County fails to follow procedure for new positions
by John Hales
The Times-Independent
Jan 25, 2018 | 1171 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Grand County Council may have put the cart before the horse by installing two county employees into new positions.

Except that the cart, in a way, really was before the proverbial horse in this instance.

And the positions were only sort of brand new.

“There’s no issue. I just wanted to let you know,” County Administrator Ruth Dillon told council members Tuesday, explaining that for the two weeks since the beginning of 2018, the county had accounted for payroll purposes two employees in the Grand County Community and Economic Development Office for positions that technically didn’t exist until just before Dillon spoke.

And those two employees had assumed their roles — as had been intended by the council — without a required one-week internal application period.

Part of the issue harks back to the infamous compensation study of last year.

Grand County Human Resources Manager John West explained that, for purposes of that study, consultant Mike Swallow had created job descriptions for the hypothetical positions of community and economic development director, and community and economic development specialist.

The council intended to create both those positions in a new community and economic development office, formed out of the community development office.

Along with those job descriptions, Swallow modified job descriptions for positions countywide, simplifying them and making them consistent with comparable jobs elsewhere.

When the council accepted the compensation study, they accepted the two “hypothetical” positions, but that action did not officially create the corresponding actual positions

The two hypothetical positions remained just that, even though Zacharia Levine and Katilyn Myers, who respectively were the community development director and specialist, had “and economic” added to their titles and functions as of Jan. 1.

West came before the council this week to correct the technicality.

“This is so we can get them into the system for payroll now,” West said.

The council indicated it plans to adopt the other revised job descriptions at a later time, and approved the two new positions, whereupon Dillon informed them that, according to state law, the county should have internally advertised the positions prior to “hiring” someone to fill them, even though the positions weren’t necessarily new, but modified.

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