Commissioners hear requests for new staff positions in County Clerk’s Office and Information Services Department

Paul Garrod -

    PAW PAW - With the retirement of the Van Buren  County Clerk’s Office election clerk scheduled at the end of the year, Van Buren County Clerk Suzie Roehm  went  before the Van Buren County Commissioners  Committee of the Whole Meeting  on Tuesday to  outline a proposed restructuring  in  her office.
    “I am requesting to immediately post the job opening for an elections clerk which will be vacant at the end of the year due to the retirement of Susan Blower,” Roehm told  the COW members.
    Roehm said  she would like  the new employee to begin  their duties on Oct. 1.    
    According to Roehm, as part of the restructuring, the request is to eliminate two parttime employee positions  and combine into the creation of one fulltime position.
    Roehm said the position is extremely detail oriented, “especially because we code ballots in house instead of paying a vendor to do so.”
    With the upcoming general election, it would be the only opportunity to train before Blower retires, according to Roehm.
    Roehm said in  2016 one full- time position was split into two parttime positions. “There was no substantial if any fiscal benefit, but services suffered. I would like to re-combine this into one fulltime position.”
    According to Roehm, it is anticipated that the increased costs will be covered through a transfer from the concealed pistol licenses fund to assist in covering allocated costs of the clerks.
    In another area, restructuring of the county’s IT department was also brought before  the COW.
    Chuck  Norton told COW members  that Information Services Department needs to be restructured  to meet the challenges of the modern technology landscape.
    According to Norton, the  current IT staff as designed by previous IT leadership consists of a director, deputy director, systems engineer, and network analyst (all full time), and three to six parttime “interns.”  
    “These interns provide all tiers of technical support and tying their work to college credit is inconsistent at best, “Norton told the COW.
    According to Norton, the IT department has experienced significant problems with talent retention due to the “internship” program.  “This program resulted in a tremendous turnover rate in the IT department.  Retaining skills, technical and procedural familiarity, and institutional knowledge is extremely difficult,” Norton told the COW.
    Under a proposal offered by Norton he suggested  to  the COW to create the following fulltime positions:
    •Two Help Desk technicians;
    •Infrastructure and Virtualization analyst ;
    •Business Process manager;
    •Operations Manager, and, two interns.
    He also suggested to reactivate a Software and  Database analyst, and  deprecate the following positions:
    •Internship “pool” of $125k annually;
    •Systems Engineer;
    •Service Desk Manager; and,
    •Deputy IT Director.
    Both matters are expected to come before the Board of Commissioners at the Sept. 28, meeting.

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