The plan to hire a consultant to help Washington County Manager Joshua Schoemann hire a human resources director got the backing of a second County Board committee Tuesday, but not without some resistance.
“I’m very upset about this whole thing,” County Supervisor Marilyn Merten, town of Polk, told her fellow county supervisors on the Administrative Services Committee. “What we need is to get moving.”
Schoemann has the background to conduct a candidate search himself, Merten said. “We have the new job description. We have the tools in place.”
The former Richfield village administrator, Schoemann was hired by the County Board in October and has been in office full time this month.
“We hired him to make these recommendations,” County Supervisor Michael Miller, West Bend, said. “I would go with his recommendation.”
Former Human Resources Director Peter German resigned seven months ago just as the county began its search for a county manager. Recruiting a human resources director was postponed to have the new county manager select the final candidate.
Finance Director Susan Haag was appointed interim human resources director, with Michelle Hoey, employee benefits manager, named interim division manager for the Human Resources office.
Schoemann said he already was spending about 60 hours a week working on county business and wanted to hire a consultant to ensure a “highly qualified group of candidates” was recruited to fill a job that works with all 850 county employees. “I think this is the best solution.”
He estimated it would cost around $10,000 to hire a consultant.
The committee voted 4-1 to let Schoemann use money that had been budgeted as salary and benefits for a human resources director over the past seven months to pay for the consultant. That amounts to $55,000, according to County Clerk Brenda Jaszewski.
Merten cast the lone no vote. “I’m totally opposed to spending any money like that, that could be done in-staff,” she said.
The committee postponed a decision allowing Schoemann to hire an outside human resources consultant to coordinate the rollout of the county’s new paid timeoff program.
The County Board approved that program this month with a July implementation schedule. “We’re adding a huge project onto a (Human Resources) staff that is already busy,” Haag said.
The committee asked for further details on what an outside contractor would do to implement the rollout of the PTO program. A special meeting will be held as soon as Schoemann has that information, Committee Chairman Peter Sorce said. He is a county supervisor from Germantown.
Schoemann estimated it will take two to three months to hire a human resources director.