PERSONNEL & ADMINISTRATION

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Kenneth Hughes, Chairperson

JoePete Wilson, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Hughes called this Personnel Meeting to order at 10:00 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Matthew Brassard, Robin DeLoria, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Cathleen Reusser, Favor Smith, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright. Shaun Gillilland, James Monty, Matt Stanley and Davina Winemiller were excused.††† Chris Clark, Derek Doty and Charlie Harrington were absent.

 

Department Heads present: Judy Garrison, Jennifer Mascarenas and Michael Mascarenas.

 

News media: None present.

 

HUGHES:Okay, good morning everyone.I would like to note that the time is 10 a.m. I would like to call this Personnel & Administration to order on Valentineís Day.If we could have Jen Mascarenas come right up for a report.

 

J.MASCARENAS:Good morning. So I have my monthly report and the updated vacancy list. I think we were down to 92.5 positions in January. I feel like every time we gain a couple the next payroll a couple are retiring.

 

HUGHES: On your desks I provided you with a little spreadsheet.Iím keeping track of vacancies from month to month based on the numbers that come out of Munis this is just for you FY information only so you can see where we were last year compared to this year and kind of get a trend analysis going for FYI.

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís great.

 

HUGHES: Yeah, just data to help us out.Any questions for Jen?

 

WILSON:So and this maybe a group effort to answer, I was thinking about CDL I saw that youíre getting applications for motor equipment operators. Are we getting applications for the Laborer track into CDL operator? Is that still?

 

J.MASCARENAS:We still do have applicants that apply because they want to work in DPW so we put them in Laborer, send them onto Jim or DPW and then they go from there determining whether or not want to be hired but yes, we are accepting applications for the laborer to go to the MEO Trainee to the MEO one.

 

WILSON: Alright thank you.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, I do think the paths youíve created at DPW have certainly helped in term so flexibility and certainly allowed for some introduction to the workforce.Iím not going to say itís always worked but what Iím going to say is weíre still, we are getting them a little more than we were before.

 

WILSON: Thank you.

HUGHES: Something I just learned about the relationship between the towns and the Personnel Office at the county is that the county will support and help find employees so if you have a vacancy in your town whether full or part time, is that correct?

 

J.MASCARENAS: Yeah, we do post for those also.

 

HUGHES: Thatís great. The county will support that effort so new supervisors on the committee or just on board if you have vacancies in your town and you would like the county to help you out please reach out to Jen and sheíll work with you to keep that posted on the county website as well.

 

REUSSER: Do you know what level of response youíre getting for the golf course superintendent position?Is there interest?Do you know off the top of your head?

 

J.MASCARENAS: As of yesterday we had zero.

 

REUSSER: Okay, very good.Thank you.

 

HUGHES: So thereís still time for you.

 

REUSSER: We have to decide what we are doing with our first.

 

HUGHES: Understood. Any other questions for Jen on this Wednesday morning?Okay thanks Jen.Moving on to the Clerk of the Board, Judy Garrison.

 

GARRISON:Good morning. I just submitted my monthly report and have nothing in addition to that unless anyone has any questions for me?

 

HUGHES: Any questions for Judy.Judy, can you just remind us I know I personally asked this question a couple years ago about OTB revenue.Can you just remind the supervisors and the board what that is about?

 

GARRISON: So we have OTB in the county that we receive revenue from.I believe it is in North Elba and each month we receive checks, itís a percentage for our county for the revenue.

 

