State Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River), who has repre-sented the 34th Assembly Dis-trict since 2000, announced Fri-day he will not seek re-electionto the state Assembly.Meyer said his 12 years of service have been “very reward-ing and humbling, but that it’stime to move on.”“I never wanted to be acareer politician,” said Meyer.“Twelve years seems like agood term limit to impose onmyself.”Meyer said that a represen-tative has an obligation tomake decisions in the bestinterest of the state, but also toadvocate on issues of specificinterest to his or her district.Meyer cites three issues uponwhich he believes he had thegreatest impact.“In terms of statewideimportance, putting Wiscon-sin’s fiscal house in order was very controversial, but also very important,” Meyer said.“Eliminating a $3 billion-plusdeficit without raising taxes,giving local governments andschools the tools and flexibilityto continue to provide the ser- vices people expect, whileavoiding mass layoffs was noteasy, but it was the right thingto do.”In terms of issues critical tothe 34th Assembly District,Meyer cites his success provid-ing resources to fight invasivespecies and his work on behalf of veterans as sources of great-est accomplishment during his Assembly tenure.“When you represent theworld’s largest concentration of freshwater lakes, being astrong advocate for lake protec-tion is just part of the jobdescription,” Meyer said.“What we saw were local gov-ernments, volunteers and lakeassociations doing all theycould to fight invasive species.Meanwhile, the state seemed tobe taking the backseat.”Meyer said he changed thatby getting the Department of Natural Resources to make theinvasive species fight a higherpriority and ensure there wasfunding to fight invasivespecies and help the local unitsas well.“In the 2005-’07 session, wewere able to provide millions of dollars to this effort,” Meyersaid, adding that this was “asmall price to pay to protect ourlakes.”Working on veterans issueswas also important, accordingto Meyer.“As a retirement area, Onei-da and Vilas counties are hometo a very large senior popula-tion and a large number of vet-erans as well,” he said.Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs presentedMeyer with an “Iron Mike”award for “leading the chargefor Wisconsin veterans” for hiswork on the 2005-’07 Wisconsinbiennial budget.“My staff and I worked verydiligently serving these con-stituencies, and I worked veryhard to protect the veteranstrust fund from being raided,”Meyer said.’Meyer, who lives in EagleRiver, said he has no immedi-ate plans for the future, but hewill stay in the area.The first step to reduce thenumber of committees on the Vilas County Board of Super- visors was taken last week ina joint meeting of the countyExecutive, Ethics and Insur-ance Committee and the Leg-islative & Judicial Committee. A directive sent to all com-mittee chairs and departmentheads asked them to identifywhich micromanaging agendaitems could be eliminatedfrom monthly meetings.Presently, the county boardhas 22 standing committees. Arecent recommendation fromthe Schenck SC report on costsavings suggested the countyshould look at a much lowernumber. A draft put together bycounty board Chairman SteveFavorite restructured the 22committees down to six, plusan executive committee madeup of the county board chair,first and second vice chairper-sons and the six committeechairpersons.“We’re unique in our ownway,” Supervisor Chris Mayertold the group, saying thecounty needs to streamlinecommittees to increase effi-ciency. “While there are somestatutory obligations we haveto consider, we need to be pol-icy makers and not microman-age our departments.”Mayer asked those supervi-sors present how they feltabout consolidating commit-tees and what their functionsshould be.Supervisor Jim Behlingsupported restructuring fol-lowing a more private-sectormodel.“More often than not, deci-sions are being made not byexperts,” said Behling. “Weshould act more like a board of directors. County governmenthas grown over the years, andwe haven’t improved the waywe manage and the way we dobusiness.”Supervisor Sig Hjemvicksaid change was inevitablebut struggled with comparinggovernment with privateenterprise as a role model.“As needs change, we haveto also change, but I cautionus to do this in a reasonablemanner,” he said. “We need tolook at this periodically. Itmay work in some areas, butothers do well the way theyare.”Supervisor Erv Teichmillersaid reorganization should beexplored.“I hope we’re open toexplore and examine possibili-ties related to cost and effi-ciency and to allow manage-ment to manage and not havethe county micromanage,”Teichmiller said. “Consolida-tion has to better serve thepublic and some departmentsserve the same people, so weshould also look at this.”Supervisor Al Bauman sug-gested the county move slowly.“(It) looks positive, but(let’s) make sure all boardmembers are involved in thedecision,” said Bauman,adding that the county couldmake a start by going to 14committees. Admitting this would be aradical change, SupervisorCharles Rayala also suggestedto go slowly and expressed theneed for departments to have“good managers.”Supervisor Linda Thorpesaid she was willing to look atwhich committees might be joined.While there are some statu-tory obligations for the county,Corporation Counsel MarthaMilanowski said those obliga-tions could be met in the com-mittee standing rules. Publichearings requiring publishedlegal notices within a certaintime on zoning issues wasused as an example.Supervisors referred toagenda items such as out-of-county travel and equipmentpurchases covered in depart-ment budgets that could behandled by department headswithout going through a com-mittee meeting.County Clerk Dave Alle-man said supervisors usuallylet department heads set themeeting agendas and thatshould be changed.“It was a failure by us oncommittees,” Alleman said,reflecting back when he wason the county board. “We nev-er took control of the agenda;it was done by departmentheads. They gave us a lot of information. The county boardmembers and committeechairpersons need to controltheir agendas.”But Teichmiller counteredby pointing out “until they(department heads) are givenauthority, you will have longagendas.”Behling added that the waythe county functions, “we cre-ate managers and haveremoved management fromthem via our committeeactions.”Mayer, who chairs theFinance Committee, gavedirection to the supervisors.“In order to step forward,we need to compile all thethings we can change andthen look at streamlining tofind how many committees weshould have,” he said. “One bigchange would be to start withzero-based budgets every year.That would be a big change.”Hjemvick said the countyhad to make rapid changes,due to the budget repair bill ina short period of time, but nowhas some breathing room.“Now we can move at aspeed that can make thiswork,” said Hjemvick. “Butyou (supervisors) can’t comeinto a meeting and open yourpacket for the first time at themeeting. We have to do ourhomework. I want committeechairmen to tell us what theyare micromanaging.” Alleman was directed tosend out a memo to depart-ment heads and committeechairpersons to identify thoseitems they feel could be han-dled without having everydecision approved by a com-mittee in an effort to elimi-nate micromanaging.The joint committees willmeet again Tuesday, Feb. 28,to continue looking at commit-tee consolidation and howcommittees conduct monthlymeetings.
