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County offices will share employee

Decision made in attempt to avoid hiring new employee

Staff writer

Marion County Department for Elderly will share employee Lanell Hett with the county treasurer’s office for the final two months of 2009.

Commissioners made the decision Monday to avoid hiring someone to fill a vacancy in the treasurer’s office.

The decision was made after Department for Elderly Director Gayla Ratzlaff and County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman met with commissioners in closed session for 20 minutes. They met in closed session for another 20 minutes with Hett also present. Earlier in the meeting, Bateman met with commissioners for 20 minutes in closed session.

Ratzlaff and Bateman will be responsible for arranging a schedule for Hett. The new responsibilities will require training. Commissioners said they want to maintain full services in the Department for Elderly.

Because of economic hardships, Marion County may have to cut some services, Commissioner Randy Dallke said.

“We can’t just throw money at problems,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

Employees in the treasurer’s office also will move from 37½ hours to 40 hours per week, to help overcome the staffing shortage.

Health director becomes full-time

Health Department Director Diedre Serene will be a full-time employee until July 2010, because of the extra hours needed to coordinate with state and federal officials about H1N1 influenza prevention.

Serene exceeded the 1,000 hours part-time employees are limited to in a year on Nov. 4. Commissioners said they wish there was a middle ground between 1,000, which works out to about 19 hours per week, and full time.

With the move, Serene will earn an extra $19,876. The extra cost will be paid with grant money designated for H1N1 prevention.

In other business:

  • A bridge between Florence and Cedar Point was removed from the five-year replacement plan, because of the estimated $800,000 cost to replace it. Dallke voted against removing the bridge from the plan.
  • Brent Hayen joined Road and Bridge Department as a part-time equipment operator II. He will earn $11 per hour.
  • Road and Bridge Superintendent John Summerville requested the county establish a policy about the county repairing roads within cities, prompted by a request by Burns for hand patching in the city.
  • Mike Ottensmeier moved from part-time reserve jailer to full-time deputy in the sheriff’s department. With the change, Ottensmeier will earn $2,506, up from $9 per hour.
  • New carpet will be installed in Marion County Appraiser’s Office by Friday or Monday, allowing the department to return to its office from its temporary location above Great Plains Computers and Networking in Marion.
  • Peabody Hardware and Lumber won a bid for 75 cases of ceiling tiles for the lake hall at Marion County Park and Lake. The company bid $2,096, but the county will have to pick up the tiles. The Lumberyard, Inc., of Hillsboro, bid $3,462. Seacat Do-It-Best, of Marion, bid $2,775.
  • Part-time sheriff’s office worker Sarah Cope became full-time office manager in the department. She will earn $2,051 per month, up from $8 per hour.
  • Hett Construction, of Marion, won a bid to construct a handicap-accessible fishing pier at Marion County Park and Lake. The company bid $5,535. Jeff Jirak Construction, of Marion, bid $5,920. Wiebe Construction, of Tampa, bid $25,716.
  • Don Rosine joined the sheriff’s department as a part-time reserve officer, earning $10.30 per hour.
  • Kimberly Harms was hired as a part-time clerical worker in the sheriff’s office, earning $8 per hour.

The next commission meeting will be Nov. 23.

Last modified Nov. 11, 2009

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