Island County creates job in 2-1 decision
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
March 7, 2011 · Updated 9:10 AM
Island County commissioners are hiring a new administrator to oversee three small departments which will be stuck together under one umbrella.
On Monday, the commissioners authorized the human resources director to begin the process of advertising for an administrative services director.
But the decision wasn’t without controversy. Commissioner Kelly Emerson, the lone Republican on the board, continued to fight the decision to restructure several departments and create a new department head. Emerson said she doesn’t believe the change will be cost neutral.
Indeed, it does look like the commissioners are creating a new position without getting rid of any current positions, though the vacant central services administrator position will be replaced with a lesser-paid “information technology lead.” The new administrator will oversee general services, facilities, central services and possibly other departments in the future.
But Budget Director Elaine Marlow said the county has extra money in the budget for the departments because the county has gone many months without replacing the central services director after she retired. Marlow said the commissioners will leave it up to the new administrator to decide where to pare positions after he or she comes on board.
Of course, the decision may be easy if someone within one of the departments gets the job.
Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said the restructuring will mean less red tape, an end to the “siloing” of the departments and will allow the support staff to be more flexible in helping out in other departments.
In the end, the commissioners voted 2-1 to hire the new administrator.
The pay range for the new administrative service director is $6,013 to $7,220 a month.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.