Office of County Administrator
County of La Crosse, Wisconsin
County Administrative Center
400 4th Street North • Room 3300 • La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-3200
(608) 785-9700 • Fax (608) 789-4821

Aging & Long Term Care

Health & Human Services

Internal Departments

Memo To:  La Crosse County Board of Supervisors

From:  Steve O’Malley, County Administrator

Date:   November 2 , 2009


Re:  November Monthly Report to the County Board


Attached is the November  Monthly Report to the County Board, providing monitoring information about department activities to the full County Board instead of reporting only to governing committees.


REMINDER   Monthly Reporting by roughly half the organization every other month.  While you will receive this report each month, the reports do not cover every department each time


February, April, June, August, October, December 


January , March, May, July, September, November

Planning, Resources & Development

Public Works & Infrastructure 

Judiciary & Law Enforcement

Corp Counsel & Child Support

Health & Human Services

Aging & Long Term Care

County Clerk, Finance, IT

Printing, Personnel, Treasurer




2010 Budget Public Hearing, Annual Meeting and Budget Adoption

The month of November provides the time for final Budget deliberations and actions by the County Board.  At the special Executive Committee meeting on Budget October 27, 2009, the committee unanimously approved the Budget Alternative proposal (details presented at the County Board meeting of October 15th.  If this alternative is adopted by the County Board, the 2010 budget will have the lowest tax increase in the past 10 years.  The estimated impact will be approximately $7.50 per year for the owner of an “average” home valued at $150,000.


Comparative Data

Supervisor Ebert asked that staff complete a detailed comparison with our comparable counties including County Board and Chair compensation, Total Budget, number of employees, Sales Tax Collections, Nursing Homes, and County Administrator Salary.  (This information is enclosed.)


Also, we’ve completed a detailed comparison of the effect on tax ranking with other Counties, with and without the use of the County Sales Tax. (This information will be included in County Board agenda packet)  The data shows that La Crosse County would rank:  


·         65th out of 72 counties in per capita Total Tax Levy if all Counties had the Sales Tax,

·         62nd out of 72 counties in per capita Total Tax Levy if all Sales Tax was Excluded.


 If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail as soon as possible. 

County Administrator direct line:   785-9789,   cell phone  608-385-3316

or e-mail



Aging & Long Term Care

November 2009


Veterans Service Office


  • The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs has decided to establish a service connection for Vietnam veterans with three specific illnesses based on the latest evidence of an association with the herbicides referred to as Agent Orange.

 The illnesses affected by this recent decision are B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia; Parkinson’s disease; and ischemic heart disease (coronary artery disease leading to heart damage).

 Used in Vietnam to defoliate trees and remove concealment for the enemy, Agent Orange left a legacy of suffering and disability that continues to the present.  Between January 1965 and April 1970, an estimated 2.6 million military service members who served in Vietnam were potentially exposed to sprayed Agent Orange.

 In practical terms, veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed” illness don’t have to prove an association between their illnesses and their military service.  This “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.

 The addition of these new illnesses brings to 15 the number of presumed illnesses recognized by the VA.  In addition to the 3 mentioned above the others are:

Acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy

AL Amyloidosis


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Hodgkin’s disease

Multiple myeloma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Porphyria cutanea tarda

Prostate cancer

Respiratory cancers (lung/bronchus)

Soft tissue sarcoma

 Vietnam veterans who have ever been diagnosed with any of the above conditions are encouraged to contact their county veterans’ service officer to file a claim or to get more information.  There is also more information online at


  • The 12th Annual La Crosse Veterans’ Stand Down was held on October 22nd at the La Crosse American Legion post.  This event is jointly sponsored by the veterans service office, Tomah VA Medical Center, and the Veterans Assistance Foundation (the homeless veteran program located in Tomah).  The event was successful with 340 veterans attending, plus their family members.  We bring federal, state, county, city and local agencies together in one location for veterans to get information on the services offered by each organization.  A special thanks to my CVSO staff, the County Aging Unit and the Disability Resource Center for their attendance and support.


  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released their latest VA compensation and pension expenditure figures by county:  Compensation and pension benefits increased from $15.3 million in 2008 to 16.8 million in 2009, an increase of 10.9%.   Compensation and pension are monthly monetary benefits received by county veterans and survivors.  This averages out to $1,719 per year per veteran in La Crosse County.  A special thanks to my staff -  Sue Otten, Sandi Valentine and Julie Sylha – for helping me deal with the increased workload.


  • Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11th.  Veterans events:

-          On Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30 PM there is a Veterans Day Concert at 6:30 PM at Southern Bluffs Elementary School.  The concert will be repeated on November 11th at 9:30 AM.

-          On November 11th at 10:45 AM there will be a Veterans Day ceremony in from of American Legion Post 52, 711 S. 6th St. in La Crosse.

