County considers human resources position

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

A human resources director takes care of various insurance matters, safety regulations and employee concerns, but the Dubois County government doesn’t have one.

The duties fall on the different deputies in the auditor’s office, but some officials believe having a human resources director would be more efficient.

“We need a full-time, dedicated person in human resources,” Dubois County Councilwoman Becky Beckman told the Dubois County Commissioners Monday, “and let the auditor’s office do auditing work.”

Beckman, county council members Charmian Klem and Craig Greulich, and Commissioner Elmer Brames, have been researching the idea, along with ideas to improve employee satisfaction, since 2014. Wages were worked on and adjusted, where needed. A communications committee was formed. And the need for a human resources director is constantly mentioned.

“We’re at the level of our expertise of how to move things forward. This is beyond the auditor’s office of using a portion of their day to do this,” Beckman said. “There are issue we have to deal with. Employees believe it’s time.”

An employee in the auditor’s office is retiring. Instead of filling that position immediately, officials want to create the human resources position, Brames said.

With the retirement, now is the time to create the position, Greulich said. “We can’t afford not to do this,” he said. “By us doing this we are recognizing that we need to move forward.”

To have a human resources position, the commissioners must create it and the council must fund the job.

Commissioner Nick Hostetter fully supported the position. “I’ve wanted this to happen for a while now. It’s something we need,” he said. “The HR person is like the county attorney: you know you need them, though you don’t know exactly for what.”

Commissioners President Chad Blessinger wasn’t as convinced. He was concerned about adding another $70,000 job — the cost of an estimated $57,000 salary and benefits — to the roster, while the other open position in the auditor’s office is not being removed.

Auditor Sandy Morton said she wanted to wait until all the changes were made, and human resources duties are removed from her office, before determining if she still needed the other position or not. Blessinger said that he believed that she will need that position.

“The thing that makes me uncomfortable is that we are (creating) and job and we don’t know what the person will do,” Blessinger said. The group said there is a list of the job duties, but added that other things could be added as the job evolves.

“If we take these duties out of the auditor’s office,” Klem explained, “they would be done more robustly.”

The commissioners approved 2 to 1 to create the human resources director position; Blessinger voted no.

The commissioners also:

• Reviewed the address ordinance and agreed the ordinance itself does not need any amendments at this time.

• Hired Patriot Engineers of Evansville for $13,000 to do borings, determine the cause of the hill and road slide on St. Anthony Road West and give recommendations on how the problem can be fixed. Meanwhile, the road remains closed from its intersection with County Road 350 South to County Road 450 South. There are now concrete blocks on the road to prevent people from driving on the road, County Engineer Brent Wendholt said.

• Discussed the highway department moving and setting up the stage Dubois County Tourism is buying for local festivals to use. The commissioners want to have a discussion about the liability in that, especially in setting up the stage, which has them concerned. They also want to make sure that highway workers aren’t called upon to do this service so much that it keeps them from their regular duties.

• Approved sections of County Road 100 South and Old Huntingburg Road being used for the Armed Forces annual 5K run/walk, which will be held at 8 a.m. May 18.

• Approved the use of the west side of the Dubois County Courthouse property for the annual Memorial Day service, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 25. The bathrooms on the basement floor of the courthouse will also be open during that time.

• Declared lots of items in the Dubois County Security Center’s basement as surplus. Some of the items are bikes that were found but never claimed, office chairs, brass casings, shelving units and racks. Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter will see if any other department can use the items before getting rid of them.




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