Public Safety positions revamped

BY STACI WILSON

Job descriptions and titles in the county’s Public Safety department were changed by the Salary Board, Feb. 27, in an effort to meet a filing deadline that will allow half of the salaries to be paid for through PEMA and FEMA.
The current, non-union EMA Operations and Training Officer position was eliminated, making way for the creation of Assistant Director of Public Safety-Emergency Management /Emergency Management Training Officer, at a rate of $34,500.
The position is currently held by Paul Johnson.
The non-union, Assistant 911 Coordinator position was also eliminated and a Communications Center Coordinator/Operations Manager position was created. The position is currently held by Bruce Butler.
The EMA/911 clerk/typist position was eliminated. In its stead a new, non-union position of Administrative Assistant/Emergency Management Grant Coordinator was created, at a salary of $26,000 per year.
The job description of the union Quality Assurance Officer position was also modified and the rate of pay increased to $13 per hour.
A union position of Addressing/GIS Clerk was also created by the board.
Commissioner Alan Hall, who along with the other two commissioners and the county treasurer serves on the Salary Board, said starting pay rates in the county have been too low.
“We need to offer more to keep quality people,” Hall said.
He also said that the pay for the people in those positions had been substandard for the accountability required in those positions.
Hall added that the county paid over $100,000 to an outside source after the last flood. The change in job descriptions, he said, will allow for that work to be done in-house.
Audience member Rick Ainey questioned what the pay upgrades would cost county taxpayers.
Hall said the cost to the county would be $10-15,000.
Public Safety is the first of the county departments to receive an overhaul.
Commissioner MaryAnn Warren said all departments have been requested to submit a business plan to see what is needed.
“We’re waiting for those to come in,” Warren said.
In an attempt to have all county employees work 40 hours per week, the salary board changed the current, open Deputy Sheriff position from 37.5 hours per week to 40 hours.
An extension of hours for the two Intake Officers in Domestic Relations was approved, per the request of President Judge Kenneth Seamans; as was a request to continue the open Clerk/Typist position in that department.