Also present were Rosanne Brosamer, assessor; Steve Nichols, county
sheriff; Will D'Andrea, zoning officer; Dan Fulscher, EMA director;
and Jonathan Wright, Logan County state's attorney.
Eleven of 12 board members were present, with Bob Farmer
presiding. Rick Aylesworth was absent.
Two employment matters that were brought to a vote entailed
lengthy discussions consuming the better part of an hour.
Two current employees are being considered for expansion of their
job descriptions. The Executive/Economic Development Committee
proposed redivision and expansion of duties for Will D'Andrea and
Pam Meagher in order for the county to hire a project compliance and
oversight management officer, or PCOM, for the public transportation
system; to meet the growing demands made on local governments; and
to provide greater guidance through research and grant application
The committee had been working through moving Meagher, who is now
the board’s administrative assistant, to the part-time PCOM position
and dividing some of the secretarial duties among other county
A newer plan kept Meagher in the specialized processes, such as
insurance administrator, that she now does for the county and
divided some of the daily work with D'Andrea.
D'Andrea, the zoning officer, began serving several roles for the
county when he moved from part time to full time a few years ago.
D'Andrea has displayed a high level of organizational skill in
refining and setting up several complex systems and processes in the
areas of zoning, GIS and the enterprise zone over the past two years
in his roles as zoning officer, enterprise zone manager, regional
planning commission director, and GIS manager and coordinator.
The board's Executive/Economic Development Committee approached
Meagher and D'Andrea and asked each if they would work together to
cover specific county duties and the board's general needs, and they
were offered raises for their expanded responsibilities.
It was proposed that D'Andrea would move his office from the
highway department building to the courthouse and take on some of
the day-to-day activity now performed by Meagher, serving county
employees as well as the county board. He would have a combined
salary of $65,000 with the office manager duties added. This would
give him an increase of $6,000 per year beginning Dec 1.
When these topics were brought to the full board, the first order
of business was to discuss the position for D'Andrea.
There was considerable discussion.
Board member Jan Schumacher suggested that what D'Andrea would be
doing is not really manager duties, as stated in the job
description, but more administrative. She first suggested changing
the job title.
Finance chairman Chuck Ruben read the job description the
committee had created. The proposed list of new duties and possible
projects was quite extensive. It included supervision of department
heads; policies and procedures; plan directions of organizational
structures of certain departments; contract bids and grants; assist
board with research; and much more.
Schumacher said the description was too much for a person to do.
She recommended that the committee refine and reduce expectations;
otherwise, there would be some who would take advantage of
D'Andrea's time, as seemingly happened to a prior county manager,
Other board members echoed Schumacher's concern, admitting to
already being guilty of dumping a lot of work onto Meagher while she
has been in that office serving the board. It was recognized that
Meagher does far more because of the skills she had previous to
working for the county, and because of her capabilities, she
currently does more than was expected of her predecessor.
The board first entertained a motion to refine and reduce the job
description planned for D'Andrea, with a change in the job title to
office administrator. Ruben, Schumacher and Farmer voted no, and the
motion to send the job description back to committee passed 8-3.
The county has been wrangling for the better part of the year
over a new state stipulation that requires oversight of the public
transportation system. A PCOM officer fills the role of the system's
It was voted a couple of months ago to keep the transportation
system that was started just a year ago and decide later how to man
the newly required position. The financial aspect is not much of a
concern with an 80-20 split, as the state is paying the greater
portion of the salary.
[to top of second column]
Meagher, the county board's current administrative assistant, has
agreed to do the PCOM work. It was proposed that D'Andrea would take
over some of the work in the administrative office, along with other
duties that would assist the board, freeing Meagher to do the PCOM
work and continue in some of the specialized work that she does for
the board and other duties she now performs.
On Tuesday, a motion was made to increase Meagher's salary to
$37,500 this year and to $40,000 next year.
When the floor was opened to this discussion, board member Terry
Carlton opened by saying, "I don't think that is right." He was
addressing the manner of deciding the position and the salary, not
the capability or qualifications of Meagher.
Carlton further explained that he felt there were three positions
to be discussed that could be filled by three people.
With the state’s attorney present, Carlton asked his opinion on
the process that was taking place.
Wright said that his belief, in regard to policies and
procedures, was that if it is an already-existing position, you can
hire from within. But for a new position, you should create a job
description and go out for bid or ask for applications.
It was then recognized that this, too, the PCOM, would call for
sending back to committee to create a job description for the
Kevin Bateman spoke up in agreement. He had interjected comments
a couple of times during the earlier discussion about what D'Andrea
would be hired to do, saying that the PCOM position and what Meagher
would be doing needed to be decided first.
Bateman, too, said he'd like to see a three-person office, and
what was being discussed would result in two people doing too much
work. He felt the committee should come up with job descriptions for
the board's secretary, the PCOM and the duties that D'Andrea is
being asked to do.
Andy Anderson jumped in several times during all the discussions.
At one point he said that he wanted to address the county employees.
He wanted to make it clear that the board had gone to Meagher; she
had not come to them.
"We asked Pam to do all this work," Anderson said. "We asked Pam
to go to the PCOM. We asked Pam to take over the (PCOM) audit."
It was clear from his comments and tone that Meagher has been
receiving displaced backlash from some of the other employees.
Anderson continued that if anyone had anything they wanted to
say, "you call me, or you call one of the others (board members).
You do not go to her."
Some round-table discussion clarified that the PCOM is a
part-time position. Meagher could and would fill that role, combined
with some of the current duties the board has come to rely on from
her, and would continue as a full-time employee.
A number of other scenarios and factors were discussed.
Gene Rohlfs suggested that Meagher take the PCOM role and the
county hire a part-time employee to assist her.
David Hepler said he has made contact with another county with a
similar public transportation system to see how they are handling
the new position requirement.
Schumacher asked for Wright’s opinion if the board could hire the
spouse of a board member.
Wright responded that there would be conflict-of-interest issues
in hiring same-household employees.
In the end, the board again voted on a motion to send the PCOM
position back to committee, which passed 10-1 with Ruben being the
only opposing vote.
Farmer, as the board chairman, asked and was granted the board's
approval to allow Meagher to continue to act as interim PCOM. That
position must be filled by Jan. 1, 2014.
This concluded the board's discussion of positions and salaries
for the evening.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]
See last Thursday's board of whole
discussion for more details:
Appointed county positions and salary increases draw fire near