The La Paz County Board of Supervisors has voted to streamline the process of hiring new employees, employee travel for work and authorizing expenditure by staff.
As the County recovers from its financial crisis which peaked in early 2017, it has hired a new County Administrator, a new Finance Director and other key administrative positions. During the worst of the crisis, the Board of Supervisors imposed strict limits on spending, budgets and staffing in response to severe cashflow issues.
But now, County Administrator Ron Drake thinks it’s time for a new system which gives him the authority to authorize hiring people to fill budgeted positions, limited employee travel for work, and making purchases up to a $3000 maximum without explicit, line-by-line Board approval.
“We have a Finance Director in place, we have monthly reporting, there’s an oversight there that I think [provides assurance],” Drake told the Board ahead of their vote.
The move gives County department heads and elected officials a more streamlined system that does not require the Board of Supervisors to micromanage each decision, according to Drake, and establishes a system with a clear paper trail for each authorization. It puts the Finance Director and the County Administrator at the center of all such decision-making so that the elected Board is freed up to focus on setting policy.
Supervisors Duce Minor and D.L. Wilson voted in favor of the motion, which passed with Holly Irwin absent from the meeting.
The Board also authorized moving ahead with a new digital employee time management system called TimeClock Plus, which tracks employee hours more precisely and more efficiently than the paper-based system the County had been using.
Sheriff Bill Risen went to the podium to tell the Supervisors he is in favor of the new system, saying that managing 100 employees’ hours in many locations at once with different schedules is prone to error, and that the new system would be a very good thing for his department.