County considers restructuring personnel director/board secretary postition

On March 18, the board had a work session to discuss the possibility of restructuring the personnel director/board secretary position when Janet Simonen retires in August.  They considered putting some of her duties into someone else’s job description and hiring a county coordinator or a county administrator in her place. 
A county coordinator or administrator could be a point person for information, oversee the county budget, implement board actions, and provide expertise to the board.  A county administrator would have authority over the other department heads, whereas a county coordinator would not.
The board will be inviting a representative of the Association of Minnesota Counties and a couple of county administrators to talk to them about how a county administrator could be useful.   They asked several department heads what they knew about these positions in other counties.
“I’ve heard some very positive things, and I’ve heard some not so positive things,” said Public Health & Human Services Director Sue Futterer.   “The right person can certainly make a difference.”
“The right person is the bottom line,” said Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson.
Information Systems Director Danna MacKenzie said having a decision-maker and point person could help the county get things done more efficiently and cost-effectively.  “We have an opportunity to change the way we do business to make it work better,” she said.