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Stepping back from Centralized Financing


Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in All Government

The county board at their February 5 meeting reconsidered moving the job responsibilities to the Auditor/Treasurer office for Social Services finance work. At the January 22 meeting, the board had voted to advertise for an Accounting Technician that would work in the Auditor/Treasurer office to do work that has been done by the Social Services Fiscal Officer, who is retiring February 28.

Commissioner Duane Bakke had questions about the discussion details on this topic represented in the minutes of the January 22 meeting. County Coordinator Karen Brown was absent so it was decided to wait until the next meeting to continue the discussion of the January 22 minutes.

There was considerable discussion about replacing the retiring Social Services Fiscal Officer. Bakke said nobody applied for the Accounting Technician job as advertised because the job was not advertised as a merit job. Shirl Boelter said she has been told that you never give up a merit job. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud suggested they consider advertising it as a merit job. Boelter said they need someone with social service experience.

Bakke insisted that the accounting skills are completely different in the Auditor/Treasurer office compared to Community Services. Bakke said to consolidate just to consolidate is not the answer. He added that unlike auditor/treasurer documents, social service documents are not public documents. Bakke went on to express his dismay that the minutes had suggested that they are also reviewing the possibility of transferring payroll and accounts receivable from Highway and Sheriff offices to the Auditor/Treasurer office.

Bakke asked Boelter to define central finance. She said the purpose is to do processes more efficiently. It is an opportunity to talk and learn and find the best way to support each other by taking down the silos, meaning various department employees support each other. Boelter said she is open minded about it and feels the position needs to stay in Social Services. Department personnel need to talk and support each other. Boelter concluded saying we need to be lean before we become centralized. Bakke said he was not committed to central finance.

Social Services Manager Gail Bunge said the Social Services Fiscal Officer is a very important position.

The board approved the canceling of the current advertising for an Accounting Technician. The board then approved the advertisement to hire a Fiscal Officer with the position being under the merit system and placed in the Social Services office.

Amunrud said they are talking about succession planning adding it takes two years to break in a new person. He suggested people who are doing cross training are already carrying a full load. Kristina Kohn, Human Resources, said cross training doesn’t necessarily mean hiring more people. She added, “We are very lean.”

Other Business In Brief

•A replacement compressor will be purchased at the low quote of $13,970 from WHV Inc. for the Fillmore County Office Building. Terry Schultz, Building Maintenance, said the 13-year-old compressor failed last year.

•Approval was given to send 2013 Ambulance Contracts to seven cities with the appropriation of $4,500 per each city with an ambulance service.

•Shirl Boelter and County Assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt discussed a new software system that is being looked at by counties. The current system will eventually no longer be supported. Blagsvedt said if by 2020 we aren’t on the new system, we will be on our own trying to find a reliable tax system to do what is required by law. The cost will be $260,437 for both a tax and canvas system. The cost will be broken down with $39,000 in each of 2013 and 2014. In 2015 the final cost will be $180,000. Boelter said the cost could be lower if more counties go on the system. The tax and canvas system would save labor. The board approved the agreements and signature for the board ratification document. No money will be expended until it is known what the actual cost will be.

•An agreement with SiteGround was approved to host the new county website at a cost of $62 per month. The new website should be launched February 8.

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