County officials eye new positions
FAYETTEVILLE — Justices of the peace approved a new human resources director and an information technology position for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office during the Personnel Committee on Monday.
The cost of the changes will be covered by positions left vacant and eliminated within the department, said Blair Johanson, management consultant.
Sheriff Tim Helder was able to reorganize his department to increase efficiency and create positions costing the county nothing extra, said Justice of the Peace Lisa Ecke, a Republican representing southeastern Springdale. Justices of the peace have said repeatedly they are worried about the budget. Helder’s move is great for the county, Ecke said.
Washington County has a roughly $65 million budget with about a $5 million gap between spending and revenue. That gap doesn’t include money left unspent at the end of the year.
The unappropriated reserve is about $6.3 million.
Helder said the position changes at the Sheriff ’s Office may end up saving money long term.
“This is really just going to help us be much more efficient,” he said.
The Sheriff ’ s Office needs a computer administrator to keep up with advancing technology, Helder said. The committee approved the position to start at $48,045.
The Sheriff’s Office also plans to hire a human resources director to work in tandem with the county Human Resources department. The Sheriff’s Office has more than 300 employees of the county’s roughly 606 full-time employees, and those employees have special needs, such as certifications, training, extensive background checks, overtime and 24-hour-seven-days-a-week operations, said Jay Cantrell, chief deputy.
The human resources workload has become too much for the one person handling it, Helder said.
The salary for the human resources position starts at $39,087, according to records.
Six other positions descriptions, titles or duties were changed or upgraded Monday. Those positions include Juvenile Court officers upgrades to account for new certifications. The change doesn’t impact salaries.
The committee also approved a part-time counselor-assessor for Drug Court paid for via a three-year grant.
The committee also agreed to change the title of a position to technology director from IT manager. The starting salary was bumped to $54,000.
The top salary range had been about $52,000 previously.
The Quorum Court will consider adopting the new positions and the elimination of position during at the 6 p.m. Aug. 17 meeting.