Douglas County focuses on efficiency, tax dollarsMission Statement: To help the residents of Douglas County learn about the work of county departments, administration, the County Board, and special committees that supported, in part, by Douglas County.
By: By Lew Martin, Superior Telegram
Mission Statement: To help the residents of Douglas County learn about the work of county departments, administration, the County Board, and special committees that supported, in part, by Douglas County.
County Treasurer Linda Helenius wants to send out an early reminder for those who only paid the first half of their taxes last month — the second half is due in the Treasurer’s Office by July 31.
If your first installment is delinquent, then the second installment option — interest free — is lost and interest begins accruing at 1 percent per month on the entire balance due until paid in full.
If your second installment is delinquent, you will accrue interest at 1 percent per month on the balance. The interest on delinquency starts Feb. 1.
Payments may be made at the Treasurer’s Office, by mail (include payment stubs and a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want a receipt), the payment drop-box in the median across from the Government Center entrance, or online at www.douglascountywi.org —fees will apply.
For more information, call County Treasurer’s Office at (715) 395-1348.
County Administrator Andy Lisak is working to help county managers guide staff to work more efficiently. More than 40 Douglas County staff members were exposed to the concept of “Administrative Lean” during two workshops conducted by Barb Nicol, Senior Management Engineer with UW-Stout’s Center for Operational Excellence. Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak learned about the training program for county managers and supervisors during the 2011 Wisconsin Lean Government Conference in Madison.
Administrative Lean is a set of guidelines used to improve office efficiency. Workshops help staff identify waste in administrative processes, pinpoint tools to help reduce or eliminate waste, and understand the value of implementing the concept of Lean in office settings. Office waste can take the form of excess paperwork, redundant approvals, inefficient work area design, incomplete or inaccurate information and complex tracking systems.
Ken Miller, a former state and local government employee in Kansas, has written extensively on ways to improve government performance and capacity by focusing on systems and waste within those systems government utilizes to perform its duties.
According to Miller, times of budget challenges are “the perfect time to use the principles of lean to radically rethink what we (in government) do and how we do it.” Miller’s latest book, “Extreme Government Makeover,” is based on principle that government work is noble, the people who perform it are amazing, but the systems of government are a mess.
Douglas County government officials are looking forward to applying the Lean concept and Miller’s philosophy in its efforts to improve the quality of services it provides to Douglas County residents.