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Conflicting opinions on creating a uniform interviewing system

POSTED October 25, 2017 1:34 p.m.

DARLINGTON – The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors dissected and constructed a resolution that most agreed on about creating a uniform interviewing system for department heads and upper level management positions at their meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 17.
The resolution stated that “the most qualified candidates are hired in the various departments, no less than two than two members of the Executive, Rules & Legislative Committee and one committee member must sit in on all interviews that are conducted in any department…”.
Dwayne Larson asked what even brought this resolution about. He said the committee has been conducting interviews for years and felt that it had been working.
County chairman Jack Sauer explained that it had worked in some instances.
“We are trying to get a little better handle on things as far as hires for department heads and how raises are given out,” Sauer clarified.
He said that when raises are going to be discussed, it would now be between both Finance and the Human Resources department.
Tony Ruesga commented that he was for uniformity but felt that with the Executive committee having two people on the panel to conduct interviews that the choices on whom is hired was being manipulated and he would be voting no on the motion and asked for a roll call vote be made when voting. Carol Korn agreed.
Kriss Marion was very supportive of the uniform process.
“For me, this resolution raises more questions than it answers and makes it more confusing. When it says ‘no less than two Executive committee members’ and ‘one committee member’, does that mean that in the hiring of any one department head that the whole Executive committee might come?”
Bob Boyle agreed with Marion and stated that he would be voting no.
Sauer stated that some things have been done that shouldn’t have been done. Sauer said that there are rules in the employee handbook for a reason. There was one incident where the Human Resources Director, Valerie Steiner, voted on a hiring when that is against the rules. County board members are the only ones that vote on hirings.
Marion made a motion to amend the number of Executive committee members to one, with a second from Ruesga. The amendment passed 8-6 with Jack Wiegel, Gerald Heimann, Ted Wiegel, David Hammer, Larry Ludlum and Jack Sauer voting against.
Ludlum then made a motion to amend to have it state that two committee members be on the panel, with Ruesga seconding.
Corporation Council Nathan Russell made a clarification so everyone knew what was being amended as there was some discussion about if the resolution was limiting the committee members at only three with the changes. Russell said as he read it, it did not.
Ludlum then made an amendment to his amendment stating that the committee members not to exceed three members, with Ruesga again seconding. The second amendment passed 12-2 with Heimann and Hammer voting no.
They then voted on Ludlum’s first amendment to make it say two committee members. That motion passed unanimously.
The county board then voted on the entire resolution overall, which with all the amendments the third paragraph finally read “WHEREAS, because the need for a uniform system on interviewing exists so that the most qualified candidates are hired in the various departments, one member of the Executive, Rules & Legislative Committee and two committee members and not to exceed three members must sit in on all interviews that are conducted in any department…”. The motion passed 13-1 with Heimann in opposition.
Executive, Rules & Legislative Committee
 Ludlum read resolution 42-17, which adopted a rule “that does not allow for members to appear for Board or Committee meetings through any means other than personal attendance”.
Boyle asked if they would allow people to participate but not be allowed to vote or get paid per diem.
Sauer explained that they would be able to listen.
Corporate Council Russell said that they would not be acknowledged in roll call, get per diem, address the audience, comment or vote on anything but would be able to listen in.
Other Business
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors also approved:
-Land use change in the town of Elk Grove.
-Lafayette County Conservation & Zoning Manager to act on behalf of Lafayette County to participate in the county fish and game projects and to comply with all state and federal laws related to the County Conservation Aids programs.
-to amend the C.U. Physician Assistant contract to include an additional day of clinic coverage per pay period and increase her annual compensation to $115,000 per year.
-to increase the salary range for the HIM Manager from $21.00 to $21.50 per hour to compensate the Lead Coder/ HIM Manager for the additional managerial duties and eliminate the need for a lead coder/department head.
-the Health Officer from Grant County to Co-interim Health Officer and Annie Timmerman as Co-interim Health Officer from Lafayette County due to Timmerman’s resignation to her full-time position effective Oct. 6, 2017.
-a wage range of the Maintenance position at the Courthouse from $15.33 to $15.83 per hour and approved increasing the wages of the Maintenance Assistants at Lafayette Manor and Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County $.50 per hour (from $15.33 to $15.83) effective Jan. 1, 2018.

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