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Commissioners approve hiring for new assistant county attorney

Cook County's new branding design
Cook County's new branding design

There was a meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The following discussion and action items occurred during Tuesday’s meeting.
Human Services Board
Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting of the County Board, the Cook County Human Services Board and some department staff held their monthly meeting. The commissioners met two new members to the Human Services Department, though the positions were not both new jobs within the county or positions created that were not there before.  The new hires include Jade Woltmann, who was hired as a social worker, and Anita Jeziah was also hired for the county’s human services department. Jeziah comes from the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting of the Human Services Board, Grace Bushard from the county gave a presentation on mental health. The presentation included examples of how local residents who have gone through a difficult time in their life can reach out and help others.
New Assistant County Attorney
Following the Human Services Board meeting, the commissioners convened their regularly scheduling session. To start the meeting, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell brought forward a request from Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken to hire a new assistant. After being approved by the county board, Brittany Kubes is the new assistant county attorney starting Dec. 4. Kubes is moving to Cook County and is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago. She has most recently been practicing law in Duluth.

Cadwell also announced the retirement of Cook County Jailer Judy Sivertson. Sheriff Pat Eliasen also requested the job opening be posted internally to fill the position.

Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk said Sivertson was a great part of the sheriff’s department staff and has done an incredible job in her role as the local jailer.
Commissioner Notes
During the commissioner comments portion of the meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Ginny Storlie shared an update on legislative issues the county and other nearby counties are facing heading into 2018. Storlie, who is a on a committee focused on issues the counties in Minnesota’s first district are facing that have a broad reach at the state and federal levels.
These issues, based on importance, were:

  1. Environment and natural resources issues
  2. Public Safety with a focus on opioid epidemic
  3. Transportation and infrastructure issues including new roads and transit
  4. Payment in lieu of taxes with regard to federally owned lands
  5. Health and Human Services funding

These issues, as Storlie explained, are the priorities of all counties in Minnesota’s First District.
Cook County will be the host of the district one meeting in the spring of 2018. That date is not determined, Storlie explained, but it could take place in Grand Marais in late May 2018. Commissioners from other counties in northern Minnesota that make up the first district will all be present for this meeting. The commissioners discussed where participants and District One commissioners can visit during the meeting and while they are in the area. Among the notable destinations were the Grand Portage National Monument and several locations on the west end of the county.
To hear more about Tuesday’s meeting of the commissioners, including an interview with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs and Commissioner Ginny Storlie, listen to the audio below.