County board approves Pezzetti for mental health board vacancy


BESSEMER — Three re-appointments to the Community Mental Health Authority Board and a new appointment were approved by the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday.

The previous terms expired March 31.

Reappointed were Margaret Rayner, Robert Lynn and Ken Wegmeyer, all of the Ironwood area.

All three indicated to Gogebic County Community Mental Health officials that they would like to be reappointed to the three-year terms on the board.

The new appointee is former Gogebic County sheriff and county board member Donald Pezzetti, of Wakefield.

In his letter seeking the appointment, Pezzetti noted he worked closely with the mental health agency when he was sheriff.

The four were appointed unanimously.

In other business Wednesday, the county board granted Chad Novascone the status of an appointed official as the probation officer.

There was some confusion among board members as to whether Novascone should receive retiree health care benefits, since the county stopped extending those benefits to new employees in January of 2010.

Gogebic County Probate Court Judge Joel Massie noted Novascone was employed by the county prior to 2010. Massie said Novascone should be grandfathered in for the retiree benefits. “That’s what was asked for,” Massie said.

Board member George Peterson, of Watersmeet, agreed that Novascone should be grandfathered in. “It’s not his fault he wasn’t included,” Peterson said.

County treasurer Sue Pertile said the county will pay slightly more in retiree benefits for Novascone under the new arrangement, with child care assuming part of the cost.

The board approved Novascone’s reclassification on a 7-0 vote.

The county board also renewed law enforcement contracts with the cities of Bessemer and Wakefield. Sheriff Peter Matonich said there will be no change in the costs to the cities the first year and a slight increase the second year. He said he was pleased with the contracts.

County emergency services director Jim Loeper said his department received a $1,180 hazardous materials planning grant. He said a 2012 Ford Ranger purchased with a regional Homeland Security grant was to be picked up today and will be displayed for the county board’s scrutiny in the courthouse parking lot after the next meeting on March 27.


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