PINEDALE — The Board of Sublette County Commissioners spent two hours interviewing three candidates for the newly created, full-time human resources director role during a special meeting on Jan. 10, before offering the position to deputy county clerk, Andrea Jean. Jean has worked in the Sublette County Clerk’s office since January 2018.
Sublette County advertised the HR position both internally and externally for 30 days and received eight applications.
The commissioners also interviewed Sharron Ziegler, retired Sublette County School District No. 1 executive secretary, and Alicia Yoder, an HR director for a district hospital in northeast California, for the position behind closed doors, spending between 45 and 55 minutes with each candidate in an executive session.
Ziegler and Jean, both residents of Sublette County, appeared in person while Yoder’s interview was conducted electronically via Zoom.
Speaking to the Pinedale Roundup after accepting the offer, Jean said she is “honored that the commissioners put their faith and trust” in her.
She explained that she has served in an HR role in an unofficial capacity for almost four years and now looks “forward to being a resource for Sublette County employees for all information regarding procedures, policies, regulations and laws.”
Jean said the rapport that she has developed with her coworkers will be beneficial in her position. She will transition from deputy county clerk to HR specialist on Feb. 1.
In addition to commissioners Doug Vickrey, Tom Noble, Dave Stephens, chairman Sam White and Mack Bradley, Sublette County clerk Carrie Long sat through each interview.
Clerk Long told the commissioners on Nov. 15 that if someone from her office were hired as HR director, she would anticipate eliminating their previous position through attrition, meaning the vacancy left in the county clerk’s office by Jean will likely not be filled.
The HR director is responsible for administering “various human resource plans and procedures for all organization personnel,” assisting “in the development and implementation of personnel policies and procedures,” preparing and maintaining the employee handbook and the policies and procedures manual and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local employment laws and regulations, according to the job posting.
As HR director, Jean will also lead employee onboarding, conduct exit interviews, recruit for open positions, develop compensation and performance management programs, implement performance reviews, track employee disciplinary action and respond to employee relation issues such as complaints and allegations of harassment, among numerous other duties.
The HR position has a salary range of $75,000 to $95,000.
Keep them separated
Following the resignation of former Sublette County Administrator Matt Gaffney on Nov. 4, 2022, the commissioners initially intended to hire a “county administrator with HR emphasis” to replace him, but were swayed after hearing from county officials and department heads over several weeks about a “dire need” for “a qualified, bona fide HR person.”
At the Nov. 15 regular commissioners’ meeting, Long told the board, “If we don’t have HR, the county will get sued at some point.”
Long noted that she “did go to Matt (Gaffney) and said, ‘I have a certain person who is struggling,’ and his response was, ‘Sorry I can’t help you.’”
Sheriff KC Lehr told the commissioners, “The elected officials and department heads — our expectation of what HR is, far exceeded what Matt (Gaffney) could provide.”
Commissioner Vickrey said Gaffney told him that he had handled four HR issues during his three years as “county administrator with HR emphasis.”
County Treasurer Emily Paravicini told the commissioners, “I want to reiterate that you’ve got five other elected officials, three department heads, four if you count the library, who all want HR. All of us are Republican, and all of us don’t want to spend extra money that isn’t necessary, but I believe all of us probably feel that this (HR position) is an important enough thing to fund.”
With the HR director position filled, the search for a new, full-time county administrator continues.
The county administrator serves at the direction of the board of county commissioners to “plan, implement and coordinate the policies and goals of the board within the county departments and coordinate activities and operations with the elected officials.” The administrator is also responsible for “facilitating the development and maintenance of annual and long-range strategic plans to ensure the board’s organizational goals, objectives and priorities are met.”
The county administrator also serves as the primary point of contact for all county-specific grant applications and grant administration.
Qualified candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration or a related field and have at least seven years of “progressively responsible management and supervisory responsibilities which demonstrate administrative ability and leadership qualities” or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
The salary range is $75,000 to $95,000.
The county administrator position was posted on Dec. 20 and will remain open until Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. Applications and resumes can be sent to Sublette County, Attn: Carrie Long, P.O. Box 250, Pinedale, WY 82941 or [email protected]
For more information or to view the job description in full, visit www.sublettewyo.org/jobs.