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New protocol for Lafayette County job interviews

POSTED March 30, 2017 9:58 a.m.

The Lafayette County Board discussed and approved the creation of a uniform interviewing system.
The county employs over 300 employees in many different departments. Throughout the year many open positions are posted, interviews are conducted and people are hired in various departments and various positions. Lafayette County has no uniform system in place on who conducts or attends interviews in the various departments. The resolution creating the uniform system requires that no less than two Lafayette County Board members or committee members must be notified and sought input on all County hirings and at least one county board member must sit in on all interviews that are conducted in any department.
Leon Wolfe stated that UW-Extension might be an exception because they do interviewing at the state level. Committee members have been able to sit in on some interviews but they are conducted in Madison. Wolfe also commented that the state pays 60% of the salary and the county pays the other 40%.
“They do not like to have the initial screening interview in Madison with the a county board or committee member there,” Wolfe stated. He agreed with the resolution and he said they have tried to have the UW-Extension interview process changed.
Hospital Administrator Julie Chikowski thought that the committee members were only going to screen the applicants.
County Board Chairman Jack Sauer stated that he had put in the resolution that no less than two county board or committee members have to look at the applications but he does want one county board member in on the interviews.
Corporal Counsel Nathan Russell affirmed that a non-county board committee member could not be the only single individual sitting in on an interview. It would have to be a county board member.
Sauer said it could be changed to say ‘or non-county board committee member’. County board member Tony Ruesga said there are enough county board members to have someone available to sit in on an interview.
“I think that what we were looking for when discussing this was uniformity. I stress that we have background checks as part of this because of liability issues,” Ruesga added.
It was asked what if the departments had their interviews scheduled and the county board member they had asked to sit in was unavailable, what would they do?
“I would encourage any county board member asked to sit in on an interview, if they were unable to attend, they should be able to find someone to attend instead,” Larry Ludlum stated.
Sheriff Reg Gill asked if all departments had to go through the process because they don’t set up interview times. It is just whenever the individual is available.
“I’m not against it but it is just getting someone there on time,” Gill included.
“It’s really helpful to have county board members as advocates for your employee, you and your decision making so when things show up in the paper, we can speak to why it was done. And having a board member in on part of the process creates a better advocacy network for you. To me this seems very positive,” Kriss Marion explained.
Chikowski was concerned with the amount of interviews the hospital conducts and it being a burden on county board members. Carol Korn repeated what Ludlum had said about if someone can’t make it they need to find another board member.
David Hammer made the motion to accept the resolution with Ruesga seconding. The motion passed unanimously.
First readings
The county board had the first readings of Resolution 102-16, the creation of a new ordinance in regard to Public Health Nuisances and Resolution 104-16, the creation of a new ordinance in regard to Animal Regulations and Treatment of Animals.
Public Health Officer Angie Timmerman explained that Resolution 102-16 gives the public health office authority to assess such nuisances as air pollution, noxious odors, unburied carcasses, wastewater, dilapidated buildings, food and breeding places for vermin, insects, etc., and unsanitary or unsanitary conditions that may cause, create, continue, permit, or maintain such a public health nuisance.
“We get calls about bed bugs but they are considered a nuisance so all we could do was tell them to work it out with their landlord. Most molds are considered a nuisance. There was not a lot we could do about mold,” she commented.
“The whole purpose behind this is mostly compliance. For those who won’t voluntary comply, there will be some kind of sanction in place,” Ruesga added.
Resolution 104-16 is for the treatment of animals. A Lafayette County Sheriff’s Deputy completed training as a Humane Officer and certified by the state, proposed the ordinance. It was strongly suggested the county needed to create an ordinance addressing animal ordinances and regulations regarding a humane treatment of animals.
Sheriff Reg Gill said the ordinance was worked on for six months. Several of the vets and groomers in the county gave input for the ordinance.
The Lafayette County Board also approved:
-Resolution 100-16: to apply for funding under section 23.09(26) of the Wisconsin Statutes for Public Snowmobile and ATV Trail use. The board is allowing Lauree Aulik, the Lafayette County Land Information Officer to submit an application to the Wisconsin DNR for any financial aid that may be available so it can be used for maintenance, acquiring, insuring or developing aids for public snowmobile and ATV trail use.
-Resolution 101-16: to create the GIS/IT Committee.
-Resolution 103-16: urging the State Legislature to develop and enact bipartisan support for state funding of comprehensive, sustainable, effective and evidence based communicable disease control and prevention for the public’s health.
-Resolution 105-16: hiring a limited term employee to fill in for the Assistant Custodian at the Courthouse during a medical leave of absence, with compensation approved at a wage range of $15-17/hr without benefits, depending on experience.
-Resolution 106-16: refilling the Director of Finance position at .75 FTE or 1.0 FTE with the full time wage range to be $60,000 to $70,000 annually and the .75 FTE wage range to be $45,000 to $52,500 annually, both depending on experience. It will have full-time benefits even if the position becomes .75 FTE. Kriss Marion asked if the applicants would receive the .75 FTE or 1.0 FTE based on abilities or what the Finance and Human Resource Committees desired. HR Chair David Hammer commented that is depends on the applicants. He stated that at one time Lafayette County had a Finance Director that was .75 FTE. County Board Chairman Jack Sauer stated that if an applicant is semi-retired and is very experienced but only want to work the .75 FTE then they will be offered that amount. “We want to hire the best person with the most qualifications regardless of the time they can be here,” Sauer explained.
-Resolution 107-16: approving the main secretary job description change at the Lafayette County Human Services be changed from a Secretary III to a Secretary IV with a 100% pay rate of $16.24 and to become effective with the hire of a replacement for the position.
-Resolution 108-16: creation of a .6 Housekeeping position, at 24 hours per week at the rate of $12.66 plus benefits.
-Resolution 110-16: compensation process of the Executive Director of the Lafayette Development Corporation.
-Resolution 112-16: amending Resolution 83-16 for Nursing Home Administrator/Director of Activities to Nursing Home Administrator and appointment of interim Activities Director and compensation at Lafayette Manor. During the Lafayette Manor survey by the state, a Nursing Home Administrator must be 100% Nursing Home Administrator and June Hoppenjan was approved as interim Activities Director with $1 wage increase for six months and after that time, with a positive review, her wage will increase to $15/hr.
-Resolution 113-16: amending Resolution 84-16 for Assistant Administrator/Director of Social Services to Social Services Director/Administrator Designee. During the Lafayette Manor survey by the state, the position needed to be amended to Social Services Director/ Administrator Designee.
-Resolution 111-16: designating the week of April 3-7 “Work Zone Safety Awareness Week” in Lafayette County.

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