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ELLSWORTH -- Pierce County's drug court moved closer to becoming a regular county program Monday evening. The County Board's Finance and Personnel Committee voted to consolidate drug court funds into a single 2006 budget, to approve the drug court coordinator position description and to authorize posting and hiring to fill the job. Pierce County's drug court was established in fall 2004 as a pilot program. The coordinator job was filled by an AmeriCorps member assigned to the Human Services Department.
Pierce County will have primary elections for two county offices in September. The Sept. 12 primary will select a Democratic candidate for sheriff and whittle the number of Republicans running for county treasurer from three to one. Democrats Nancy Ortwerth, Hager City, and Tom Gunderson, River Falls, met the July 11 filing deadline to challenge Republican incumbent Everett Muhlhausen, Ellsworth, for the sheriff's job. Incumbent Lee Skog is not seeking reelection as treasurer, but three other Republican met filing requirements for that office.
An attorney for the county has asked the judge for a 30- to 60-day delay in a scheduling conference for a lawsuit filed nearly four years ago by Trumpeter Development LLC against Pierce County. In a letter to Trempealeau County Judge John Damon, attorney Robert Horowitz asked for a postponement of a June 28 conference. Horowitz claims the plaintiffs' attorney interrupted a deposition and has put off answering a question that goes to the heart of the lawsuit in which Trumpeter is asking for over $4 million in damages. The case involves the 700-acre Trumpeter Valley development near Prescott.
ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Board voted last week to endorse a committee plan directing department heads to prepare 2007 budgets that show how their department's local tax levy spending can be cut 15%. The departments are to also show the impact of potential cuts.
Two more people have announced their candidacy for Pierce County offices, nearly assuring primary elections for two positions. The most recent candidates are Gordon Borner, a licensed real estate agent who registered as a candidate for county treasurer, and Tom Gunderson, a patrol sergeant who registered as a candidate for sheriff. Borner is among three Republican candidates for treasurer. Gunderson (see related story) is one of two Democratic candidates for sheriff. Borner, W6575 630th Ave., Beldenville, farmed for over 20 years in the town of El Paso.
A 21-year-old recent graduate of UW-River Falls is challenging Kitty Rhoades for the Wisconsin Assembly seat she has held since 1998. Dan Gorman, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and finance, said the main thrust of his campaign is "to implement a progressive economic development plan for Wisconsin." The 30th Assembly District includes the western parts of Pierce and St.
ELLSWORTH -- Trying to get control of the 2007 funding process from the start, Pierce County's finance committee voted Monday night to direct each department to prepare a plan to cut its budget 15%. Each department is to set internal priorities, offering cuts in areas less important to the department. The plan must also include an analysis of the impact of the cuts.
Citizens in local areas will elect a U.S. congressman, a member to the Wisconsin Senate and representatives to the state Assembly when the general election is held Nov. 7. Candidates for these positions as well as county district attorneys, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer must register with and deliver nomination papers to Wisconsin Elections Board in Madison. The filing deadline is 5 p.m.
Two women have announced their candidacies for Pierce County treasurer. Both Tami R. Langer, N5640 670th St., Ellsworth, and Fay C. Owen, 1901 140th Ave., Maiden Rock, are running as Republicans. Lee Skog, treasurer for the last 12 years, said he will not seek re-election. Skog turns 68 this summer and is retiring. Langer, a lifelong resident of Pierce County, has a background in banking and finance. A graduate of Ellsworth High School, she began working for M&I Bank right after graduation.
HUDSON -- St. Croix County's judges are asking to move up full implementation of a drug court by hiring a coordinator this year. Judge Eric Lundell reported that the county's drug court is up and running.