HC loses one, gains two

Published 10:52 am Thursday, August 9, 2012

WINTON – Two for one.

With the recent resignation of the Assistant County Manager and Human Resources Director, Hertford County Manager Loria Williams sought permission from the Board of Commissioners here Monday to replace John P. Rankins Jr. with two new employees.

Rankins, who was employed by the county for a little less than two years, resigned effective July 27 to accept the position of Human Resources Director in Harnett County.

Citing a significant increase in the workload associated with Human Resources/Risk Management, Williams recommended the reclassification of the Assistant County Manager/HR Director (now listed at a Grade 25 on the county’s pay scale) to a title of Director of Human Resources/Risk Management (Grade 21). She also recommended the creation of a new position – Senior Administrative Assistant II.

“This new position will serve as an assistant to the County Manager as well as Deputy Clerk to the Board, which is currently not assigned to anyone,” Williams noted. “This action will give us additional staff in an office with very little additional costs.”

Based on information provided by Williams to the commissioners, Rankins was paid a base annual salary of $77,250. Adding in the benefits, to include retirement and insurance, the total annual cost to the county for his former position was $95,323.

Williams said by reclassifying the position to a lower grade in the pay scale, the annual salary, to include all benefits, would be $59,331 (base pay of $45,476).

The total annual cost of the new position is $42,490 (base salary of $30,779).

Combined those two positions would cost the county $101,621 annually, which is $6,298 more than what Rankins received in total compensation.

“Over the last couple of years the duties of Human Resources and Risk Management have become very detailed and intricate, between general liability, worker’s compensation and employee relations and benefits,” Williams said. “I feel reclassifying that position will allow me to hopefully recruit a person with more focused, specialized capabilities, a person with more responsibilities attuned to HR….more of a specialist, technician, coordinator and a manager.”

Williams added that the new position she was requesting would, “give us an extra set of hands in the office.” She said that person could help with the paperwork associated with HR.”

The addition of the new position will also benefit Shelia Matthews, the current Assistant to the County Manager/Clerk to the Board.

“Shelia’s duties as my administrative assistant can be shifted to the new position, freeing Shelia to focus on truly being the custodian of county records,” Williams said. “We’ve always felt there needs to be more focus on archiving (commissioners’ meetings) minutes, codifying ordinances and administering the record retention policy for all county offices on a routine basis.”

Matthews will not see a change in her pay grade or her salary.

“We had actually talked about doing this before we hired Mr. Rankins,” recalled Commission Chairman Curtis Freeman. “We are short staffed in the office and I see this as a good thing.”

Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer inquired of who would be in charge in Williams’ absence.

“The HR person could handle that with the assistant to the County Manager as the back-up,” Williams said.

On a motion from Commissioner Howard Hunter III and a second from Commissioner Bill Mitchell, the board approved, without objection, both of Williams’ recommendations, to include the change in the job classifications/pay scales.

Williams said she would immediately begin advertising for the two positions.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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