Commissioners Approve Filling Vacant Job Positions
Action by the Moore County Board of Commissioners hasn’t produced any new jobs but it has preserved at least seven existing positions with county government.
At their Monday meeting the commissioners voted to exempt the positions from the county’s recession-imposed hiring freeze. Only one of the votes was not unanimous.
In a report to the board, Assistant County Manager Ken Larking explained that all of the job vacancies are needed either to protect the public or to keep agency or department operations running efficiently.
Three jobs are with the Department of Social Services, two with Public Safety and one with the county library. The seventh, which was tabled at the board’s last meeting, is with the Geographic Information Service.
Larking said two of the social services positions are social workers responsible for investigating, assessing and dealing with reports of child abuse. The third position is an income maintenance caseworker whose primary responsibility is approving Medicaid for adults in long term care facilities.
In Public Safety the positions are for a paramedic and a telecommunicator. Larking reported that if these positions are not filled, the department will incur additional expense through overtime payments or use of part-time employees.
The library technician position is one of three positions that recently became vacant with the Moore County Public Library system, which is part of the Sandhill Regional Library System. Two of the positions were previously exempted from the freeze.
The impact of the loss of these positions would mean reduction of library hours or closure of branches. The regional system recently assigned two staff members on a temporary basis to enable the Moore County Library to maintain its posted operating hours.
Library staff vacancies were attributed to “a combination of unfortunate and unexpected circumstances.” One vacancy occurred with the death of Tony Parker, a longtime library assistant who served as researcher and historian.
The GIS position is a programmer analyst responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the Enhanced-911 addressing system. This job involves updating and maintaining accurate addresses entered into the 911 system. These are the addresses followed by emergency personnel in responding to 911 calls.
Commissioner Nick Picerno cast the one dissenting vote on this position.
The commissioners approved the freeze as part of austerity measures imposed as a result of the sluggish economy. The board’s action requires the county manager to request exemptions to the freeze on an individual basis as vacancies occur.
Exemption of the seven positions from the freeze does not change the 2010-11 budget because all are funded in this year’s budget.
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