NEW ULM – After discussion, by a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, Brown County Commissioners approved the appointment of Brown County Sheriff’s Investigator Jeremy Reed to serve as Deputy Chief Sheriff effective 1 October.

The action came on a motion by Commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by Tony Berg to set Reed’s salary at $42.28/hr, Year XXI, Step 9, plus on-call pay of $60/holiday and 55 $/day on weekends.

Commissioner Dave Borchert cast a dissenting vote, saying the salary ($94,352.40 annual salary excluding overtime) close to what retired Chief Assistant Steve Depew earned was too high.

Borchert previously backed a resolution to pay less Reed, at the 21st-year, 6th-leg level, which failed 4-1.

Brown County human resources director Ruth Schaefer said the resolve to pay Reed at the Step 9 level was determined by her experience and education, which includes a master’s degree in criminal justice.

Reed began his law enforcement career with the New Ulm Police Department in 1996. He has served as a Brown County Sheriff‘s Office investigator since 2018.

“I think we have a good candidate. It may be high, but sometimes you get what you pay for,” said Windschitl.

Reed’s request for a leave of absence from his current position as an investigator to assume the position of chief deputy appointed from October 1 to the end of the current four-year term of elected Sheriff Jason Seidl, with reinstatement to a seniority position, of similar status and compensation if available at the same salary he would have received if the leave had not been taken and the position had not been abolished, failed by a vote of 3 to 2. Commissioners Berg and Jeff Veerkamp voted in favor of the leave request.

Reed said the request was made to provide job security for his family for leaving a union position to work with Sheriff Seidl.

“I think we could open a Pandora’s box”, Borchert talked about the leave request.

“I think we need to consider keeping Reed as a veteran employee,” says Berg.

Commissioners previously approved the resignation of Chief Deputy Sheriff Steve Depew effective Sept. 20, Borchert’s motion, seconded by Veerkamp.

Depew began working in Brown County as a Deputy Sheriff/Court Security Officer on September 26, 2018 and was appointed Chief Deputy Sheriff on January 1, 2019. He resigned on September 10, after 28 years and a half in law enforcement.

The Commissioners unanimously approved:

• Hiring a temporary replacement Heartland Express bus driver from a list of eligible candidates for routes not filled through December 31, 2021 due to employee furlough, to avoid scheduling conflicts and overtime, motion of Windschitl, seconded by Veerkamp.

• Submission of a large request for $30,000 to the Families First Children’s Collaborative by October 1, motion of Windschitl, seconded by Borchert.

Grants are available for organizations to extend prevention and early intervention services to at-risk families and children.

The grant application would help support the Universal Contact Home Visiting Program (a home visit offered to every Brown County family after childbirth, adoption, or new arrival to the area with young children) and The Tracking Program (a screening tool that helps families monitor whether their child is meeting developmental and social emotion milestones from 4 months to 3 years of age, and connects families with early help resources if needed).

• Set a hearing for 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Law Enforcement Training Room for a preliminary engineer’s report for County Ditch 44 improvements, Veerkamp’s motion, seconded by Dean Simonsen.

Public notices will be mailed to applicants, landowners and political subdivisions potentially affected by the project proposed in the Preliminary Investigation Report at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

Fritz Busch can be emailed to [email protected]

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