Strait resigns position with the county

After a morning of nearly all executive sessions for personnel Wednesday, Aug. 26, spectators were allowed back in at the Marion County Commission meeting to find Bobbi Strait, planning and zoning director and county sanitarian, writing her resignation at the table in front of the commissioners.

The commissioners each read her resignation in turn, and then voted to accept it, effective Wednesday, but with pay and health insurance to continue until Sept. 30.

The action followed two weeks of suspension from the job without pay for Strait, dealing with issues that a county employee said included allegedly not showing up for work.

The commissioners also met in a 10-minute executive session with County Appraiser Cindy Magill and two of her departmental employees, Brian Frese and Deb Weidenmeier.

Magill said the two staff members had witnessed an encounter with Gary Diepenbrock, Lincolnville cattle feeder, who had come to the previous Monday meeting to ask that she be fired as a result.

After the executive session, the commissioners agreed they would ask Diepenbrock to come to a meeting that would include the commissioners and Magill.

Magill said contrary to Diepenbrock?s allegations, she did not reprimand an employee in front of him, but instead corrected misinformation an employee was giving out.

She said she also felt her attitude was one of being helpful to Diepenbrock, and that she had even found a way, according to state statute, that he could have avoided paying taxes on an improvement for eight years.

Magill said an appraiser always starts out not being popular because of dealing with taxation and property value issues.

On an unrelated topic, the commissioners voted to move the appraiser?s office from the courthouse basement until the source of an odor can be identifed and treated to avoid any health threat to employees.

In total, the commissioners spent 105 minutes during the meeting in executive session.

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