Becker County considers new staffing structure
Crow Wing County Land Services Director Mark Liedl spoke to the Becker County commissioners Tuesday about a staffing model that's working in his county and could be a guide for Becker County.
Crow Wing County Land Services Director Mark Liedl spoke to the Becker County commissioners Tuesday about a staffing model that’s working in his county and could be a guide for Becker County.
With several positions open at the county, the commissioners are exploring the idea making changes to the staffing structure, with Recorder Patty Swenson and Environmental Services Director Steve Skoog working on a possible model.
Liedl said that in Crow Wing County, there were five separate departments that have now combined into one, with one director, him, and supervisors for the various areas under that umbrella.
“You have to take a common vision and implement it throughout,” he said, adding that it’s important to be on the same page and to be efficient.
He said by doing this, the county has been able to decrease its levy five years in a row.
In 2008, they started with planning and zoning, natural resources, solid waste and surveying. There were retirements and therefore openings to fill when the county decided to look at the new model with everything under one umbrella, since they work together anyway.
A few years later, they added the assessor’s office. And now this year, Liedl was elected to the county recorder position where he has absorbed the duties of recorder and saved the county about $100,000.
In Becker County, there are various departments in the same situation Crow Wing County was once in. With Swenson being elected to the recorder position, her planning and zoning position is now open.
At the end of last year, Marty Wiley retired, leaving the natural resources manager position open.
The assessor’s office is another candidate for merging.
Liedl said Crow Wing isn’t the only county out there doing this model either. Of course every county tweaks it to suit their needs, but Mille Lacs, Scott and Beltrami counties are also following similar models.
“We looked at this model three years ago, but we put it on the shelf because it wasn’t the right time. Now is the right time,” Commissioner Larry Knutson said.
The board of commissioners directed Swenson and Skoog to continue working on the model for Becker County and to bring it back to the board at the next meeting.
Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield .