Commissioners review several personnel issues, act on pay study recommendations

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy Bluff Country Newspaper Group
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Fillmore County commissioners waded into the snow to reach the courthouse this past Tuesday morning, Feb. 12, as the sky continued to fall.

 The short agenda found the Board hearing from social services manager Kevin Olson, who asked for the commissioners’ nod for the Adult and Children’s Mobile Crisis Grant cooperative agreement for 2019-2020.

Commissioner Randy Dahl and Commissioner Mitch Lentz made the motions that allowed the Board to unanimously approve the grant agreement, according to draft minutes from the meeting, as Bluff Country News was unable to attend.

 Human Resources Officer Kristina Kohn presented the resignation of account technician Carrie Huffman — effective Friday, Feb. 15, and the Board thanked her for her 11 years of service to the county.

Commissioners also approved a request to continue with the current advertisement for a replacement account technician as registered by the auditor-treasurer.

The Board considered a request to hire a replacement full-time deputy effective Feb. 26. It approved hiring Dalton Bellock.

The Board also gave permission to hire an account technician in the land records office effective March 18. Kayla Pierce was hired to fill this position.

The Board members held a discussion about the new pay plan that was recommended by David Drown & Associates.

Dahl and Lentz moved to implement a 2 percent increase to the pay plan, but other commissioners disagreed due to being unable to reach a consensus on what date that pay increase would begin.

Chairman Duane Bakke rejected the motion and called for an all-inclusive motion. He went on to propose a retroactive pay increase that would place the starting date as Jan. 1, 2019. Bakke called for a vote, and he, Prestby, Commissioner Gary Peterson and Dahl voted in favor, but Lentz voted against. The vote passed 4-1.

Next, Lentz and Prestby put forth their ballots for a hard freeze for employees whose pay, according to the study, currently exceeds their pay levels. That vote passed as well, and conversation turned toward continuing maintenance of the pay plan. The Board decided to carry on reviewing 25 percent of the position descriptions each year and use the services of Drown & Associates to assist.

Administrative items included approval of the 2017 audit, a $1,485 invoice from Astrophysics for roller tables, the appointment of Brian Hoff as an interim assessor, and an update to the Board regarding taxpayer services in the land records and assessor’s office, the recorder’s office, the auditor-treasurer’s office and the zoning office. Dahl and Lentz made motions for the audit and the payment for roller tables, and Prestby and Dahl gave their acceptance of Hoff’s change in roles.