County Board OKs New NR151 Rules, Seeks Public Defender Pay Raise

The Door County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the new targeted manure spreading rules in NR 151 at its Sept. 27 meeting. Before the vote, Supervisor Susan Kohout reminded her colleagues that the county has been lobbying for better standards for a long time.

“This is like the final piece for us, so it’s a good thing,” she said.

In other matters, the board:

  • Passed a resolution requesting that state funding be increased for county child support agencies by $1.5 million each year in the 2019-21 budget.
  • Passed a resolution requesting that funding for state appointed public defenders be increased from $40 an hour (the lowest in the nation) to $100 an hour. The hourly rate for attorneys who serve the indigent has not changed since 1995. Corporation Counsel Grant Thomas explained to the board that if attorneys are not willing to take a case at the current rate, the burden falls on the county to appoint and pay for an attorney. While he said it is not a significant problem in Door County, it could become one if the rate is not increased.
  • Approved a request for $30,000 for the process of hiring a psychiatrist. County Administrator Ken Pabich explained that the county has had a job posting for a psychiatrist for a year-and-a-half without a single applicant. The $30,000 would be used to hire a consultant recruiter.
  • Denied a right-of-first refusal purchase in a 13-8 vote (two thirds, or 14 votes were needed to pass the measure). The parcel adjoins the Justice Center and county Highway Dept. The cost would have been $25,000.
  • Introduced Steve Wipperfurth as the county’s new finance director. Wipperfurth caused laughter at the Oct. 27 meeting when introduced because he showed up in a loud Hawaiian shirt, which was a hallmark of retired former Finance Director Mark Janiak attire. Wipperfurth previously served as assistant finance director of the Finance Dept.

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