County approves two positions ELLSWORTH – A group of protestors was outside of the Pierce County Courthouse on Tuesday night, July 27, during the Pierce County Board meeting, demanding for the …
County approves two positions
ELLSWORTH – A group of protestors was outside of the Pierce County Courthouse on Tuesday night, July 27, during the Pierce County Board meeting, demanding for the meetings to be open to the public once again without COVID-19 restrictions implemented. County Clerk Jamie Feuerhelm did not know the exact number of people who were protesting outside.
Supervisor Mel Pittman read a letter from county resident Lisa Kuchinski; the contents of the letter question the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Pittman made a public request to the board that the county and Pierce County Health Department stop administering the COVID-19 vaccines to the public until further research is done on the vaccines’ safety and efficacy.
“I am publicly stating my position as a member of the Pierce County Board of Supervisors that Pierce County and the Pierce County Public Health Department should immediately stop administering the so-called COVID-19 vaccine to our county residents until such time that the results from the experimental trials have been completed and the data analyzed for its safety and efficiency.”
Pittman named a hearing hosted by United States Sen. Ron Johnson last month as a source to why he believes the COVID19 vaccines should be halted. Pittman said a direct email from Johnson about the hearing prompted him to make this request to the board.
Given that this letter was directed to Pierce County Health, The Journal reached out to Pierce County Public Health Director AZ Snyder for comment.
“The authorized_COVID-19_vaccines are the best tool we have to end this pandemic. Pierce County Public Health has no plans to stop providing access to vaccines to every Pierce County resident _who wants one,” she said.
The county board recognized Frank Ginther who has retired after 28 years of service to Pierce County. Ginther officially retired on July 6 from his role as the 4-H Youth Development Agent for UW-Cooperative Extension in Pierce County.
County positions established
The county board voted on two resolutions creating two jobs within the county. The first position is a COVID-19 lead investigator with Pierce County Public Health. This not a new position, but a consolidation of part-time positions that have been held by retired nurses, college students, and community volunteers who have been helping PCPH in contact tracing COVID-19 over the past year.
The funding for the public health position, a COVID-19 lead investigator, will be received from federal grant funds through the state government. These funds are available through October 2022, and may be extended. The estimated annual salary is about $86,000.
The second new position is a corrections officer position at Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. PCSO has been short staffed over the past year and will have one current member leave for a 14month military tour. This position is also full time with benefits. The sheriff’s office position will be paid from an existing position that has been vacant in 2021.
The county board appointed the following to the Board of Adjustments: Matt Purfeerst, town of Diamond Bluff, three-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.
Walter Betzel as First Alternate, town of Oak Grove, threeyear term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.
Tim Wiff as Second Alternate, town of Martell, three-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.
The Pierce County Board will next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24. The board has yet to decide if this meeting will be open for the public to attend in-person.