-          Please check with your local American Legion post for other ceremonies this Veterans Day.


Submitted by,

Jim Gausmann

Veterans' Service Officer



Lakeview Health Center





The Lakeview strategic plan has many objectives to be met in the next three years, and one of these is to review our current organization and adjust it if necessary to meet the changing needs of our consumers and our mission. 

Currently Lakeview administration and managers still function under an institutional approach, while our organization continues to grow and expand in community services and other unique ventures.  Administration has already begun to review our roles as we evolve in our services and scope of operation.  As we continue to evaluate current and potential changes to our roles, we have begun to introduce this more global concept to our management team, and how their roles and responsibilities may also grow and change as we continue to review our purpose and mission.  We will continue to update you on our progress in this and other areas of our strategic plan.


Submitted by,

Pam Semb

Lakeview Administrator


La Crosse County Aging Unit 


  • The Aging Unit will make frozen meals available over the Thanksgiving holiday to all Home-Delivered participants.

  • Medicare Part D 2010 Staff will be available to help people input their drugs into the Medicare plan finder and to answer individual questions.  This program is open to anybody who has to make choices on Medicare Part D for 2010.
    Assistance will be provided in the County Board Room from Noon – 3PM on Thursday, November 19 and Thursday December 3, 2009.

  • We have received an additional $8,000 in SHIP funds (State Health Insurance Program) to enhance outreach and assistance for Medicare Part D and other insurance assistance.

  • All Drivers who deliver Home-Delivered Meals were given a kit to deal with the H1N1 virus or other pandemic illnesses.  The kits include hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and information about how to protect themselves and others from illnesses.

  • The Annual Hmong Elders Health Fair took place on October 28 with about 50 Hmong elders attending.  Health screenings and health education were available, including proper hand washing technique, bone density screening, glucose and cholesterol screening, blood pressure and others.  The Health Department and the ADRC participated with other private agencies.

Submitted by,

Noreen Kuroski

Director of Aging



Health & Human Services

November 2009 

Health Department








GOAL #1 Provide public health services to meet changing needs.



1.a.  Maintain La Crosse County Annual Years of Potential Life Lost among the lowest third in the state.

Met goal in 2008, date for 2009 not yet available.


1.b.  By Dec. 2009, conduct at least 100 consultations, inspections or orders for homes suspected to have radon, lead or mold exposure.

Env. = Radon-38, Lead-32, Mold-41

PHN/ Ed/Env/ Vector

1.c.  By Dec. 2009, complete over 700 communicable disease follow-ups on 83 reportable diseases or conditions.

Env. = 13, Vector=74, Ed=128, PHN=35


1.d.  By Dec. 2009, provide home health nursing and Personal Care services to 75% of referral received.

77% of references were admitted.


1.e.  By Dec. 2009, there will be a 3% increase from 2008 rates of  infants residing in La Crosse County who turn 24 months of age during the contract year will have received the primary series of immunizations.

Analysis for third quarter not yet available


1.f.  By Dec. 2009, have the monthly testing of 10 area municipal drinking water systems show the systems to be safe.



1.g.  By Dec. 31, 2009 more than 70% of infants whose mothers were enrolled in the La Crosse WIC Program prenatally will be breastfed

Breastfeeding incidence of mothers on La Crosse WIC prenatally=67.6% (compared to 66.2% statewide)


1.h. By Dec. 31, 2009, 5 schools in the County will have implemented Safe Routes to School Programs

Currently 5 have:  Hamilton, State Road, Franklin, Irving Pertzsch, Northern Hills


1.i. By Dec. 31, 2009, assist 100 uninsured individuals enroll in the BadgerCare Plus Prog.

325 full applications completed 1-9/09

PHN/ Nutr/


1.j.  By Dec. 2009, provide employee wellness services to 25% of all La Crosse County employees.



1.k. By Dec. 2009, less than 3 reported cases of mosquitoborne West Nile or La Crosse Encephalitis.

1 Case reported


1.l.  By Dec. 2009 meeting the 2009 budget goals for the dept.

Within budget as of 9/30/09.


1.m. For the year ending Dec. 2009 in an effort to receive 95% of signed doctor’s orders within the 20 calendar day limit, clerical staff will attempt three contacts with physicians’ offices to request return of the orders to the Health Department.

Analysis for the third quarter not compiled


GOAL #2 Utilize technology to improve public health services.



2.a.  By Dec. 2009, establish an electronic reportable disease-case report system.

State run project – training set up for November


2.b.  March and April thru November Surveillance, trapping, and control activities for disease carrying mosquitoes and ticks in La Crosse County and contracted areas.



2.c.  By Dec. 2009, the Business Continuity Plan will be tested

The BCP is being tested with H1N1- Incident Command established.  HC on schedule.


2.d.  By Dec. 2009, complete initial planning for a department-wide electronic health record system.

