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Joe hires new assessor

The town of St. Joseph hired the firm of Chimney Rock Appraisal from Mondovi for the town assessor position. The action came at the Thursday, July 12 meeting.

Prior to Thursday's meeting, town officials met with four potential candidates, and to hear each's business models and pitches. After the interviews and reference checks were completed, Town Clerk Marie Colbeth confirmed that "all four have good references."

"It would not be a mistake to hire any of them for the position of assessor," Colbeth said.

The Town Board echoed the statements, and it was reflected in a split vote by the supervisors. The tie-breaking vote came from Chair Dan Gavin, who voted to negotiate a three-year contract with Chimney Rock for the Assessor position.

Eagle Scout Project

Working with Supervisor Jim Traeger, Scout Alec Christiansen proposed an Eagle Scout project to the Board. The project would be to construct walkways for select walking paths that become muddy during the summer and turn away those wishing to use them.

The walkways would consist of free-standing sections of treaded wood that measure 4-foot-by-10-foot, and cost approximately $1,400 for the materials should the town choose to help fund the project. After a brief discussion, the Town Board was unsure if they could spare the cost for the project at the moment, but would discuss the possibility of it next month during the August board meeting.


Controversy started when Supervisor Jim Traeger suggested that until the end of the year, all patchwork done to Town roads should be performed by the county, and not by Todd Tuma, the resident the town has contracted with. In the end, however, the board supported Tuma.

While some of the board were "vehemently opposed" to the suggestion, worrying that taking away business from a local resident may put him out of business, Traeger argued that the town needs to be more cost-effective.

"We need to be in the business of what is best for the Town," Traeger said. "The County has better equipment. It is not our job to make sure someone stays in business."

As the debate continued, Supervisor Traeger raised other concerns.

"He's overcharged us in the past," said Traeger. "He's secretly taped conversations of Board members, which has forced us to use our attorney, costing the town money. This is not personal,

Town Chair Dan Gavin reminded the board that all bills and charges coming from Tuma have been presented and approved by the board, and asked Supervisor Traeger to drop the issue of taped conversations, but conceded that "it is best to not rely on just one party."

Supervisor Rick Colbeth agreed, saying, "Todd's not perfect, but you can talk to the guy and figure it out. I think we can work with him and the County."

Tuma was not in attendance during the Board Meeting. The motion to have the county take over all patchwork for the remainder of the year ultimately failed in a 4-1 vote.