By Geri Whopschall 

At the recent White Pine County Commission meeting, there were several agenda items in regards to the White Pine County Economic Diversification Council.

The commission put on the agenda the discussion, action and approval for a job description for the position of Community Coordinator as a new exempt position with the White Pine County Economic Diversification Council.

Commissioner Laurie Carson’s stated the qualifications for this job would be the completion of required college courses in business management and other courses pertaining to the job and two years experience, preferred but not required.

Will the new job exclude the correspondence for the County Commissioners?

Gary Perea, chairman of the county commission, stated he preferred to leave the correspondence where it is.

“She will be supporting the county commissioners,” he said. “This position will review and prepare comments on proposed legislation on natural resources. She will be going to meetings in Carson City. We will be having a civil attorney that will be handling natural resources.”

Commissioner Richard Howe said “to create a new department with one person over themselves, I do have a problem with that. This is going to be a department head, and looking over all these duties, they are clerical duties. Should be under the court supervision and I just don’t see an individual department head over themselves, I just don’t like it.”

Howe went on to say “this is absolutely against what we’ve been trying to do, we have been trying to shorten the government. Keeping her as an hourly individual would be better than making her a department head”.

Commissioner Mike Coster also commented by saying “we have been talking about reducing staff and make sure it wasn’t only in our lower grade of employees. This would give us an opportunity to combine departments not add new department heads. We are talking about creating a new position, recruiting and doing internal recruiter but we keep talking about her, her,her, I can tell you if someone wants to sue with an unsuccessful application for this job we are giving them a lot of evidence here today. I don’t know if we can promote someone for a new position. This is a pretty drastic rewriting of a job description for economic development. We should be treating this as an entirely separate position, we can’t select a person for it. As Richard said I would like to have this located in the clerks office. Since there has not been a head of the economic department, there have been a host of concerns about the hours of the office and the function of the office.”

The salary of the new position would be $50,294 plus benefits. Coster and Howe also commented on this salary in comparison to other salaries of department heads who have up to 12 employees under them.

This passed by at 3 to 2 vote. Coster and Howe voted no.

So who is this person that’s been labeled as “her”? Does it sound like they have someone in mind for this position? The name partially slipped out in one statement. They do have to post the position internally for any county employees who are interested in applying for this position. And if nobody applies it then goes out to the public for open recruitment.

Is this position needed? Should it have been voted and approved upon to go forward? Most of the Economic Development Council work being done for White Pine County is in Elko by a group the county commission joined. One reason was given for keeping the EDC office open, in case someone needs some information about developing a business in White Pine County. Most new companies will contact the city or the Chamber of Commerce .

Two members of the White Pine County Planning Commission resigned as a result of the elimination of the Administrative Assistant of the Community and Economic Development office.

This board is now below the NRS mandated membership and cannot legally meet and conduct business. Now the duties of the Planning Commission will fall directly on the White Pine County Commissioners.

The  Administrative Assistant to the Community and Economic Development is the person who takes minutes for different boards and is paid by the county. Mike Wheable commented “there may be some conflict if we hire a county employee to do these two duties because of overtime. Do we want to hire someone outside the county employees?”

Gary Perea feels the hire should be outside the county to do these duties. “We need to come up with the amount of pay. Some boards want to get their own person.”

Elizabeth Frances, stated that the Building and Planning Department used to do the duties of the Planning Commission. “Do we need all the boards we have? The IRS frowns on getting two W-2 forms for the same person. This could cause an audit”.