Town of Pinedale makes staff changes
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
August 21, 2014
The Town of Pinedale is making changes to their administrative staff as part of newly-elected Mayor Bob Jonesí commitment and campaign promise to provide the required and necessary Town services in the most efficient way possible. Jones said he wanted to wait three months after getting into office to get a feeling for how things operated before making any changes.
The Planning & Zoning Department has been eliminated due to a decrease in workload and the duties of that area combined into a Zoning & Engineering Department under Eugene Ninnie. The Zoning Administrator position held by Kate Grimes has been eliminated. According to Jones, "We donít plan to recreate the Planning & Zoning Department. Basically what little work there is now can easily be handled by Eugene."
The Municipal Officer position was eliminated and code enforcement was combined with Animal Control under supervisor Julie Early. Municipal Officer Jennifer Gocke was let go for cause. A position will be advertised for the new Animal Control/Code Enforcement department.
The Town Clerk/Treasurer is a political-appointed position. Every four years the Mayor, with the approval of the Town Council, appoints positions. These positions are not normally advertised. Mayor Jones said he offered long-time Clerk Patty Racich a new administrative position with the Town, however she declined. Jones has recommended Mayorís Assistant Pat Schwab as the new Clerk/Treasurer, which he expects to be approved at the next Town Council meeting. He said there will be a considerable pay decrease in the Clerk/Treasurer position, around $30,000/year less, with a 6-month review. "Patty was very dedicated to the Town and put in a lot of work and was greatly appreciated," he said.
In addition to these changes, Mayor Jones got approval from the Town Council to add two new entry-level positions in the Public Works Department, of which one has been filled. Public Works has three departments, each with a supervisor: Sewer/Water, Maintenance, and Parks. Employees will shift work as needed under the supervisors in all the departments. An existing employee will be trained as a safety officer to help improve the Townís safety record.
Jones said the intent is to put more labor in getting work done and not add to the administrative layers of the Town government. He wants to move away from creating new projects to taking care of what the Town already has. "My vision is to see the administrative end drop off and not be so top heavy and have the level of services increase," Jones explained. "The Town Council has been totally involved in all the personnel decisions."
Jones said he wants to save money, have staff cross-trained to be knowledgeable about each otherís positions, and have Town employees provide fabulous customer service.