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St. Croix County Board shuffles committee assignments

Despite opposition from a third of its members, the St. Croix County Board voted to follow Chairman Buck Malick's plan to name himself to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Malick will replace Supervisor Stan Krueger, who will also step down from the Health and Human Services Committee. Supervisor Tom Dowd will replace Krueger on Health and Human Services, and Krueger will be moved to the Planning and Zoning Committee to replace Malick.

Malick called the switch "a good package arrangement." He said the three men involved agreed to the arrangement.

"My concern is one of your point of view," said Hudson Supervisor Mark Erickson.

Two current Board of Adjustment members previously served on the Planning and Zoning Committee. Erickson said the Board of Adjustment members will now have a background of "many years of service from one point of view."

Malick appointed himself to the Planning and Zoning Committee with the intention of staying only a short time until he got "some issues resolved," said Supervisor Julie Speer, who had earlier objected to the chairman's appointments to that committee. She said he couldn't accomplish his goals and is moving on.

Speer said in the past there has been "a studied effort" to not have former Planning and Zoning members on the Board of Adjustment.

"Then there are no preconceived notions on how to handle variances," she said.

The Board of Adjustment doesn't make decisions regarding the subdivision ordinance but deals with many special exception requests, said Planning and Zoning Committee Chairwoman Jan Zoerb. She said that having a knowledge of zoning laws is an advantage for serving on that committee.

Malick, a graduate of Harvard Law School, said his years as a lawyer and experience on Planning and Zoning provide good background for serving on the Board of Adjustment.

Also, he said, there are few County Board members who meet the criteria for appointment to that board.

Members must live in a township rather than a city or village and may not represent the same area as another Board of Adjustment member.

Corporation Counsel Greg Timmerman advised that there is no legal impropriety in the appointments Malick proposed.

"I don't see a great conflict between Planning and Zoning and having knowledge of the ordinances and the Board of Adjustment," agreed former Planning and Zoning Chairman Ron Raymond.

The vote to move Malick to the Board of Adjustment was 20-11.