Aransas County Commissioners, at their regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 12, once again tabled action to create a new full-time “floater” position in Human Resources to cover temporary needs for administrative and clerical jobs in lieu of using temporary agencies. Departments requesting assistance would fund the position. Commissioners initially tabled the matter at their Oct. 28 meeting.
Human Resources Director Linda Doane told commissioners the county has spent almost $36,000 this year for temporary help, and she expects that number to reach about $48,000 by the end of the year.
Doane said the “floater” position would cost a little more than $40,000, including all related expenses.
Commissioner Jack Chaney asked Doane if the county could still need additional temporary help, even if the new position is created.
She said, “Yes, but only a low percentage of the time.”
Chaney asked how department heads feel about Doane’s plan.
“Enough have agreed (to fund the new position through their temporary help budgets),” said Doane.
“There could be some (department heads) that don’t support (the new position)?” asked Commissioner Charles Smith.
“I imagine so,” said Doane. “I don’t know.”
Chaney said he doesn’t see a lot of savings in the plan.
When asked which departments are on board, Doane responded, “Mine, the auditor, maintenance, and the Transfer Station.”
Commissioner Bubba Casterline asked why there is a need for such a position.
“Are departments not cross-trained? Are they understaffed?” he asked.
Chaney said an additional concern is funding the position, as well as additional temporary help, in future years when the court faces a restriction on how much the county can increase its tax rate.
Another concern raised is what happens if all departments are fully staffed. Would the “floater” just sit around?
Smith said he hoped all departments could get on board.
“If we vote for this, how quickly would you start?” asked Chaney.
“As quickly as possible,” said Doane.
There was disagreement between County Auditor Suzy Wallace and County Treasurer Alma Cartwright regarding if there was enough money in the budget to fund the position.
“We have a county auditor who has confirmed what (Doane) presented,” said Chaney. “The question is do we need a fulltime person (as a floater).”
Casterline said he is not convinced a fulltime person can handle all the part-time needs at one time.
Doane noted more than one temporary employee was needed eight percent of the time in 2018, and 14 percent of the time this year.
After a little more discussion about the matter, Casterline made the motion to table Doane’s request again. Commissioner Wendy Laubach seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.