County human resources director position approved

Friday, March 24, 2017

County Commission committees cleared the way to add a full-time human resource professional to the county government.

The county Benefits Committee told Director of Accounts and Budget Malinda White to advertise, interview, and fill the position at their meeting on March 15.

Initially, the position with fall under White’s office with the possibility to expand into a separate department in the future if needed.

Currently HR duties for the county are handled by the budget staff, but as White has said in previous meetings, she is an accountant by training, not an HR professional.

“There’s a lot of use out of an HR person who is not also trying to figure out the budget,” said Commissioner Mike Waggoner.

The amount of responsibilities, and their complexity, that modern human resources require was straining the ability of the current set up to manage.

Along with benefits, the new position will take over development of a county personnel plan and planning for compliance at county buildings with the Americans with Disabilities Act access requirements.

The position would also handle job descriptions for county positions and assist in hiring.

They will also take over responsibilities as the county safety officer currently held by Bill Reuter, Emergency Medical Service director.

Adding a dedicated professional to handle these duties has been under discussion for several months by commissioners and county department heads.

Observers at the meeting wondered if the recent half-million dollar discrimination judgment against the Marshall County School Board for workplace discrimination didn’t add a bit of emphasis for the need to have someone to help protect county government from similar allegations. The school system has their own HR department, which will not be impacted by the addition of a county position.

The Budget Committee agreed with the decision at their meeting on Wednesday. White said that she had already included the position in her initial planning for the next fiscal year’s county budget, and that there were sufficient funds that had not been used from her current budget to fill the position until the new budget went into effect.

White will develop requirements based off of the job descriptions for the position in Maury and Wilson counties, and expects to begin advertising for interest within the next week.