Beltrami County repeals OSHA standards, holds public hearing on county auditor-treasurer

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners repealed the OSHA standards they enacted barely two weeks prior.

Since the board last met, the Supreme Court stayed the emergency temporary requirement that ordered large employers to obtain COVID vaccination statuses and administer weekly tests for their unvaccinated employees.

At the time the board enacted these policies, the state’s OSHA board was enforcing them, requiring the board to take action.

With last week’s Supreme Court stay, employers are under no requirement to uphold the standards while the case is still in litigation.

The board also held a public hearing on whether or not to move the county auditor-treasurer seat, currently held by JoDee Treat, to an appointment rather than remain an elected official.

Numerous written and in-person comments were submitted, including from the former county administrator and auditor-treasurer, Kay Mack.

She spoke in favor of moving it to an appointment after giving an example of a radio personality running and winning against an appointed auditor-treasurer with years of experience.

Mack said this former radio news director was excellent at the auditor-treasurer job but credited his win to a “popularity contest.”

Current Administrator Tom Barry also recommended moving it to an appointment, because the board could select candidates based on experience, which an elected official does not need to have.

The auditor-treasurer has a complex job with duties including overseeing the county’s budget and all elections.

The board will take action at their next meeting, which Barry said would need a supermajority, or at least 4 votes, to pass.

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