A look at Chatham’s plan to hire 31 new positions approved in this year’s budget

Posted 8/4/21

Most of the 31 new county staff positions funded by Chatham’s $149.8 million 2021-22 budget were approved with a July 1 effective date, according to Human Resources and Risk Management Director …

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A look at Chatham’s plan to hire 31 new positions approved in this year’s budget

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Posted

Most of the 31 new county staff positions funded by Chatham’s $149.8 million 2021-22 budget were approved with a July 1 effective date, according to Human Resources and Risk Management Director Carolyn Miller.

Those new positions — spanning multiple county departments — are budgeted to cost approximately $1.8 million. Many of the approved positions are in the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, which Miller said has its own hiring process in place for.

“In Human Resources, we’ve been gearing up to handle the influx of job postings and applications,” Miller said in an email to the News + Record. “We have streamlined our process internally to facilitate faster posting of job announcements and processing of applications.”

The 31 budgeted new positions include multiple positions in building inspections, social services, MIS, emergency communications and the Sheriff’s Department. There are also positions recommended in central permitting, register of deeds, watershed protection, facilities, social services, parks and recreation, telecommunications and pretrial release.

“We can no longer delay responding to the increased demand in service that accompanies growth,” County Manager Dan LaMontagne previously said of the new positions.

Some of the positions are brand new to the organization, Miller said, meaning Human Resources is working with departments to develop job descriptions, announcements and “appropriate hiring timelines.”

The county recently expanded its outreach to include direct notification of more community colleges, trade programs, professional associations, historically Black colleges and universities and online job platforms. Miller said the county participates in local job fairs to increase outreach, in addition to using the county’s Facebook page and LinkedIn.

“This is the largest number of positions we’ve added to my recollection that are not tied to a specific capital project (such as the opening of the detention facility),” Miller said, “but Chatham County has never experienced the level of growth we are seeing either. Our turnover rate has remained steady (between 11-13%), and we experience on average between 4-8 retirements a calendar year.”

Breakdown of new positions

• The Development Services Collaborative Impact Team (CIT): 2 multi-trade building inspectors [$172,633], 1 permitting technician [$54,512], 1 watershed specialist [$79,279], 1 assistant Register of Deeds [$55,420]

• The Public Safety CIT: 11 specialized detention officers for $655,688 (3 new positions), a Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Administrator [$39,697], 1 animal service technician and 1 front desk attendant with the Sheriff animal services division [$103,238], 1 pretrial release coordinator in the Chatham 360 division of the Court Services department [$56,067], 5 Emergency telecommunicators [$265,303]

(Hiring queries for positions at the Sheriff’s Office should be directed to Captain Steve Maynor at 919-545-8157.)

• Three additional positions in the Human Services CIT: 2 Children’s Services Supervisors — these positions are 50% reimbursable by the state [$88,572], 1 park manager [$78,424]

• Facilities and MIS in the Administration CIT: 1 Application Solutions Engineer [$81,544], 1 GIS technician [$58,961] and 1 Maintenance Technician

The budget also included a 3% salary increase for county employees, as well as implementing the recently completely pay study.

The 6% overall increase in salary expenditures reflects the recommended salary increase, pay study implementation, as well as the full-year cost of the 31 positions to be added mid-year in FY 2021.

“While many expenses are necessary to continue movement toward our goals, competitive salaries are essential to maintaining and attracting talented, professional staff,” LaMontagne previously said. “This is a vital investment to handle the coming growth.”

Miller said people can view a list of open positions and applications at the county’s website (chathamcountync.gov/jobs).

“This is the most exciting time to be working in public service and Chatham County specifically. Local government is on the front lines in helping our county develop, grow, and thrive,” she said. “If you are looking for a place that is challenging and rewarding, Chatham County government is the place to work. … We are always available to answer questions about any of our positions, what it means to work in public service, and our organization.”

Reporter Hannah McClellan can be reached at hannah@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @HannerMcClellan.

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