County departments want 34 new people

March 21, 2007|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Six Sheriff's Department patrol deputies are among 34 new positions requested by the county in a $1.2 million proposal heard Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners.

County department heads originally requested 46 new positions at a cost of $2 million for the coming fiscal year, but County Administrator Gregory B. Murray and Acting Human Resources Director Dee Hawbaker cut the list to 34.

The commissioners are in the process of reviewing the proposed budget for fiscal year 2008 and made no decision on the requests. Fiscal year 2008 begins July 1.

The 34 proposed positions include the patrol deputies, one domestic violence deputy, two court security deputies, nine advanced life support technicians, an assistant chief of emergency medical services and a deputy chief engineer.


The number of advanced life support technicians positions proposed are three short of what was called for in the Emergency Services Advisory Council's EMS strategic plan. That plan, which would establish requirements for medical responders that could result in stiffer county oversight of companies that fall short, proposed 12 technicians.

Commissioner William J. Wivell said he thought it was premature to discuss the positions. The commissioners need to first have a more in-depth discussion of the matter, he said.

Adding the positions would be like "creating a whole new hierarchy ..." he said.

"I just think it's too soon to say we're going to add nine positions ..." Wivell said after the meeting.

County department heads also have proposed upgrading - or reclassifying - 39 positions, and numerous other personnel requests, according to preliminary budget documents.

The commissioners haven't yet discussed those requests.

In addition, county staff has proposed 3.5 percent pay raises and merit raises for employees, excluding uniformed personnel with the Sheriff's Department.

Staff members also are asking that $1,000 be added to the salaries of employees who did not receive raises of a certain percentage last year, according to the documents.

Sheriff's Department uniformed employees are proposed to receive 3.5 percent step increases and a $1,000 across-the-board raise, rather than a cost-of-living increase.

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