County Administrator Adam Payne Misleads Sheboygan County Residents

Adam Payne spoke with WHBL and misinformed the station regarding the potential ramifications of proposed Ordinance No. 3. In doing so, he has also misled Sheboygan County residents. We are posting the entire article found on WHBL’s website along with our commentary to illustrate how manipulative and deceptive Payne’s words were when speaking with WHBL.

Here in Sheboygan, we depend on our local news sources such as WHBL, so we are not holding the station accountable for the misinformation supplied to them by Payne. As a community we love WHBL, but we need an equal opportunity to tell our side of the story!

Below you will find the original article published by WHBL on August 19, 2020 in black font. Our commentaries will be in red font.

Payne: There Will Be No Jail, No Forced Vaccinations, No $500 Fines

Sheboygan, WI, USA / 1330 & 101.5 WHBL, Jon DeMaster, Aug 19, 2020 9:36 AM

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) – Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne says he was met with between 150-200 demonstrators concerned about the health ordinance that’s now headed for a committee when he arrived at the County Courthouse Tuesday night for the Board’s monthly meeting.  Demonstrators expressed concern over the wording of the ordinance, and the state statutes it refers to, saying the biggest concerns were forced vaccinations, jail time, large fines, and the shutdown of businesses the state statute allows for.

Payne says this proposed ordinance, which is now under review, would do the opposite of that – limiting the power that the Health Department has, and allows a set of checks and balances with other departments to keep the community safe from COVID-19.  Payne says he agrees that some of the language in the state statute is rather draconian, and scary, and understands how that can contribute to the angst and stress he was met with Tuesday night. 

What Adam Payne does not mention is this ordinance was proposed by him; and not a department head or the board, which is unusual. Anyone else curious as to how he came up with this proposed idea?

County Administrator Adam Payne introduced the Committee to the proposed ordinance that would help the County be better prepared if the current pandemic becomes more concerning, and if greater county-wide action needs to be taken.


We spoke about this in our blog post titled Ordinance 3 – What you need to know. WHBL reports that Adam Payne says this ordinance is “limiting the power that the Health Department has, and allows a set of checks and balances with other departments to keep the community safe from COVID-19.” That is an outright lie! The proposed ordinance does NOT limit the power of the Health Department, it gives them enforcement authority they currently do not have. This is greater power, not less. We agree, Adam, the wording is draconian, scary, and brings anxiety to the community. So why did you propose it?

Payne assured demonstrators at the Courthouse, and listeners, that this ordinance will go through the same process other ordinances must follow, going through a period of review and refinement, before coming back to the board for a vote – a process that takes 2 months to complete.  He also says the county is far from needing to consider implementing an emergency ordinance as the one proposed.  The Health Department has been working closely with local hospitals and says the criteria that would trigger a measure like this is the hospitals being at 50% capacity with COVID-19 positive patients.  

Mr. Payne assured us this would go through the same process other ordinances follow (with the exception being that he was the one who submitted it to our local HHS) The average reader will assume that it will be two months before the County Board Supervisors vote on this ordinance, which is untrue. This ordinance was first proposed to the board on August 18th, 2020, and is set to be voted on September 15th, 2020, which is less than one month. The full truth is that this process does take two months from the moment of conceptualization to the moment it is voted on by County Board Supervisors and passed into law. This begs the question: If mid-August was NOT the start of this conversation, when was it begun and with whom?

Likewise, when Adam Payne says “the criteria that would trigger a measure like this is the hospitals being at 50% capacity with COVID-19 positive patients”, the average reader would think that would mean a great number of people. Here is what the proposed ordinance (revised) says:

WHEREAS, the primary hospital system providers in Sheboygan County, Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. Nicholas, have a combined total of twelve (12) intensive care unit (ICU) beds and twenty-two (22) additional COVID-19 dedicated medical surgical beds available for use, and

WHEREAS, our hospital systems have communicated that if fifty percent (50%) of their ICU beds or COVID-19 dedicated medical surgical beds are filled with COVID-positive patients, it is a key indicator that our hospitals are becoming overwhelmed

Proposed revised Sheboygan County Ordinance 3

The ordinance implies that there are 34 available beds for COVID patients. One would think this means 50% capacity (or 17 positive patients in the entire county) would be the criteria to trigger a measure like this. Yet, there is the word “or” in the second “WHEREAS”. That could mean as few as 6 COVID-positive patients could trigger this measure.

WHEREAS, in the event Sheboygan County’s hospital systems indicate they have reached the fifty percent (50%) threshold for COVID patients, or if other key monitoring criteria shows a surge in COVID cases, the public health officer may need to enact orders to prevent and suppress the spread of COVID…

Proposed revised Sheboygan County Ordinance 3

There is the word “or” again. This additional clause in the proposed ordinance says hospitals at 50% capacity with COVID positive patients is not the only criteria for triggering this ordinance. All it takes is a surge in COVID cases. What defines a surge? Does this give the public health officer authority to enact orders whenever they deem a surge in COVID (or any other communicable disease) is taking place?

Furthermore, Payne goes on to state “the county is far from needing to consider implementing an emergency ordinance like the one proposed.” If this is true, why was this ordinance introduced at a hastily-called “special meeting” of the HHS on a Friday?  Why was this the only item on the agenda and why wasn’t it added to the regularly-scheduled meeting held the following Tuesday? If, as Administrator Payne claims, “we are far from needing to consider” such an ordinance, then why couldn’t it have waited for one additional working day to be considered? Why did this entire meeting take only 36 minutes from start to finish if it was supposedly first being introduced?

