Commissioners hear personnel requests
January 29, 2014
Wahkiakum County commissioners handled issues ranging from raising a judge's salary to appointments to advisory boards when they met Tuesday.
District Court Judge Bill Faubion presented a three-part request for changes in his budget for personnel. Commissioners discussed the requests and said they wanted to delay action to obtain more information and handle other personnel issues.
He reminded Commissioners Dan Cothren, Blair Brady and Mike Backman that he had made the requests last fall in preparation of 2014 budgets and they had told him to return in 2014 for discussions.
Faubion asked the board to create a deputy assistant clerk position, to increase the existing assistant clerk's position from 69 to 89.5 hours per month, and to increase the judge's salary from 30 percent to 40 percent of the amount set by the state salary commission.
The state salary commission has established a basic salary for a district court judge and permits counties to determine what percentage of the position makes up their judges' job. Faubion said Wahkiakum's 30 percent position is the lowest in the state. The court's workload is more than what is covered by that rate, he said.
"This is a matter of fairness," he said. "I don't want whoever comes after me to have the hassle."
Faubion said the increase in the deputy clerk's position and the addition of the assistant deputy clerk are needed for the court's workload.
Commissioners said they wanted more information and more time before acting on the requests.
"I want to see some numbers," Commissioner Mike Backman said.
Commissioners Dan Cothren and Blair Brady agreed.
Cothren added that the board has started addressing salaries of non-union employees, often appointed deputy clerks, whose salaries and benefit packages haven't kept up with increases that union employees have had. Cothren said he wanted the board to finish that before acting on Faubion's requests. Faubion said he would supply figures showing the potential impacts of the move.
In other business:
--Commissioner Backman asked that meetings of the committee working on a draft for a junk vehicle ordinance be recorded so interested citizens could follow the process. Cothren, chair of the committee, said he saw no need for the recording, for the meetings are simply work sessions and the product will be presented in public meetings.
Brady suggested consulting with the prosecuting attorney to see if the meetings need minutes. He also suggested polling committee members to see if they wanted the meetings recorded and if it might inhibit their input.
"I'll talk to the board," Cothren said.
--The board accepted the resignation of Nickie Thomas from the Health and Human Services Advisory Board and appointed three people to fill other spots on the board.
Cothren and Brady both recognized Thomas's long, effective service in advising the department on human service needs, especially for the elderly.
The board appointed Lisa Frink, with Bob Garrett as alternate, and Beth Hansen to the advisory board. Thomas's position will be vacant.
--Treasurer Tammy Peterson announced that after reviewing proposals from the Bank of the Pacific and the Bank of America, she is going to move county accounts from Bank of America to the Bank of the Pacific. Peterson said Bank of Pacific fees would be almost $2,000 cheaper. Customer service was a major consideration, she said. Bank of Pacific will provide local customer service, while Bank of America had moved the county's accounts to a regional Oregon branch.