Turner promoted to Assistant Manager

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, April 16, 2013

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners has agreed to proceed in reorganizing the County Manager’s Office and have appointed Kimberly Turner to the position of assistant county manager.

On Monday, the commissioners made the decision following County Manager Wayne Jenkins providing information as requested by the board.

On March 18 the board had requested all documentation of the county’s personnel policy ordinance that Board Attorney Charles Vaughan referred to at the special called meeting on Feb. 27 regarding the assistant county manager position.

At Monday’s meeting, Jenkins provided a timeline of the Personnel Policy Ordinance, which was prepared by the then county manager and county attorney in 1979. The policy was adopted and effective July 1, 1979 by a unanimous vote of then Board of Commissioners.

Jenkins noted under Section 1, General:Item 1 Adoption states, “The Board of County Commissioners is the elected policy-making body for Northampton County. Subject to Federal and State laws, it is the Board’s responsibility to adopt policies regulating the administration of the County, and in accordance with G.S. 153A-94 these personnel policies, and any subsequent amendments, are adopted by Resolution of the Board.”

Jenkins added the official record reflects no public hearing was held.

According to the information provided by Jenkins, there were several amendments to the 1979 policy between July 1, 1979 and Aug. 7, 1989. All were approved by the majority vote of the board and the record reflects no public hearings were held.

On Aug. 7, 1989 the commissioners appointed a committee to revise the Employee Handbook Policy and the revised personnel policy and the policy was approved by the board on June 17, 1991 in a 4-1 vote.

Again, the policy states that the personnel policies and any subsequent amendments are adopted by resolution of the board. It also stated that personnel policies may be amended or repealed at anytime.

Jenkins noted there were several amendments to the 1991 policy manual between 1991 and 2012, all being approved by majority of the board.

In 2009, the board directed Jenkins to cause a review, revisions as needed and an update to the Personnel Policy Manual. Another committee was formed and supported by Johnson Consulting, Inc. and the task began in the fall of 2010.

The policy was approved in an unanimous vote in November 2012 and became effective January 1, 2013.

Jenkins stated Under Article 1, Organizations of Personnel Policies; Section 1, Purpose reads: “The County Board of Commissioners reserves the right to change, modify, eliminate, or deviate from any policy or procedure in this manual at any time by appropriately implementing necessary revisions, directives or amendments. On Jan. 23 the policy was amended for clarification.

Jenkins said the board has “reorganized/re-aligned” functions and departments on two previous occasions under G.S. 153A-76; once in 1993 when the Public Works Department was created and in 1996 when:

The board re-aligned the Building and Grounds function as a division under the direct supervision of the Public Works Department Director;

The re-alignment of the Land Records function as a division under the Tax Department;

The re-alignment of the Code Inspector’s function as a division of the Economic Development Commission; and

Consolidated the functions of the Veterans Service Officer, Office on Aging Services, and the Recreation Department into the division known as Youth and Senior Services Division and aligned the new division under the supervision of the county manager’s administrative assistant.

Commission Chair Robert Carter said the documents proved the board was not trying to do anything out of the ordinary.

“From 1993 on up to 2008, we have reorganize, re-aligned, made new departments, never advertised internally or externally,” he said.

Commission Vice Chair Virginia Spruill moved to proceed with the reorganization of the County Manager’s Office under the provisions of General Statute 153A-76 and the Northampton County Personnel Policy, “which was approved and adopted by resolution on Nov. 19, 2012 effective Jan. 1, 2013.”

Commissioner Chester Deloatch seconded the measure and it passed unanimously.

Deloatch then moved to appoint Kimberly Turner, Clerk to the Board/Assistant to the County Manager, to position of Assistant County Manager and assume the duties and responsibilities of the position, including those of Clerk to the Board, beginning May 1.

Spruill offered a second.

Commissioner Joseph Barrett asked if Turner will fulfill the duties she presently has and other duties assigned by the county manager.

Jenkins said the motion was a little different than the last action taken by the board. He suggested taking the assistant county manager job description and the clerk to the board job description and have Human Resources combine the two into one.

Barrett agreed that needed to be done.

Spruill said the board could have the motion be contingent upon Human Resources doing that.

Vaughan recommended the board approve a resolution to authorize them to fill the position of the assistant county manager/clerk to the board.

Spruill said the commissioners had a motion on the floor and needed to proceed.

The motion was approved 4 to 1 with Barrett objecting.

“I’d like to see the job description written and for us to consider it before we do this,” Barrett said.