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Future Employee Hiring Is Discussed

By Staff | Sep 22, 2015

Discussion for future hiring of an employee and possibly a second one took place at the regular meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, September 15. Palo Alto County Treasurer Robin Jamison discussed an early retirement in December 2015 with the Supervisors and how she would like to proceed in filling the position.

“I have one person that is definitely retiring as of December 31. I thought I was going to have two, but one is not positive that she will take the early retirement, but will let me know by the deadline of December 1,” Jamison explained. “I am wondering if there will be a problem hiring someone before the person leaves so she can help train them.”

“The last time we discussed help or salaries with you, you were going to try and have someone part time,” Supervisor Linus Solberg commented.

“That was when I thought I was going to be losing two people,” Jamison agreed. “Without knowing what is going to happen for sure, I am kind of at a loss. It kind of changes my plans. If the second person decides to retire, I would like to hire part time to fill that position.”

“Is this person retiring because of the insurance policy?” Supervisor Ron Graettinger questioned.

“Yes. They are retiring because of the insurance policy. They do not want to, but they feel like they are having something taken away from them that they were promised for 40 years,” Jamison answered. “I guess to me, that’s kind of a slap in the face for someone who has been here for 40 years when they were promised that from the day they started. I understand that this is costing the taxpayers money – yet, I understand why she is feeling the way she is having this taken from her.”

“I tried to explain that she would still get family healthcare, but it was her choice,” Jamison added.

“They have to make the decision,” Solberg said.

“That’s why I need to know if I can hire somebody full time to start in November. I would hire them at a lesser rate of course, but I would be doubling up on family or single insurance for three months. I would have to amend my budget for the end of the year and make up for it next year,” Jamison said.

“Could you hire someone part time?” Graettinger asked.

“That was my other thought,” Jamison replied. “Hiring someone part time for November, December and January and then hire them on full time in February. That would put off the paying for health insurance through December. If I could have someone start in November and work 25 hours a week for training, that would be ideal, if I can get someone to do that.”

“Someone might do that if they are promised full time in the future, ” Solberg said.

“I would hate to lose a good person because they won’t go part time to begin with,” Jamison said.

“Can’t the other people pick up some slack until you get someone hired?” Supervisor Ed Noonan asked.

“Yes, definitely,” responded Jamison.

“She’s worried about getting them educated,” Solberg said.

“I would like to get them educated and trained by someone who has 40 years of knowledge and experience with the Treasurer’s office,” Jamison said.

“The person retiring, does she have a specific position?” asked Board Chair Craig Merrill.

“She does everything except drivers’ licenses. The new person will do everything. The first thing the new person will learn is drivers’ licenses,” Jamison explained. “We need another person who can rotate in this area.”

“This second possible retirement, do you want to give them a little more time or do you want to proceed?” Merrill asked.

“I think I need to proceed with one for sure. Whomever I hire may have to give a two-week or month notice at their current job,” Jamison said. “By the time I advertise and get in applications, it will be into October and I would like a month to review applications and do interviews. I guess my question to you is, if I can’t get someone to take part time for a few months can I go ahead and hire them full time?”

“See how many applicants you get and go from there,” Graettinger said.

“I am advertising as full time but I will explain that it will start as part time, but for some this isn’t going to work,” Jamison said. “If I have to amend my budget this year, but make up for it next year would that be OK? That’s my question.”

“How about this,” Merrill suggested, “If you have a problem, comeback and talk with us.”

“OK.” Jamison agreed. “If I have a good applicant that will only take full time, I will come back and talk with you.”

In other business, the Board took action to fill a vacancy on the Civil Service Commission created when Lorraine McNally resigned her position. With two applicants for the spot, Terry Klooster, a retired agent of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, was voted into the vacancy with a five to one vote. Ron Graettinger cast the lone dissenting vote.