By asking their human resource consultant to write up a job description, the Morgan County Council is moving ahead with creating a county facilities manager to oversee three departments. The new job description will help the council settle on a salary range in the future.
The new position would help lighten the load on the seven council members, and add expertise the county needs.
“I am placed in a position to make educated decisions to help staff,” Councilman Robert Kilmer said. “I am not qualified to make those decisions. I am not comfortable with that and don’t have the time.”
“We need a person with expertise that knows what is going on,” Councilman Don Mathews said.
The new “head honcho,” as Councilwoman Ronda Kippen dubbed the position, would oversee what is currently the county’s parks, road, weed, fairgrounds, and building and grounds departments.
The council agreed a qualified job applicant would possess managerial skills, be familiar with facility maintenance and landscaping, understand construction and mechanics, draft budgets, develop a storm drain retention plan, aid with airport projects and possibly even have a commercial driver’s license.
“This is a working manager position, not just a manager,” Mathews said.
“They should be able to do a turn in a truck,” Councilman Ned Mecham said.
“We won’t find someone who is a master in all areas,” Kilmer said. “We want general skill sets.”
However, the council agreed that one of the job description’s key issue is understanding roads, since the person filling the position would deal with a budget primarily set for road maintenance.
Once hired, the new manager can assess where current employs best fit and what additional resources the county may need.
“The idea is to use resources more effectively,” Kilmer said.
The way the county functions now with several different departments is “convoluted, messy and a headache,” Kippen said.
Although the council agreed on combining several departments and writing up the new job description, the county did not factor in wages for the new position during the latest round of budget hearings.
“We need to bite the bullet and get a director in,” Kippen said. “I can’t help but think this position is going to pay for itself.”
Kippen said it would be best if everyone in the new department is cross trained.
“People get sick and go on vacation,” Kippen said. “We are government that provides for the public and we have to continue to function.”