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Board explores weed supervisor position

After a prolonged presentation from both the Cooperative Weed Management Association and the newly reactivated county weed board, the Lake County Commissioners held an explorative discussion during their Tuesday, Feb. 5 work session regarding what how they would outline the job description for a possible enforcer on behalf of the board.

“We want someone who knows weeds, knows enforcement, knows the game and can contract contractors for removal,” said Weed Board Chairman John O’Keeffe whom the commissioners invited to join the discussion.

As the problem of weeds and invasive species creates devastating consequences for grazing land and agriculture production, O’Keeffe reiterated the previous presentation’s message that “70 to 75 percent of landowners are taking advantage of (CWMA Coordinator) Grace Haskins’ good advice.” The rest, he said, did not spray or remove the invasive growth on their land, causing it to spread to the neighbors. “We do need an aspect of a little enforcement.”

O’Keeffe and Haskins, who was also present, gave the commissioners a rough job description that covered everything from weed removal to grant writing. “We are trying to catch all possible scenarios, things like being able to maintain equipment,” O’Keeffe said. “The focus of the job is the same.”

“There’s a lot of things you will need to put in it,” Haskins said when the commissioners showed apprehension regarding the wide range necessitated by the description. “We just wanted to present one that was helpful.

“I just don’t see the county having money to fill a position,” Commissioner Brad Winters said, bringing the discussion around to the greater topic of funding.

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