The Cherokee County Commission followed the recommendation of its staff and other counties on Monday in the courthouse.
Deanna Randall was appointed director of human resources for Cherokee County by unanimous decision of the three commissioners. They approved a resolution prior to the appointment, authorizing the position.
“Many other counties already have this,” said District One Commissioner Pat Collins. “Some are larger counties than Cherokee and some are the same size.”
Randall was currently doing the same thing as human resource director through the county clerk’s office.
“Deanna performed the same job here as well as assisted with the clerk and other duties,” said Cherokee County Clerk Crystal Gatewood. “I am happy for her and I think this will work very well for our county.”
Randall will work with employee placements, benefits, health insurance, and salary compensation. She will also administer health insurance, assist with legal compliance and with all litigation regarding the county employees. Randall will handle all matters relating to personnel.
“This will really help with employee privacy,” said District Two Commissioner Jack Garner. “My feeling was that this was the primary reason to do this.”
The commissioners all stated that there would be no change in the number of county employees regarding the new position.
“There will be no salary increases at this time,” said Commission Chairman Richard Hilderbrand.
Other county officers and department heads agreed the new position was a good thing.
“We approached the commission about this several years ago,” said Cherokee County Health Department Administrator Betha Williams. “We thought it would be good procedure.”
The commission also took action to assist the Columbus Community Foundation with a bridge for the American Legion ball fields.
“If we give you $8,000, said Garner, “can you come up with the last $2,000?”
Fundraising Coordinator Daryl Spear was excited to hear the words.
“I think we can,” he said. “That would put us at $23,000 of our total $25,000 needed to begin construction.”
The commission approved the action unanimously. They will take the $4,000 out of parks and recreation and $4,000 from special road and bridge.
Spear asked for anyone wanting to donate to make the contribution to the Columbus Community Foundation or to Exchange State Bank.
Treasurer Juanita Hodgson said her department had mailed out all of the 2010 tax statements.
“December 20 is the deadline for the first half taxes,” she said. “After that date, the taxes become delinquent and all personal property taxes are due in full.”
The road and bridge department said that the wrong rip-rap rock had been put in at the new Faulkner Bridge in the southwest part of the county.
“The state didn’t use 18-24 inch stone,” said Road and Bridge Supervisor Leonard Vanatta. “They used rock that would have been washed away in the big rains. They are going to replace it with the bigger material.”
Vanatta reported that his department had completed the trailer home and fence removal on flood buy out ground in the southeast part of the county.
Assistant Road and Bridge Supervisor Gene Langerot reported that the department had three road graders that had reached 5,000 hours. The commissioners postponed discussion on replacement.
Langerot reported that the new multi-function trucks were performing well and were very good on fuel consumption.
The commission took action on replacing their reinsurance carrier.
“Health Care Reform has the better bid in my opinion,” said Meritain Facilitator Brent Hilliard.
Cherokee County ran up $560,000 in claims while taking in only $240,000 in premiums over the past year.
The commissioners motioned to accept the new reinsurer by unanimous decision.
Hilliard also reported that the county claims for September and October are down considerably for health care and prescription coverage.
The county will meet again, 9 a.m. on November 29 in the courthouse.