VILAS COUNTY NEWS-REVIEW/THE THREE LAKES NEWSWEDNESDAY, FEB. 8, 2012
Published weekly byEagle River Publications, Inc.Eagle River, WI 54521www.vilascountynewsreview.comConsolidation of the Vilas County News,the Eagle River Review andThe Three Lakes News
Member of the Wisconsin Newspaper Associationand the National Newspaper Association
Entered as periodical mail matter atthe post office, Eagle River, WI 54521,under act of March 3, 1879. Subscriptionprice in Wisconsin, Vilas and Oneida coun-ties only, is $50.00 per year, all of Wiscon-sin except for Vilas and Oneida counties,$57.00 per year. Out of Wisconsin, $68.00per year. Subscription payable in ad vance.Published every Wednesday.POSTMASTER: Send address changes,form 3579, to Vilas County News-Review,Inc., P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521,phone 715-479-4421, fax 715-479-6242.
Your Northwoods Family Hair Salon
Open Mon.-Sat. Walk-ins welcome
8010 Hwy. 70 East, St. Germain (715) 479-7444
Cut To Perfection
“Refresh Your Style”in 2012 at
S BUILDING SUPPLY
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. - noon
3800 Shangrila Rd., Eagle River715-479-4679Fax (715) 479-7223
A Family Tradition…
OF QUALITY BUILDING MATERIALS AT COMPETITIVE PRICES
• Complete line of building materials• Free delivery 40-mile radius• Free estimates
Vilas works on plan to reduce committeeswith ultimate goal of less micromanaging
Meyer will not seekre-election in 34th
ST. GERMAIN — The VilasCounty Sheriff’s Department,with assistance from the Lacdu Flambeau Tribal PoliceDepartment, has arrested twosuspects in the burglary of theSt. Germain Pharmacy Feb. 1.Dixie R. Allen, 38, and Doug-las W. LaBarge, 32, both of Lacdu Flambeau, were arrested onburglary charges. The arebeing held on $5,000 cashbonds. According to a sheriff’sdepartment press release, the vehicle believed to be used bythe suspects during the bur-glary has been impounded.Law enforcement officerswere dispatched to the phar-macy at 252 South Highway 70last Wednesday to investigatean alarm at the pharmacy at6:38 p.m. Officers discovered arear door to the pharmacy wasajar, and at least two peoplehad gained entry to the phar-macy, taking a quantity of pills. According to a sheriff’sdepartment press release,there were at least two sus-pects involved in the incident.Investigators used surveil-lance videos from the pharma-cy and other businesses forleads in the case. Anyone having informationregarding the burglary or sus-picious activity in the vicinityof the St. Germain pharmacybetween 5:30 a.m. and 6:30a.m. Feb. 1, should call the Vilas County Sheriff’s Depart-ment at (715) 479-4441.
Two suspects arrestedin pharmacy burglary
GROOMER SHOW—Walker Equipment Inc., home of Arrow-head Groomers, recently hosted its annual groomer show, withvendors from Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota who fea-tured the latest technology in snow-grooming equipment. Reg-istered guests were encouraged to test-drive various trail-grooming tractors and drives.
The two-day event attracted a number of people whoviewed the various equipment on display, including an Arrow-head Ultra Lite groomer
Tucker Snow Cat Dealer Steve Bauer of Lakeville, Minn.shares information with Sales Manager Rick Keith of Farming-ton, Minn.
Spectators check out a Dubie Groomer displayed byDubie Welding & Fabrication of Gaylord, Mich.— Photos By Wally Geist
Fighting Heart Diseaseand Stroke