HUGHES: Okay thatís great. Thank you.Any questions for Judy?Looks like weíre good.Mr. Manning appears not to be with us this morning. So, just moving onto recruitment and retention thereís no major update on that except I would like to share that yesterday at the request of Carol Calabrese from the IDA I was placed on a committee and attended the opening of committee conversation for an Essex County community career expo, Essex County Community Career Expo itís an effort thatís being led by Shari Snow of CVES, Champlain Valley Educational Services and what they are looking to do is is they are looking to hold a career expo somewhere in Essex County in May to basically bring together industry and high school students grades 9-12 from the various school districts in our county and basically making that match making for those students as well as for adults.As you recall, a couple of years ago Essex County held a career expo across the street which was modestly successful but I just wanted to put this on your brains that is tentatively going to be May 30 of this year to be held at the Floral Hall at the Fairgrounds. Thatís all still up in the air date and time still up in the air, I think it will be 11-6.Jim Dougan should have received a call already about requesting the opportunity to use that building so weíre still working on that, bathrooms, Wi-Fi, things like that so just wanted to put that on your brain. Weíll have more for you as that comes along but looking at May 30, 2024 and along that same line for recruitment and retention so, I say that because weíll request that thereís county departments who wish to participate in that career expo weíll encourage them to have a booth set up but I just wanted to say if any of you that are aware of the school districts inyour communities who might be holding some type of recruitment and career expo, job fair type of thing please let me know directly or let Jen know so that we can make sure we let our local county department heads know so if they want to participate in that they can. Any questions on recruitment and retention?

 

MASCARENAS:Can I jump in?

 

HUGHES: Absolutely.

 

MASCARENAS:Thereís nothing here and I didnít submit anything so I apologize, last year I asked the board and you allowed me to budget for ten student trainees.I think it was a real successful program that we ran last summer. We ended up with three full time people that stayed on following that which is pretty good.We didnít fill the full ten.I didnít budget them and I didnít budget them on purpose because I knew that we had a certain amount of vacancies that the budget would produce and why budget for something and put it on the levy when we didnít absolutely need it so I would like to ask that the board allow us to do that again and approve ten student trainee positions for us. The total amount wouldnít exceed $50,000 if we were able to fill all those positions during the summer months but we need to start advertising that now as students are only a couple months away from getting out of college and making their summer plans. The ones we actually retained were high school students and those individuals have stayed on and we have working in IT, we have one working in DSS and we actually have two working in IT.

 

WILSON: I would gladly move that.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY MANAGER TO HIRE TEN (10) STUDENT TRAINEES FOR SUMMER EMPLOYMENT.Wilson, DeLoria

 

HUGHES: Any conversations, discussions?

 

McNALLY: Iím not on this committee however, I think that sounds like a really successful program and Iíd like to see it continue. Three full time employees out of that was very successful but is there any way we can run an intern program for people who are just recently out of school that donít want to make a committee to a full time job but if we could get that to work for a six week period and maybe experience what the county has to offer we possibly could get some of those. You know thereís a stigma that you may not want to work for the Government but if we could even run four temporary positions and you have four, 19 or 20 year old kids that do not go to college, they are not doing anything but working at the ski center come here for a short period of time and possibly will like the atmosphere and the chances for promotion and the opportunities we may retain some of them also.

 

MASCARENAS:Yeah Steve I think I know what youíre saying and I actually like that thought. I never thought of that to be quite honest.Typically we have departments the handle their own their own way so when I was in DSS I would do similar to what youíre talking about but the exposure would only to be to DSS so there might be 14 departments in DSS and I would take that student and I would put that student in SNAP for a week, I would put them in Children Services for a week and in a round of Medicaid for week but I think what youíre talking about is more maybe they go to DMV for a week, maybe they go to DPW for a week, maybe Treasurers.

 

McNALLY:We could have a training program where they get the opportunity to come in and we have the money in the budget because of all the vacant positions so this would be a good time to do it but youíre looking at high school kids, a lot of these high school kids are going to go on to college but there is a group of 18-23 year olds that are working the ski centers and working the restaurants if you could possibly give them a program a six week program, 30 hours a week, 40 hours a week as long as we can find something that weíre getting some value which Iím sure we could, even if they work with Jimmy up there cleaning the floors let them experience what the county has to offer because I think weíre missing out. The program is really successful 10-3 out of the high school kids I think thereís an age group right past that that we havenít touched and we may get them in the door and they may find out that thereís a position at the county that they really enjoy.

 

HUGHES: Steve, are you thinking this would happen like late June through early August or is it like an ongoing rotational kind of thing?

