New director takes over

John Scarffe, Gilpin County. New Gilpin County Public Works Director Gordon Thompson will take over renovations of the Gilpin County Courthouse. Thompson and Contractor Bill Harrington discussed progress toward the renovations during a regular meeting of the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners at 9 a.m. on October 17, 2017, at the Courthouse.

 

Thompson replaced Public Works and Facilities Director Bill Paulman, and Facilities Public Works departments have been combined. Gordon told the Board they are completing the process with bids for renovations to the Courthouse.

 

Bill Harrington with Alpha Services, LLC, presented a copy of the cost analysis for the renovations. “The problem we have is the schedule blew up from 11 to 24 weeks. The County is required to pay damages from the contractors.”

 

“This is in addition to the bond,” Harrington said. “That’s only damages for delay.”

 

Commissioner Ron Engels asked that if we put that schedule penalty aside would you have chosen the same vendors — if we can say we’re not going to penalize you if it takes a couple of extra days to get it done.

 

Harrington said it might cost Gilpin County extra money, and you will be required to make up that cost. Engels said, “It sounds like it’s already done.”

 

Engels pointed out that at the first meeting in December they would need this room. Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate said they will need to have the December 5 meeting at a different place.

 

Harrington said that they will move people out and then do abatement, the floor and then painting. They will use Cate’s office for decontamination. They have to wash out the suits they are wearing.

 

“I’m going to come back with signed contracts,” Harrington said. At the November 7 Board meeting, equipment was being moved from rooms to start the renovation, and they were throwing away items that had accumulated on the third floor.

 

Interim Parks and Recreation Director Alan Smith requested a full-time office assistant.

 

County Manager Leslie Klusmire said the County would like to get a full-time person and use part-time people less and for vacations and illnesses. “When Alan came on, we asked him to look at that, and so this is his proposal.”

 

Board Chair Gail Watson said the Board has a meeting on Thursday about the overall budget. Smith said that two things will increase the 2017 budget. He wants to hire immediately because they had someone leave and they have a short staff.

 

The Community Center’s business hours require about 163.5 hours per week to cover the front desk, according to the proposal. Staff is at about 19.5 hours short of meeting this need. Three full-time employees left recently.

 

“Increasing a part-time, non-benefited office assistant position to a full-time office assistant position is the next logical step in stabilizing the staff structure at the front desk and providing consistent, dependable coverage,” Smith wrote. The goal would be to hire for this position internally.

 

“Most of the employees are over their hours per week,” Smith said. Human Resources Manager Susie Allen said the threshold is 24 hours per week or they have to pay employees vacations. If over the 30 hour threshold they have to pay benefits.

 

Parks and Recreation is short staffed and can’t cover the front desk. Parks and Recreation is paying for 23 hours a week, so they are adding the 17 hours to make it full time, Allen said.

 

Engels asked if it will put the department over budget. Office Manager Jolene Logan said it will not be over budget.

 

Watson said: “When the County had a new director for a brief period, he said we were overstaffed on the front desk, so I’m trying to get my head around full-time staff, and this, with the other budget issues, is a fair amount of money.”

 

Smith said: “During my two months here so far, my focus has been on stabilizing what we have. I feel very strongly we have the right people in the right positions. Stabilize first and there may be a way to change the front desk, but I don’t want to make the mistake of a knee jerk action to make changes.”

 

Klusmire said, “When we spoke with the former director, his philosophy is to have two people at the front desk at all times, and then other people. There is someone 22 feet away. You don’t have to have two people right at the desk.”

 

Susie Allen said if you have a full-time person and they learn the job, then you can slowly reduce the part-time people.

 

Watson said, “We rarely see a department shed positions.” Smith said: “I like to be lean, flexible and efficient. I think we can do more with fewer people in the right positions, but we’re not there yet.”

 

Commissioner Linda Isenhart said, “We’re only talking about two months and then it’s in the budget discussion for 2018.” Watson said, “I want to sit down and talk about all the impacts.”

 

Isenhart said: “I support this. It makes sense to me. I like the concept of being mean and lean and to have that stabilized work force.”

 

Engles said: “I can’t imagine having to manage all those part timers. I’m in favor of the full-time positon and kind of eliminating three part-time positions. Isenhart moved to accept the proposal.

 

Watson said, “I’m not convinced this is a good move for the County, and we should be looking at this in the big picture.” She voted against the motion, but it passed.

 

The Board met for regular meetings on October 31 and November 14 and conducted a special meeting on November 7. The next meeting of the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, December 5, at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City.