Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Collaborative accounting plan revealed


"We have met and have a plan," Carlton County Auditor/Treasurer Paul Gassert reported at the February 22 adjourned session of the Carlton County Board of Commissioners. "The Restorative Justice and truancy programs will be supervised by the county coordinator, Dennis Genereau. The rest of the collaborative programs, such as Early Childhood, would remain under the direction of Donna Lekander with Health and Human Services continuing to cover their accounting needs."

Earlier the county board voted to make collaborative employees county employees in a move to bring stability to long-term funding sources. Accounting had been done completely by Health and Human Services, but federal auditors refused to continue program reimbursement since some of the programs offered did not fit into a Health and Human Services type of program. Outside auditing costs in the private sector would run, it was estimated, more than $30,000.

Genereau commented, "It is hoped that new funds will be found to continue these programs. One goal of the collaborative is to be an incubator to find and originate new grants for new initiatives. There are new approaches being developed to address family and child issues that the Collaborative struggles to help every day."

"The reality is," observed Commissioner Dick Brenner, "that money for the Collaborative programs is being systematically reduced each year and without new funding, cuts in the program will occur. Let us discuss this issue as we work on goals for the coming year."

Genereau continued to explain it is hoped the Restorative Justice and truancy programs will be eventually transitioned to the county attorney office for supervision.

In further board action a strategic planning session will take place on April 5 during the Committee of the Whole regular scheduled meeting. Toni Smith, a facilitator from the Association of Municipalities and Counties, will lead the goal making discussion. Her cost will be $450.

Committee of the Whole Chairman Gary Peterson stated, "Setting goals for this next couple of years channels us into a focus of improving county services and efficiency. For example, let's move to county-wide electronic time sheets. My own timesheet comes with a pay stub in the mail. I could look this up all electronically."


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