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SB 442 Override Letter - April 6

March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021

Commissioners Scott Blain, Bill Bullock and Scott Miller; Administrative Officer Angela Newell; and Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Krizek were present.

8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.

9:00 Mental Health Center Executive Director Rod Ostermiller joined to discuss the Mental Health Center Professional Services agreement renewal that was previously on the March 2 agenda. Newell provided background that in 2011, Carbon County increased the per-capita contribution to the Mental Health Center on the condition that the office be staffed full time by at least one full-time support staff person and one full-time professional who is dually trained as an addiction counselor and clinical professional counselor. At the August 27, 2018 renewal meeting with Barb Mettler, Commissioners agreed that support staff did not need to be present 5 days per week if the office remained open 5-days per week. This change was made to allow the current support staff member’s schedule to better accommodate teaching evening classes. In the 2020 agreement, the language regarding full time staffing was removed from the contract although the per capita rate, of $2.60 for Carbon County, remained significantly higher that other participating counties. Commissioners want to ensure higher level of service if paying more than other counties. Discussion regarding potentially expanding mental health services should the proposed Detention Facility be constructed. All commissioners signed the renewal.
Commissioner Blain moved to approve Commissioner Proceedings for March 4 and 9; Commissioner Miller seconded; motion carried.
10:00 Meeting closed to discuss on-going litigation and a personnel issue. County Attorney Alex Nixon and Contract Deputy County Attorney Jacque Papez attending. 10:30 meeting reopened.

10:30 Employee Pay Scale Review attended by Nixon, Justice of the Peace Kevin Nichols, Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Undersheriff Schmalz, District Court Clerk Rochelle Loyning, Treasurer Lori Lynde, and Clerk and Recorder Christine Stovall. Newell provided background on the County’s pay scale. Discussion that aside from Dispatch, there is little turnover in other departments. Nichols expressed that he’d like to see a higher raise opportunity for the Clerk scale. Stovall expressed that the 1% longevity is not seen in other counties, so there is little turnover; Newell echoed the compounding longevity effect. Discussion that the nature of dispatch/jails is high turnover nationally and not just a local issue. Nichols also proposed adding a smaller step between the probation pay and the post-probation pay which is currently a large ($4/hr) jump. Nichols supported the stipend system to reward significant additional responsibility; Newell echoed that stipends would help from a budgetary standpoint rather than building into hourly wage. Nichols highlighted the wage gap of 72.5% of elected official for Top Clerk versus other departments with deputies at 90% (such as District Court and Clerk and Recorder); therefore, he’d like a $6k stipend for his clerk who functions pro tem judge. Newell asked whether we want to hire a consultant to conduct a County wage analysis as Stillwater County had for $20k-$30k fee; department heads were against hiring consultant. Nichols would like to create a “Head Clerk” to the pay scale to compensate his department equitably to other departments with Deputy Clerks by statute. Newell will add an intermediate wage step between probationary and post-probation scale. Department Heads will have the opportunity to advocate wage raises for their individual employees on an annual basis during preliminary budget meetings; Commissioners will be final approval/disapproval on raises. Discussion will continue at a future meeting.

12:00 Adjourned.