Commission hires director for noxious weed department

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Noxious weeds, such as musk thistle, should be under better control next year with the hire of a new Noxious Weed Department director.

MOUND CITY – After much discussion on Monday, Sept. 20, the Linn County Commissioners hired Johnny Taylor as noxious weed director at $18.17 per hour.

Public Works Director Shaun West said that the present assistant noxious weed director Carl Wieberg had taken the initiative to take the classes for certification and had passed the first of three tests. West recommended that Wieberg be given a raise.

The commissioners decided to postpone his raise until he passed the second test. West told the commissioners that Wieberg was not interested in being director of the department.

West said that because of the department has no certified employee, he was encouraging Wieberg to get his certification in case he was needed as a backup.

Linn County Commissioner Danny McCullough said he was not opposed to giving Wieberg a raise as an incentive.

James suggested the commission hold off on the raise until Weiberg finishes the second course.

Since Taylor has not taken any certification classes yet, the motion included that he would begin classes as soon as they were offered. At present, Linn County is operating the noxious weed spraying under Miami County’s license until Linn County has someone certified.

West told the commissioners that he had discussed the possibility of the position being different than it has been with mowing and other duties being added to the position. West said that Taylor was not opposed to that.

McCullough said that the program had been a nightmare since he started, and it would be good to get someone in there with fresh ideas.

West asked that Taylor not start the new job until the new pay period begins so that the updated job description will be ready.

After he is hired, West said, he could start studying for the tests and train under Miami County and a few other local county’s noxious weed departments so that he can develop a program for Linn County.

He will also be trained on cost shares, and can check on the equipment that the county has, West said, adding that Taylor could make sure that Linn County is under regulation for the chemicals that are stored and could begin getting things set up for next year.

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