Status quo does not appear to be part of Joshua Schoemann’s plans as he looks ahead at how he wants to steer the administration of Washington County.
Now in his third full week as county manager, Schoemann said he is preparing to modify the county’s department organization and wants to re-evaluate the County Board’s committee structure.
Among his goals for 2014, he said, is to establish a task force to study the county’s committee organizational chart, likely in June or July. The county has 21 committees, boards or commissions, and has representatives on 13 others. The departmental organizational chart is 20 pages long.
Schoemann also said he considers finding a new human resources director a top priority. “It’s been a vacancy probably longer than anyone would like to see,” he said.
Former human resources Director Peter German resigned in July to take a job with Moraine Park Technical College. 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.
In November, the board’s Administrative Services Committee, which oversees the Human Resources Department, postponed the search for German’s replacement to give Schoemann the opportunity to find a candidate he felt comfortable with.
On Tuesday, Schoemann said he wanted to explore hiring a consultant to help him find candidates as well as fill in on an interim basis to help run the Human Resources Department.
The county has implemented a new employee pay plan and last week the County Board approved installing a paid time-off system scheduled to start in July, Schoemann said. “My concern is rolling out these major programs,” he said to explain why he’d like to hire a consultant to expedite the hiring.
Schoemann is scheduled to present his proposal to the Administrative Services Committee on Tuesday.
Executive Committee members offered their support for the plan. “In my point of view, hiring a headhunter is appropriate at this time,” Paul Ustruck from West Bend said.
Since the human resources directorship has been vacant for seven months, but included in both the 2013 and 2014 budgets, Mark McCune, town of Erin, said, “I think we have the money” to pay for a consultant.
“We have to move forward with it,” said County Board Chairman Herb Tennies from West Bend.
Medical examiner search down to 2. After interviews of four candidates, two finalists remain in contention to become the next Washington County medical examiner, a post that has been vacant since October.
Schoemann said he wants to have the post filled by mid-February. On Tuesday morning, Schoemann told the County Board’s Executive Committee that he and County Supervisor Joseph Gonnering interviewed the finalists. Gonnering, from the town of Trenton, is chairman of the board’s Public Safety Committee, which oversees the Medical Examiner Office.
Schoemann said key to the decision on who remains in the running for the job were the candidates’ opinions on how they would fulfill the statutory duties of the job. Schoemann said he is still looking at options for the office, including outsourcing medical examiner duties.
By state law, a medical examiner is required to determine the cause and manner of death involving unusual circumstances, homicides, suicides, accidents, abortion, when no doctor attended or refused to sign a death certificate and sudden infant death syndrome. The medical examiner’s office also must witness all cremations.
Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Garbisch has managed the office, aided by seven on-call deputy medical examiners.