Planning delayed because of H1N1 related activities


GOAL #3 Maintain the current State of Wisconsin designation as the highest-level public health agency.



3.a.  Report each quarter on the range of high priority services needed to maintain status of Level III HD.

Reporting system in place, services being delivered


GOAL #4 Expand partnerships to develop public health services in high priority areas.



4.a. By Dec. 2009, expand the current partnership with dentists to increase persons covered by MA that receive dental care to over 25%.

Committee met one time in the quarter to continue efforts but goal not met


4.b.  By Dec 2009 HD employees will participate in the following partnerships:



Coulee Region Public Health Preparedness Consortium

1 meeting


La Crosse Area Health Initiative

3 meetings


WI Public Health Laboratory Network

No meetings this quarter. E-communications on draft missions, objectives.


Coulee Region Childhood Obesity Coalition

3 meetings held in this qtr.


Safe Route to School Task Force - SRTS

  • City of La Crosse

  • La Crosse County

No meetings held this qtr.


La Crosse Area Immunization Coalition

1 meeting held



La Crosse Area Communicable Disease Coalition

Ed – 1 quarterly meeting


La Crosse Long Term Care Coordinating Committee

On target for scheduled meetings


ECO-County Plan for Sustainability

Participating in County effort


GOAL #5 Hire and retain high quality staff by providing a positive work environment.



5.a.  By Dec 2009, all staff will have had a performance review.

Lab, Env.= current.  Nutr.12 of 15 completed.  Ed. Admin, PHN, HC=on-going


5.b.  By Dec 2009, all staff will have the opportunity to meet with mgmt at least quarterly.

All divisions meet at least quarterly.


5.c.  By Dec 2009 all staff will have the opportunity to attend 30 hours of continuing ed.

Lab=1 staff JEC conf & 1 staff WEHA.  Nutr. HC, PHN & Env, Ed.=On-going,


5.d.  By August 2009, all staff will have an opportunity to offer suggestions for the 2009 budget that could improve the potential to reach the HD Mission.

Env, Lab, Ed.=completed.  HC=on-going


5.e.  By Dec 2009, assure that all staff meets basic licensing certification and accreditation requirements.

All licenses/certificates current



Text Box: DIV. KEY:        Admin   Administration                  Ed   Health Education          Env   Environmental Health
     HC        Home Care Nursing            Lab  Laboratory                 Nutr  Nutrition
      PHN       Public Health Nursing      Vector   Vector Control




Submitted by,

Doug Mormann

Health Director


Human Services


Planning for the Crisis Assessment Center:

This past month, the Human Services Department in its procurement policy awarded the opportunity to contract with Tellurian, out of Madison, to develop a crisis assessment center in La Crosse.  The purpose of the center would be as a resource to law enforcement, the hospitals and human services in responding to psychiatric crises and needs for non-medical detox.  Many segments of the community have been involved for a year in planning the crisis assessment center with the hope that the program can be implemented in early 2010.

A major function of a standing working group for the crisis center now is the location of a site in which the center would run.  A group of community leaders across sectors have been chosen to assist the county and Tellurian to purchase a building/home in which the center could operate and work closely with local law enforcement and human services.


Planning for the Future of Child Welfare Services in the State of Wisconsin:

The Director of Human Services was asked to join several counties, Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA), and the state Department of Children and Family Services at a strategic planning meeting in September regarding the future of child welfare services in the state.  Counties which were represented and the state were joined by staff from Casey Family Programs out of Seattle who work with states on long-term initiatives involving children and families.  The 2½ day planning session was at Wingspread in Racine and looked at both short-term and long-term need for changes within the child welfare system in the state.  The Director will be sharing some of the discussion from this planning session with the Health and Human Services Board members at its November meeting.


Focus on Issues of Diversity:

The Human Services Department, as well as the entire county, has begun initiatives focused on diversity within the county.  For the Human Services Department, there has been a series of Brown Bag lunches on many aspects of diversity throughout the year and more recently training on addressing the unique needs and issues within the African American community in La Crosse County.  The Department also has reached out to the Hmong community to address issues related to the economy and services provided by the county.  This cultural and diversity focus will likely continue for several years as the county attempts to embrace diversity and provide the best services for all segments of our community.


Submitted by,

Jerry Huber

Director of Human Services




Internal Departments

November 2009


County Clerk’s Office



Election Training:  We have now settled on 2 dates.  We will be meeting with just a few clerks in December to discuss the agenda for the training session.  The Training will be held on Feb. 3rd.  So far we have about 50 attending.  This is the training I mentioned in my last report when it was in the planning stages.  We will be training the municipal clerks and the election inspectors (poll workers) on election forms and documentation they are responsible for on election night, and other Election Day related topics.

