Courtesy photo
Tim Bunch was hired by the White Pine County Commission as the county’s new human resources director.

The Ely Times

The White Pine County Commission recently held a meeting to interview and select a new Human Resources Director. Each candidate had an oral interview during the public meeting.

In the end, Timothy Bunch was the final selection by the commission. Six candidates applied; Rebecca L. Wittig, Christina Sandoval, Annette A. Marshall, Melissa M. Travis, Timothy A. Bunch and Elizabeth A. Rose applied, although Wittig withdrew her application.

Each candidate had 13 questions, and they were mainly focused towards what the job entailed, how a person would deal with conflict, and resolution, implementing policies and procedures, and acronyms for family medical leave, equal employment opportunities and more were also asked of the candidates to test their knowledge.

Bunch  was the last candidate to interview. When he was asked to give a brief description of himself and how his work experience would make him the best candidate, Bunch said “ I have rural roots, my mother is Leota Johnson out at Sunnyside,  so I grew up on the ranch, spent a lot time in the country. In Yerington, I was involved a lot in the community.”

Bunch went on to describe his employment in the mining industry, his service in the Navy for eight years and his 20 years of retail management explaining that he has seen and experienced many different spectrums of employment.

“Every position I’ve held I progressed, and in the last position I was in I had to supervise 170 associates,” he said.

Bunch’s list of previous employment has afforded him the opportunity to receive a Achievement Medal from the Navy for creating various standard operating procedures (SOP).

He assisted the military in saving $16,000 in transitioning Veterans into civilian life.

When the commission asked Bunch about his experience with confidentiality, he spoke of the top secret clearance he obtained as a photographer in the Navy, and how he carried that clear through his military career.

“I learned growing up, if you don’t have a need to know, you don’t need to know,” he said.

Bunch explained the difference in public and private sector in employment, since that was once of the 13 interview questions.

“If you’re looking at just the human aspect of building bridges with people, I’m from a small town, I grew up in small towns, every relationship is impacted by you and the way that you bring yourself to the table and what your retaining from the other person,” he said. “I find that in the public sector, every step that you take, every word you say has an outstanding and long term impact on people you live with, live by or your impacted in their future.

“In the private sector it’s typically geared towards a business or corporation.  it still has a impact, but in public you have so many people listening to what you are saying, what you stand for.”

The last question asked was if Bunch was appointed to the position, what would representing White Pine County mean to him?

Bunch said, “That’s a heavy statement….roots…roots mean a lot to me, and my family has made a name for themselves in this county. My mom and her husband Chet, my brother being a police officer here in White Pine County, my sisters who have worked in the county and in the city.  For me, White Pine kinda makes it full circle for me.

“My personal story if I can interject a little bit, because I don’t want to throw off the answer to my questions is,  Leota took me in as a little kid, and became my mom, and growing up in the country with nothing, you learn to endure, you learn to love even the simplest things. I have been on a very high peak for a long time. My career has given me opportunities to live on golf courses, and to live in Hawaii, and to see beauty everywhere and to come full circle to come back to the desert, and the sagebrush, the bare mountains, to look out there and say this is home. I am a representation of the small town life, were here to take care of people here.”

When it came time to select a candidate, Commission Chairman Richard Howe said that out of the five candidates, he thought the each on had a strong point in certain places, but felt that with this position being so high profile job he expressed concern of whether any of the candidates could do the job.

“You need to be really versed one of the most important parts to me is the union contracts, and the ability to do that, and it seemed like none of them had experience to do that,” he said. “I don’t feel we have, I think we need to go out and find someone more skilled. I didn’t think we have some strong enough to do this job right away.

Commissioner Steve Stork quickly spoke up, saying, “I think you and I seldom agree on anything anymore and this is just one more thing we disagree on. I do think there’s one person that stood out in this group and scored much higher than anybody else when I go back and look at the Matrix. I think we need to look at hiring one of the five people and particularly that one person we had in mind.”

Vice Chairman Commissioner Shane Bybee said, “Let’s face it, we have all taken jobs in our lives that we didn’t have 100 percent qualifications for, we have to pick somebody for this job that is going to hit the ground running. I think we’ve got, one that stood out particularly in mind and I’m confident that this person could hit the ground running.”

Commissioners Gary Perea and Carol McKenzie gave the same consensus Stork and Bybee did as well, noting that they felt that they could select one person at that moment.

“I agree, for me this job is critical for any organization to have someone in that position FMLA, ADA all that has to do basically is to be able to treat people right, be fair with people and reasonable. and if someone has those skill set to be able to take that and implement it fairly, “ Perea said.

Howe was the only commissioner who felt differently but appreciated the commission’s difference of opinions.  I appreciate everyone’s comments and we may not disagree but that’s why were on this board, to have our opinions, and I like to keep my opinions any way that I like, and that’s okay.”

Perea made the recommendation to select Bunch as the Human Resources Director.  Perea made the motion and McKenzie made the second, and the vote was passed unanimously.

“Tim, welcome aboard, you’ll be working with Kathy and we’ll get this ball rolling, I guess that’s the best way to put it am I right ?” Howe said.

Bunch accepted the offer and began employment on Tuesday, June 12.