The Denison City Council unanimously voted Monday to create two new city employee positions within its municipal court and employee divisions. The new positions come as the divisions have seen an increase in activity, and part-time postings failed to attract qualified applicants, city officials said.
The two positions were created as a part of the 2017-2018 fiscal budgeting process as part-time positions.
“They were budgeted for part time, but we were struggling to fill them,” City Manager Jud Rex said. “With the workload and the need for talent and skills, we want to make these full time.”
With regard to the municipal clerk position, Rex said the workload has increased in the past year due to changes in the legislation that required additional paperwork and reporting from the municipal court system. The increase in paperwork and responsibilities comes as the city has already experienced a shortage of court clerks in recent years.
In late 2017, the city recognized Tame Corson for her service during a time when she was the only court clerk on duty for several months. At the time, there was another clerk who was out on leave and did not return to work with the city, officials said. Since then another clerk has been hired and the city clerk and court administrator positions were combined, bringing City Clerk Chris Wallentine into the role and filling what was a vacant position.
Finance and Administrative Services Director Renee Waggoner said the part-time position was posted twice and only attracted one qualified candidate, who did not work out.
“Adding a third court clerk will allow the court administrator to reclassify some of the duties to allow for a senior court clerk, a deputy court clerk/juvenile court clerk and another deputy court clerk,” Waggoner said.
Similar to the court clerk situation, Waggoner said employee services also advertised for a part-time position in the past year, but received no qualified applicants.
The need for the new employee services position comes as more man hours have been used toward employee benefits related duties. For all city employees, the current ratio of employee to employee services staff is 192 to one, officials said Monday.
“Our leadership philosophy begins with that our employees are our greatest asset,” Waggoner said. “And to better serve them, we need more hands in the employee services division.”
With regard to expense, Waggoner said for the remainder of the fiscal year, both positions would cost slightly under what was budgeted for them as part time, due to the budget schedule. However, for the 2019 fiscal year, the court clerk and employee services positions would cost the city more than $41,000 and $42,000, respectively.