about $16,000 per year, and annual cash payments by the fair board will be $4,000. Costs will be recovered in about three years.

—Appointed David Vanderploeg to the Turtle Creek Watershed Board of Managers.