County administrator to share time with Aitkin

 Aitkin County commissioners have voted to have Mille Lacs County Administrator Roxy Traxler work part-time for Aitkin County as an interim administrator for as much as 16-20 hours per week the next four to five months.

The Aitkin County Board has  approved the arrangement to have Traxler serve as an interim administrator for Aitkin County while the county tries to find a permanent administrator. Aitkin County’s current administrator, Patrick Wussow, is leaving the job for a similar position in Brainerd. .

Despite Aitkin County making the decision, the Mille Lacs County Board has not yet discussed the matter at any of its regular meetings.

Mille Lacs County Commissioner Genny Reynolds, Princeton, and board chairman Phil Peterson, Milaca, said a discussion on the matter took place at the county board’s Jan. 20 work session. The Mille Lacs County Board has yet to vote on the deal.

Reynolds said Traxler had been contacted by Aitkin County about the idea and Traxler in turn, talked to the Mille Lacs commissioners at their work session.

Even though a conversation on the matter took place, the Mille Lacs County board does not make decisions at its public work sessions.

Reynolds said that the county board still has to formally approve it and despite any nod during a work session that it favors the deal, the Mille Lacs Board could still say no.

But neither Reynolds nor Peterson suggested they would disapprove of the idea.

The Aitkin County Board action includes the provision that Aitkin County will pay Mille Lacs County $3,447 per month for the time Traxler spends with Aitkin.

Reynolds notes that Traxler’s salary ($112,653) is based on a 50-hour week. Traxler said last week that through helping Aitkin County she expects her total hours during those weeks to exceed what she puts in now.

Reynolds said that the sharing of an administrator can give Mille Lacs County an idea of how Aitkin County runs things and vice versa. Reynolds also thinks that many counties could do more sharing of staff people in the interest of cost savings.

“I’ve no problem with it,” Peterson said about having Traxler assist Aitkin. “

I’m all for sharing info and helping a county. Roxy is a professional. She is very good at what she does…and if she can help them (that’s OK).”