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Department must wait to hire officer

Montgomery County sheriff wants to fill corrections post

May 27, 2010
By AMANDA WHISTLE, The Leader-Herald

FONDA - The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department will have to wait at least another month before it can fill one of four vacant part-time corrections officer positions.

The Sheriff's Department was the first county employer to put the new county hiring policy to the test.

The policy was enacted by supervisors in February.

Every time a county employee retires or quits, the department head is required to fill out and turn in a "request vacancy form" and justify reasons for retaining the position.

If the board votes to no longer fund the position, the line for it in the budget will be transferred to the fund balance.

Tuesday at the county Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors allowed the Sheriff's Department to fill three part-time vacant corrections officer positions, two full-time corrections facility nurses positions and one full-time senior civil account clerk position.

Root Supervisor John Thayer proposed an amendment to the resolution to add a fourth part-time corrections officer.

The position became vacant after the Personnel Committee voted to send the resolution to the full board last week.

Minden Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush questioned altering the resolution since the hiring policy states all positions must be justified before the board in committee.

"There's no point in having the policy [if the board doesn't follow it]," Quackenbush said.

"I think we should stick to the rules we created," said Amsterdam 2nd Ward Supervisor Barbara Johnson.

Amsterdam 3rd Ward Supervisor Ronald Barone said he didn't think it would hurt the department to wait a month to fill the part-time position.

The amendment failed with only Thayer, St. Johnsville Supervisor Dominick Stagliano, Charleston Supervisor Shayne T. Walters and Palatine Supervisor Brian D. Sweet voting for it.

Undersheriff Jeffery T. Smith said Wednesday the board's decision will set the department back.

"It's a vacant position, so now we've got to jump through the hoops next month to get the position filled," Smith said.

Smith said the Sheriff's Department has applicants ready to fill the position.

"They just need to go through training," Smith said. "All this does is put us behind further, so instead of starting the process today, we have to wait until June 23."

Smith said the hiring process can take about a week, meaning the applicant won't be ready to fill the position until July.

Chairman Vito "Butch" Greco said Wednesday he is proud the board upheld its policy.

"It's not the idea that we're restricting [the sheriff]," Greco said. "It's the idea that we want all the department heads to go through the proper procedures. We can't just bypass everything just for the sheriff. One week and one month isn't going to hurt anything."

Amanda Whistle covers Montgomery County news. She can be reached at montco@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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