There is no debate that this ordinance gives unusual arbitrary and punitive enforcement authority to the local health officer, bypassing our local sheriff and other law enforcement agencies. Neither the local health department nor the county board are law enforcement agencies.

Payne also addressed the language in the ordinance that mentions “communicable diseases” and not just COVID-19.  He says that if something else rears it’s ugly head, the county may have to do something at that point too, but the issue at hand right now is dealing with COVID-19.  Payne stressed multiple times throughout an interview on WHBL Wednesday morning that even if an order was issued, there will not be any forced vaccinations, no $500 fines, no jail time, and the business community is already doing a great job of following the recommendations put forth by the health department, but if there was a business that was knowingly contributing to the spread of COVID-19, and wasn’t taking steps to prevent that, they could be contacted by the Health Department to make necessary changes. 

Another tactic Payne uses to deceive Sheboygan County residents is to skim past any contention or concern of the people and direct attention to their fears. What else would rear its ugly head, Adam? COVID-19 has been promoted as the worst pandemic in our lives, yet has a 1/10th of ONE percent mortality rate. Suicide, depression and panic disorder (including ones caused by the fear being pushed by our own government) account for much higher mortality rates. The ordinance being proposed by Adam Payne is terrifying.  What is his hidden agenda?

There is a sweeping move across all Wisconsin counties to enact similar ordinances to the proposed Ordinance 3. The Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) has gone as far as providing legal documents and Order examples for counties to use (GUIDANCE IN IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS SURROUNDING COMMUNICABLE DISEASES). Governor Evers is attempting to implement his plan to bypass the nullified extended stay-at-home orders by using our local non-elected officials. It appears as though Adam Payne works for Governor Evers, not Sheboygan County residents. 

If Ordinance 3 is enacted, it will be permanent. It will never expire.

4 Comments. Leave new

  • The ordinance was supposedly written in case “Sheboygan County experiences a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and our hospitals are on the brink of being overrun.” The ordinance defines “the brink of being overrun” as half (50%) of the 34 Covid-designated beds being occupied – i.e., 17 COVID-positive patients hospitalized concurrently.

    New hospitalizations for Covid have remained fairly consistent for the 182 days (Mar 13 – Sep 10) tracked on the county Covid website. Per the statistics on Sheboygan County hospitalizations, the rate of change in hospitalizations was zero to one new Covid admission per day, with only five dates with more than one new Covid hospitalization – three dates with two new hospitalizations and two dates with four new hospitalizations. During the other 177 days, hospital admissions were zero to one admission per day. In other words, quite stable.

    The highest seven day average of hospitalizations was on August 25 with 5.9 patients hospitalized concurrently, with most dates averaging far less. So we have never even come close to the arbitrary “brink” of 17 hospitalized Covid patients. Keep in mind, Sheboygan County has had AT MOST 9 COVID PATIENTS IN THE HOSPITAL AT THE SAME TIME. And that level of hospitalized Covid patients only happened on 4 of the total 182 days tracked by Sheboygan County.

    With the number of seriously ill Covid patients decreasing across the country now, I don’t think we will ever get near the “brink” of 17 hospitalized Covid patients. That said, I’m not sure why the “brink” trigger is 50% (17 beds), since there would still be 17 beds available. And statistics show NO drastic increases is hospitalizations are likely.

    IF we were ever to reach that 50% level, our county health department should then start to implement a “contingency plan” on how to isolate and treat a larger number of Covid patients effectively, rather than declare a county emergency order that extends or places new life-disrupting restrictions on Sheboygan County residents. No more quarantining healthy people!

  • There is also a statement that “if other key monitoring criteria shows a surge, the public health officer may need to enact orders to prevent and suppress the spread of COVID.” This is a blank check for public health to declare county-wide restrictions for any definition of “surge”, not just hospital utilization.

  • Robert Spaulding
    September 11, 2020 7:37 PM

    The swamp doesn’t only exist in Washington, D.C.. Adam Payne is our local swamp dweller who obviously feels a rush of power because of a non deadly virus. One thing about this Plandemic for sure is it drives people like Payne out of the the dark hiding spots they create with their forked tongues.

  • Without re-stating the obvious, please note that all of the language in the preamble (the “Whereas” section) of the proposal is mere fluff, and is placed there to frame the actual ordinance in the name of Covid-19 and the unnatural fear surrounding it. The real meat of the proposal comes after the “County Board of Supervisors of the County of Sheboygan does ordain”. Please note that the actual ordinance has no limitations on the type of ‘public health’ issue that could be used to justify the unlimited authority given to unelected people. In recent times, issues such as racism have been declared public health crises. What is next? Christianity?

    Also note that Wis. Statute 252.02 (4) states “Rules that are promulgated and orders that are issued under this subsection supersede conflicting or less stringent local regulations, orders or ordinances.” This clearly conflicts with Adam Payne’s statements suggesting that he is merely doing this to make a “kinder and gentler” rule than that already in force by the state.

    Also please note that according to Sheboygan County Ordinance 15.13 (adopted in 2011), Adam Payne is allowed sweeping power, including the ability to USE AND DESTROY PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PURPOSES. This means that he could declare that he needs your home to manage an ’emergency’, come in without a warrant and simply burn it down. There is nothing that prevents this from happening.

    Finally, please note that as of July 21, 2020, Adam Payne was granted authority to SPEND AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF MONEY AND HIRE UNLIMITED STAFF in the name of Covid-19 through April 19, 2022.

    These are very concerning, and suggest that Adam Payne needs to be removed from his current position. Further, we need to replace the role of County Administrator with an elected position such as County Executive.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed