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County picks new head of IT: board briefs

Three months prior to the county information technology director post being vacant, Goodhue County commissioners approved the job offer to John Smith.

Based on his experience, his qualifications place him at $100,048. Smith's employment will begin around April this year and $1,500 would be allocated to help him move to Red Wing from Arizona.

Two commissioners were able to sit in on one round of interviews, former Commissioner Ted Seifert and Commissioner Brad Anderson.

"He came through with flying colors, he's a very good candidate," Anderson said at Tuesday's board meeting.

The budget anticipated for this position, with the projected amount set aside for Smith.

He will replace Randy Johnson.

Building codes cause confusion

Land-use Management Director Lisa Hanni outlined current building codes during a committee of the whole meeting. Hanni focused on discussing the international building codes for commercial and residential projects; currently the county uses the state building codes.

Commissioner Barney Nesseth opened the conversation by questioning the codes, what might happen if the county blindly adopted them and how the county should enforce them.

"The one thing that sticks out bigly is the 2003 resolution that the county automatically adopts all new building codes from the state of Minnesota," Nesseth said. "From a legal standpoint, everybody I've talked to says 'we're stuck.'"

In regards to changing any of the codes, County Attorney Steve Betcher said, "The state is going to require that building code and we have a system that is working and is relatively inexpensive," he said. "This is something that got standardized over time, if we want to be in compliance with inspections, we have to adopt it."

If the county wants to look at changing anything, often times, according to Betcher, they would have to look at county ordinances. Changes at the state level have to be brought to the Legislature.

Meeting watch

Tuesday's County Board lasted one hour and 36 minutes, not including a 30-minute closed meeting to consider purchasing 627 W. Fourth St. The committee of whole also met for 20 minutes. All five commissioners were present.

— compiled by Kit Murray, staff writer

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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