Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Chief deputy job axed

 


The Sweetwater County Assessor will no longer have a chief deputy.

After an hour-long discussion, the Sweetwater County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a motion denying a request to replace the chief deputy assessor’s position.

Previously, the Commissioners asked the county assessor and the county’s human resources director to review the position and come up with a solution to eliminate the chief deputy position and make it a county position similar to the other positions.

During the discussion, County Assessor Dave Divis argued in favor of maintaining the current chief deputy position with a salary of $85,000. He also wanted the chief deputy to continue to perform the same duties.

Human Resource Director Garry McLean presented the Commission with information on how to change the position into a county position. Prior to making his recommendation, McLean explained his process on how he determined where the position would fit on the county’s pay scale, which would start out as step one and pay grade 15 at $45,844.20, and after certifications are obtained, the position would be moved to step one and pay grade 19 at $55,723.68.

This new position would be called chief appraiser.

“It’s difficult when you’re not looking at all of the positions,” McLean said.

McLean said he was trying to determine what the elected official does versus the chief deputy.

McLean and Divis disagreed on what the requirements for the position should be. Currently, a high school diploma is needed, but Divis wanted someone to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field to be a requirement. They also disagreed on what level of supervision this position should have.

McLean determined this position would act as the backup to Divis when he is gone, which would increase the position’s pay range.

“I’m the only one in the room that’s actually done the job,” Divis said.

Divis said he looked at what other Wyoming counties were doing to see what they were paying people in this type of a position and it was anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000. He said the duties the chief deputy does is almost the same as his.

“Those duties almost overlap daily,” he said.

Commissioner John Kolb said they have to be responsible for taxpayers’ money and what the duties add up to are reflected in the pay steps and grades.

“All of this compensation had to be justified,” Kolb said.

As for the step and grade position, Divis said he would have to think about it before asking the Commissioners for permission to move forward.

As for the other chief deputy positions, the Commissioners would eventually like to replace all of them that fall under this situation, including the county clerk, treasurer and clerk of district court offices.

Commissioner Wally Johnson said they could grandfather those other departments chief deputy positions and deal with them as people leave those positions.

County attorney Dan Erramouspe said the Commissioners will still need to address a resolution that states each of those departments can have a chief deputy position, however he said this can be done at a later date.

 

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