MARINETTE — The Marinette County Board last Tuesday, by a slim 15-14 vote, approved an ordinance change that leaves no official process for appealing a decision of a highway commissioner to deny a request for exemption from spring weight limit restrictions.

The county ordinance previously stated that an applicant can appeal to a committee. County Administrator John Lefebvre explained that is contrary to state law.

"The committee doesn't have any authorization, approval or authority over the highway commissioner on this operation type matters," Lefebvre said.

Supervisor Connie Seefeldt asked how an applicant can get their case heard.

Lefebvre said the best thing to do in any scenario in the county is to follow the chain of command. "The first thing would be is to go to the department head," he said. "The next thing would be myself as the county administrator. ... They also can come to these meetings and speak at public comment."

He noted that a committee, including the county board, can suspend the rules and entertain discussion on an item during public comment. 

Supervisor Robert Holley said he's voting no on this matter because citizens need a way to address their concerns.

"Taxpayers of this county should have the right to come to a committee and discuss it," he said. "For someone not have a recourse on a decision we make is not right for the taxpayers."

Lefebvre reiterated that citizens already have the right to speak during public comment and supervisors have the right to discuss those concerns.

"What we're talking about is you overriding the appeal of the county commissioner," he said. "That's the portion that we're concerned with because you don't have that authority."

Current Highway Commission Eric Burmeister did not speak at the meeting.

Supervisors who voted in favor of the ordinance are: Roger Allen, Tom Buelteman, Allen England, Chris Gromala, Tom Gromala, Stan Gruszynski, John Guarisco, Wally Hitt, Robert Hoyer, Tom Mandli, Hank Novak, Tim Pelzek and Rick Poizin, Bill Stankevich and Rick Thill.

Supervisor Glenn Broderick abstained.rick abstained.