County eyes new personnel

March 25, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday expressed support for about $520,000 worth of new county personnel positions, rejecting another $135,000 worth of requested positions.

The commissioners also heard a proposal from the Washington County Board of Education for almost $700,000 worth of new school system positions. In addition, the school board proposed to "redeploy" another eight people to new positions, though the cost of those redeployments was not clear from their presentation.

The commissioners asked school system officials to prepare a new version of their request that would include the cost of those redeployments.

The commissioners agreed to eliminate two vacant positions in the Permits and Inspections Department, which has been short on work due to a slowdown in construction activity. Those positions -- a full-time plumbing inspector and a part-time electrical inspector -- would free up about $63,580.


Outside of education and public safety, the commissioners supported adding only three full-time positions, which County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said was "very minimal."

Those positions were a deputy director for the Highway Department, an accountant and a recreation program coordinator.

The highway department needs a deputy director to fill in when the director is away and to help manage the increasing number of construction projects performed by department staff, Director Edwin Plank said. The deputy director would make $60,040 per year and could get up to $22,020 in benefits.

The new accountant would work in the budget and finance office and make $50,638 per year, plus up to $7,565 in benefits. Budget and finance director Debra Murray noted the office has lost three positions over the past 15 years and needs another accountant to keep up with increased reporting requirements and overlapping budget cycles.

The recreation department needs a program coordinator to oversee three new school-based community recreation centers, Director Jamie Dick said. The coordinator would make $35,030 per year, plus up to $19,580 in benefits.

In addition, the commissioners supported requests for three interns and a request to reclassify an administrative assistant in the Division of Public Works as a documents coordinator. That person has been delegated responsibility for monitoring budgets and managing legal and fiscal issues, Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth said. The new title would come with a $4,730-per-year raise and up to $740 in additional benefits.

The commissioners said they would not support requests for a deputy director for the Division of Planning and Community Development, an office associate for the Land Development and Engineering Department or a part-time office associate for the Recreation Department.

Public safety requests included four emergency communication specialists to represent the sheriff's department in the new consolidated dispatch center and three part-time firefighter/technicians for the Special Operations Team. The sheriff's department also asked for funding to retain a GIS/crime analyst after grant funding for her position expires in September.

New education positions included arts teachers and staff for the new Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, social workers, special education paraprofessionals, bus drivers and a fingerprint technician.

The social workers are necessitated by a growing number of special education students, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said.

The commissioners also asked whether fingerprinting services could be contracted out or shared with the sheriff's department, but Morgan said a full-time staffer was needed to process the hundreds of volunteers who need to be screened to work in the school system.

The commissioners have not voted on the personnel proposals. The proposals are part of the county budget, which the commissioners generally approve in June.



o Five arts teachers for Ingram school -- $275,536

o Two licensed clinical social workers -- $110,215

o Two custodians for Ingram school -- $64,166

o Three bus drivers for transpiration hub -- $60,156

o Two special education paraprofessionals -- $50,130

o Secretary for Ingram school -- $40,104

o Fingerprint technician -- $35,091

o Part-time media specialist for Ingram school -- $27,554

o Convert part-time guidance counselor to full -- $27,554

Public Safety

o Four emergency communication specialists -- $200,590

o Three part-time firefighter/technicians -- $74,150

o GIS/crime analyst -- $38,100


o Deputy director, highways -- $82,060

o Deputy director, planning (not supported) -- $82,060

o Accountant -- $58,203

o Recreation program coordinatoor -- $54,610

o Office associate, public works (not supported) -- $42,680

o Part-time office associate, recreation (not supported) -- $10,780

o Two interns, public works -- $5,180

o One intern, emergency management -- $2,590


26 full-time, six part-time, three interns -- $1,341,509

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