Skip to main content

Draft county budget contemplates new staff positions, elimination of others

By Howard B. Owens

As County Manager Jay Gsell gets closer to pitching his proposed 2018 budget to county legislators, the focus in budget talks is on what staff positions will be created and which will be eliminated.

New positions might include a compliance officer, a first assistant district attorney, and a program coordinator in the Department of Mental Health.

On the way out are a child care worker in Social Services and a youth program specialist in the Youth Bureau.

Many of the positions being eliminated are reclassifications of jobs within the same department. For example, in Mental Health, two part-time clerk-typist positions become one full-time position. Public health is eliminating a principal financial support specialist but adding an administrative officer and part-time senior financial clerk-typist.

If a first assistant district attorney position is created in the District Attorney's Office, which is expected to go to Melissa Cianfrini at a salary of $111,783, an assistant district attorney position, with a salary of $91,915, will be eliminated.

The headline new position, however, is the compliance officer. The potential salary is $87,694 and the position will report to the county manager. The compliance officer will make sure the county is meeting all federal and state requirements for privacy, disability accessibility, health record privacy and other codes and regulations that are often tied to the grants the county receives from state and federal agencies.

“If Tim Yaeger or somebody wants to apply for a Federal grant, a Homeland Security grant, or some other kind of grant, they can the requirement of the grant, hand it to the compliance officer who can digest it and make sure we are currently meeting the requirements or what kind of changes do we need to make administratively to make sure we’re going to meet requirements,” said Matt Landers, assistant county manager.

There are millions of dollars in grants at stake in the county if the county fails to meet compliance requirements. 

The qualified job applicant will have a four-year degree and at least two years related work experience, or a master's degree and two years experience.

The Youth Bureau is eliminating a position because there's no guarantee the federal government is going to continue to fund Americorps. That program ends at the end of the year and the current director of the program will spend January and February winding down the program and then will be out of a job.

The Sheriff's Office is also asking to add two new positions, an assistant to the director of emergency communications, at a salary of $67,109, and an emergency services dispatcher, $43,128.

From the current budget draft, Gsell must trim $257,831 to arrive at a tax rate of $10.13, which keeps the tax levy increase within the tax cap limit. Without further cuts, the Legislature would need to approve a tax cap override. If the Legislature wants to get the tax rate down to this year's $10.07 per thousand of assessed value rate, Gsell will need to find $460,000 in additional spending cuts.

Gsell will present his draft budget and his annual budget message later this month.

Dave Olsen

No Tax Increase!!! They sold the Nursing Home and cashed in 15 million dollars or something. They give away over 2 million dollars of our money to GCC and $220,000.00 to the GCEDC. This is malarkey. GCC is a fine institution but it is able to financially operate on its own. We, the taxpayers founded and nurtured it while it grew, it is not needed anymore. I have beat the EDC thing so much that I'm tired of it, but yet this insistence in funding it with YOUR hard-earned tax money will not die. It is shown time and again to be nothing more than a big club of cronies, which most of us ain't in but we pay dues to. The mandate for the county budget should be a decrease every year, anything less, even staying flat should be considered a failure. Period

Oct 19, 2017, 5:27pm Permalink
david spaulding

makes me wonder where the 15 million is. any body think it's still around? maybe they added another runway at the airport....... everybody remember we will be mandated soon to erect a brand new jail..... come on down....

Oct 19, 2017, 6:16pm Permalink
John Roach

A lot of it went into the Nursing Home after the sale when the State did not sign off on the deal for a long period. The rest was earmarked for roads and bridges.

Oct 19, 2017, 6:24pm Permalink

Authentically Local