A three-person committee of county officials unanimously voted to appoint Kevin Barnhill as the new Washington County supervisor for District 7 during a special appointment meeting Monday at the Washington County Courthouse.

The supervisor position was vacant following the unexpected death of board member Andy Andreasen, who collapsed Dec. 5 at his store, Andy's Mow Town. He was 46.

Washington County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf, County Clerk Barbara Sullivan and County Treasurer Marjorie Hoier served on the three-person committee. They cast their votes for Barnhill in a secret ballot following comments by all seven applicants for the supervisor position and comments by the public.

Barnhill is the owner of KB Quality Meats in Blair and has also served on the Washington County Board of Adjustments. He was sworn in Tuesday morning before attending his first meeting as a supervisor that afternoon.

"I believe as a county supervisor, what you're responsible for is a clear and transparent government that works efficiently and that keeps fiscal conservatism at the foremost," Barnhill said during his comments at the meeting.

Barnhill also discussed his background in agricultural business, where held several executive level positions over his career, and how that can translate to keeping the county fiscally responsible.

"Responsible for budgets of half a billion or more," he said. "As part of that responsibility, I had to be fiscally sound and profitable … I've had great experience in leading teams and working with teams that have been very successful in managing budgets and being responsible to the stakeholders. In this case, the voters are the stakeholders."

Vander Schaaf said a lot of qualified people applied for the supervisor seat.

"I would encourage (each applicant) to try and keep involved in the process," he said. "We welcome you being there and being part of the process and helping us out."

Other applicants for the position included Shelly Andreasen, David Barker, Joe Lager, Lee Jensen, Nick Thallas and Brad Wrich.

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