 

McNALLY:No I think this program could be ran possibly the best time to run it is in the summer time when thereís all these jobs thereís lifeguards and positions like that you know Iím thinking maybe the shoulder season when they get done at the ski area, maybe an April job April through the beginning of May you get done at the ski area but you canít go to work to your summer job for another six weeks, they may take a chance on four or six weeks to experience what the county has to offer.Once we get them in the door you may find thereís interest just like you did with those interns.You may find thereís interest in these people saying you know the county is a pretty good job, itís a good work environment, the benefits and retirement just a thought but I think thereís an opportunity and Iím talking from out of high school and I was one of those people I didnít go to college I went to the Air Force but who knows if I had the opportunity to go to the county at 21 years old, I went in the air force when I was 18 but thereís an opportunity that I can work here 25 years, get this, gethealth insurance you might get somebody.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah I can envision and certainly work with Ken on this.

 

McNALLY: You can start with two employees.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, a county orientation program or something like that.

 

McNALLY:County employee program three weeks, four weeks but I think the shoulder seasons would be the best time to have it.

 

MASCARENAS:And we could use those temporary positions to do that without expanding it right now. I think weíll see what weíve got with the ten. The ten doesnít require us to do it in the summer thatís just typically when more people are available but if we were advertising more so on an annual basis there might be opportunity or even when kids are home from college in the winter, right, they are in that January month when thereís not a lot going on.

 

McNALLY:You could run it and they could be two week programs if you wish just to get them in the door.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, we just need something more formal so that it is meaningful when something comes so we know okay, this is what youíre going to do for this week, and this is what youíre going to do.

 

McNALLY: And a benefit to us as we fill some voids and some projects we need help on but we also get to understand what these people are about.You get three people and two of them are absolutely worthless you know that before you give them a full position.

 

MASCARENAS: You have a way with words.

 

McNALLY:But I think itís time to think outside the box on this and with your success with the high schoolers to run this for maybe an older group in the shoulder season sounds like a plan to me.

 

HUGHES: Weíll look into that. I like that idea.Thank you.

 

REUSSER:Can Governments incentivize?So the current employee recommends this person and they stay a year and they get a couple thousand dollars?

 

McNALLY:We have that program.

 

MASCARENAS:We have that.

 

McNALLY: We started that last year.

 

REUSSER: Very good. Thank you.

 

MASCARENAS: We probably need to provide the board members with an update on what weíve done over the last couple of years and we should do that and Iíll get that stuff together for you guys.

 

McNALLY:Weíve tried everything. Weíve used ropes and ties.(laughter)

 

REUSSER:Use charm.

 

HUGHES: Steve is our head recruiter.

 

MASCARENAS: Yes, so we have a referral process if a county was out and they said, hey come to the county and work and they put on the application that they referred that individual and that individual is hired and retains a certain amount of time in our workforce they will then get a stipend for, finderís fee per say.Is it $2,000 total?

 

J.MASCARENAS:After a certain amount of time they work, yes.

 

McNALLY: It is so much after six months and so much after a year.

 

MASCARENAS: Yes.

 

McNALLY:But weíve had a couple employees right?

 

J. MASCARENAS: Yeah I can give you the information.

 

HUGHES: But this is good, new supervisors, current supervisors, anybody if you have ideas outside of the box please send them along in an email thereís no bad idea. We want to know what you think.Maybe from your own personal experiences in other industries.Anything else for recruitment and retention?

Personnel Policy Manual Ė anything else?

 

SMITH:Iím sorry, did we take care of Ė was there a motion and a second on the resolution?

 

HUGHES: Thatís right so we had a motion and a second on ten student trainees.Motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. DeLoria any other conversation about that?All in favor, aye, opposed carried. Thank you.Steve got me off track. Anything else to come before this personnel and administration meeting?

 

TYLER:Yeah, I just want to remind everybody that United Way this weekend is doing an initiative and Mr. Scozzafava is kissing a cow and I was hoping maybe we could get some more donations to raise the United Way fund.

 

HUGHES: Okay thank you very much.Anything else?Weíre adjourned.

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this personnel meeting it was adjourned at 10:15 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors