The new position is needed because the current dispatch employees are working a significant amount of overtime as the state adds mandates to the office, jail commander Veronica Bullock told Grand County Council members last week. She said the position could be funded with money saved from reduced overtime.
“It’s an important position,” Bullock said. “It would pay for itself.”
She added that someone is needed to oversee dispatch “who doesn’t wear 50 hats.”
The tasks required of the sheriff’s Communications Division are increasing quickly, she said. Bullock said it won’t be long before the division begins taking 911 calls via cell phone texts.
The sheriff’s department is requesting that the job pay a salary of $36,500 and include full benefits.
Council member Chris Baird said he would rather adopt the county’s 2013 budget with the position included, then decide on a job description. He said he would only vote to add jobs that won’t increase the county budget.
Council member Chris Conrad, while expressing support for the idea, said he agrees the position should be part of the budgeting process.
Baird emphasized the county council has worked hard to put the county in good financial shape and he doesn’t want to jeopardize that. His motion to postpone the issue until after adoption of the 2013 budget passed unanimously.
The council must approve a 2013 budget by its last meeting in December. Budget committee meetings are now being held and are open to the public.