Making his way to the podium with a welcoming smile and enthusiasm, Commissioner Robert Dehring, the newly appointed Circuit Court Branch III Judge, kicked off the Jefferson County Board meeting on Tuesday.
Dehring succeeds Judge Wambach, who will retire on March 31. As Dehring introduced himself the County Board of Supervisors, he expressed his excitement to work with the County Board, as well as be back in Jefferson County. Dehring began his career in Jefferson, and it is now where he plans to stay.
“My wife and I couldn’t be happier to be rejoining you all in Jefferson County for the rest of our careers,” Dehring said.
Dehring, a Wisconsin native, completed law school at Marquette University and originally came to Jefferson County in 2009, where he worked as an attorney prosecuting child support cases for the Office of Corporation Counsel.
He was later appointed by Judge Koschnick to be part-time commissioner in 2010. After two part-time commissioner jobs merged into one, Dehring sought out a full-time commissioner position in Waukesha County in 2010, working in areas ranging from family law to setting bail and criminal cases.
Now back in Jefferson, Dehring said he will utilize his skills as a prior work management analyst and experience in Waukesha to find inefficacies and fix them.
Dehring concluded his introduction by addressing an aspect he intends to focus on.
“As a judge, it is my plan to increase access to justice at the Courthouse at a lesser amount to taxpayers,” he said. “If that sounds like a contradiction, let me assure you that it can be done, you can do more with less if you offer in an efficient manner.”
Dehring’s appointment will be effective beginning on April 1.
Strategic Plan Introduced
County Administrator Ben Wehmeier announced the Administration and Rules Committee decision to hire the Chamness Group, of Brookfield, to facilitate an update of the County’s Strategic Plan. The County last updated seven years ago.
Wehmeier said it was time, mentioning that “the world is a lot different than it was in 2010.”
He views the plan as being a time to get together to look at the issues, and come up with objectives and goals to best serve the County.
“It’s about focusing on the day-to-day operations that are for the big picture,” he said.
According to the meeting agenda, the budget for the plan will be $15,000-$20,000, and the process will begin by gathering input from key stakeholders in the county government. Findings will then be shared and an actionable plan will be developed based on the information collected. The tentative timeline for the gathering process is August 2017.
In other action on Tuesday:
- District 29 Supervisor Tim Smith resigned due to personal reasons, which took effect on Feb. 27.
- Staci Hoffman, Register of Deeds, was recognized for winning Constitutional Officer of the Year.
- Hoffman announced the implementation of an auto indexing system (INSPECT), an honorary board for veterans and a property fraud alert system.
Along with the implementations, birth certificates, marriage, divorce and death licenses will be no longer just be available by county. Records dating back to 1907 will be accessible within the next four years, making service easier and quicker for citizens.
- County Clerk Barb Frank expressed satisfaction with Jefferson voting turnout in November and informed Board members about a recount training session.
- Frank reported a 17 percent increase in passport revenue.
- The County Board unanimously voted in favor of transferring funds ($197,666) for the Human Services alarm update.
- The County Board unanimously voted in favor of proclaiming March 2017 as Professional Social Work Month and April 2017 as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.