County department heads ready for retirement

Isanti County is losing a significant amount of experience and leadership due to the resignations, or retirement announcements, of two more department heads at the April 16 County Board meeting.

Auditor-treasurer Terry Treichel announced he will not seek re-election in the fall through a press release that County Administrator Kevin VanHooser read aloud to the board. First elected county auditor in 1990, he was appointed to fill the remaining term of county treasurer in 2008.

“It has been an honor and great opportunity to have worked for the citizens of Isanti County,” said Treichel, who was elected county auditor-treasurer when the positions combined in 2010. “I have been blessed with outstanding staff and intend to complete the remainder of my current term.”

In the years ahead, he looks forward to spending more time with family, as he and his wife, Val, have eight grandchildren.

“He (Treichel) was my quarterback in 1965,” recalled Commissioner George Larson of his early coaching years at Cambridge High School. “Our record was 6-2-1 that year.”

Filing for auditor-treasurer and other county offices opens May 20 and closes June 3 at 5 p.m. The filing fee is $50.

Commissioners approved the retirement, with regret, of Zoning Administrator Tim Anderson. His last day will be June 16.

“You’ve done an outstanding job for the county,” noted Larson whose sentiments were echoed by fellow commissioners.

It was back in February when the board accepted Kathy Minkler’s retirement after her 27 years with the county and 17 and a half years as director of Public Health. Her last day in the office is April 25.

At her final county board meeting last week, Minkler said Public Health is also losing Kathleen Patterson and her 36 years of service to the county. The board accepted her retirement.

Special election for Dist. 2 seat

Due to the March 19 passing of Larry Southerland, the board passed a resolution declaring a special election for District 2 county commissioner.

The seat represents the city of Braham and townships of Dalbo, Maple Ridge, Springvale, Stanchfield and Wyanett.

The special election will align with the regular general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4. In the meantime, the seat will remain open, and the candidate who wins the election will be able to start serving by mid-November while carrying out the seat’s existing term through the end of 2016.

Filing will take place in the Isanti County Auditor-Treasurer’s office beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, and ending at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. In the event a primary is needed, it will be held Tuesday, Aug. 12.

In other action, the board:

• Terminated the lease agreement with Riverwood Centers, effective immediately, due to the recent closure of Riverwood.

• Terminated the services contract by the counties of Chisago, Isanti and Pine with Riverwood Centers and the agreement between Isanti County Family Services acting as fiscal host for regional crisis services and Riverwood Centers due to the same reasoning as above.

• Approved a contract service agreement with Canvas Health/Crisis Connection and a contract with Lighthouse Child & Family Services to help alleviate the interruption of services caused by the Riverwood closure.

• Agreed to purchase diving equipment from donated dollars, as requested by the sheriff’s office.

• Approved a final plat request for Hidden Meadow in Stanford Township.

• Hosted a hazard mitigation forum — aimed at reducing risk of injury, hardship or property damage from natural hazards — as facilitated by Emergency Management Director Mari Bostrom. The plan needs to be updated every five years, she said.