SVRS Training:  My staff will be attending SVRS (Statewide Voter Registration System) training in mid-November.  The newest member of my staff needs this training to be able to access SVRS so she can assist in data entry next year.  My Deputy and Assistant Deputy will also be attending a half day course on the HAVA interface (Help America Vote Act: cross-checking with DOT and DOC databases).

Early Voting:  I will be attending a meeting with GAB and other clerks in Madison Dec. 14th on what GAB will/should recommend to the legislature about Early Voting.  This is an important topic because what the Legislature enacts could have a substantial budget impact in the near future.

Voting Machines:  Our Eagle voting machines are now 10 years old and our vendor (ES&S) is offering just one more year of maintenance to the end of 2010, due to the shortage of parts.  So we will have to start looking to replace our voting machines in 2011.  That will mean a substantial investment by the County and by every municipality. The most likely replacement option, at this time, is currently about $6500 per machine.  At this time we don’t believe any new software will be required, but there will likely be some training expense.  This is just a general heads up as the legislature could make any number of election changes & requirements before then.


County Clerk

Marriage Licenses/Domestic Partnerships

To date we have taken 30 Domestic Partnership applications.  That is only 8 more since my September report.  All but 4 of them have filed their DP Declaration with the Register of Deeds. We are still waiting for I.T. to complete the program we need so we are still using the word-fill documents supplied by the State; this means the deposits are being figured manually and no reports can be generated.

Dog Licenses

Having just finished with the citation process and working with the folks who were sent a warrant, we have deposited almost $13,000 in penalty revenue, but that is shy of the $14,000 budgeted.  Now it is already time to distribute the 17,000 2010 dog tags to the municipalities, which was done at the October 27th Treasurer’s meeting.  The invoices won’t be distributed until after the budget meeting and courtesy reminders will be mailed in February.

Certificate of Exempt Status:  I now have laminated Certificates of Exempt Status available.  These were ordered by Purchasing and created by Printing for use by County Employees when on official business. 


County Board

Appointed Supervisor:  Tina Wehrs has been appointed District 34 County Board Supervisor and was sworn in on September 21, 2009.  She replaced Tom Rauk who resigned due to health reasons.

Training Budget:  I transferred $1500 to this account but we are already almost $600 over budget yet again.  I believe there are other accounts within the County Board budget that can be used for account transfers to cover the deficit.

Automated Voting/Agenda/Minutes System:  I.T. is working on a new program which will hopefully make roll call voting more efficient during Board meetings.  It also incorporates the agendas and Board actions into a minutes document.  The minutes will still require hands-on adjustments but the program should make the process quicker as well as ensure uniformity and accuracy.  Later phases of the project hope to create live streaming and searchable video.  The first phase (agendas and minutes) may be ready for testing by December.


Respectfully Submitted,

Linda Stone, County Clerk



Information Technology


2009 Sustainability Update

The IT Department has been working on many projects to support the sustainability initiative.  The following summarizes projects related to this effort:

Increased Technology Lifecycle – We increased the lifecycle of the County’s desktop PC fleet from 5 to 7 years.   In the future we will be looking at lengthening the replacement cycle for our output devices and servers.

Product Purchases with Energy Savings – We reviewed options and now purchase our standard desktop computer in a small form factor case instead of a mid-sized case.  This smaller chassis consumes 25% less power than the mid-sized case (240 watts versus 320 watts).

Power Management Settings for the Desktops and Servers – We implemented a power saving computer policy to automatically turn off computer components after specified periods of nonuse.  With this policy we have the added benefit of better security when computer devices are left unattended.

Balanced Deployment for Printing/Copying – We continue to right-size the document output fleet, keeping the number of print and copy devices to a minimum.  The reduction of print devices benefits the County in several ways:  reduced energy costs, lower equipment replacement costs, and reduced e-waste.

Electronic Imaging & Scanning – Aligned with Balanced Deployment, we continue to promote and implement electronic document solutions.  These solutions decrease paper usage and ultimately reduce the number of print devices needed.

Training on Printing, Scanning and Imaging to move to e-Solutions – We have begun work to expand our training program to promote efficiencies related to our output devices.  These include printing on both sides of paper, and utilizing electronic sending options such as e-mailing and faxing.  

Reduce Number of Devices (Monitors and Single computer) – New policies are under development to set parameters for use of multiple computers and monitors by an individual employee.  These policies will reduce purchase and support costs and reduce e-waste.

Technology to Reduce Travel - Implementation of Video Equipment – Videoconferencing equipment has been installed in several conference rooms throughout the County to promote e-meetings, providing an opportunity for departments to save travel time and costs.

Server consolidation - Server consolidation has begun.  This new technology allows us to combine multiple physical servers to one virtual server.  This reduces the footprint of server cabinets, saves energy (both from fewer servers and through lowering cooling costs), and lowers equipment replacement and maintenance costs.


Submitted by,

John Parshall

Director of Information Technology