• Last modified 3437 days ago (Jan. 28, 2010)


Commission may force departments to share

Staff writer

Marion County Commissioners want county departments to take bigger strides to fill temporary staffing shortfalls in other departments.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said in a special meeting Thursday that he was not impressed with some departments’ willingness to help in a time of budget woes.

Cross-training can take time, but employees wouldn’t necessarily have to know how to do everything in the other department, Commissioner Dan Holub said.

Voluntary help is good, but if help doesn’t come voluntarily, the commission has to make some decisions, Dallke said.

“I’m tired of asking,” he said.

Commissioners should involve department heads in the process, Holub said, but he agreed that final decisions rest with the commission.

Some departments have made sacrifices to reduce staff costs, commissioners said. They highlighted Emergency Medical Services and the transfer station, and the noxious weed and household hazardous waste departments for trying to do more with less.

Health and planning and zoning departments are well situated to share a secretary position, Holub said. Those departments share office space and phone lines.

Marion County Park and Lake is a complicated case because of its seasonal nature, Dallke said. During the busy summer months its staff is stretched thin, but in the winter months it may be overstaffed, he said.

Commissioners briefly discussed hiring an engineer full-time to take the reins of Marion County Road and Bridge Department. That is probably out of the county’s price range, Commissioner Bob Hein said.

Last modified Jan. 28, 2010