Pierce County names new health directorELLSWORTH — While internal promotion isn't the norm, Pierce County Board members decided to save the expense of advertising and hire the assistant director as Public Health director.
By: Judy Wiff, The Republican Eagle
ELLSWORTH — While internal promotion isn't the norm, Pierce County Board members decided to save the expense of advertising and hire the assistant director as Public Health director.
When Caralynn Hodgson resigned, Board of Health members intended to advertise the position until a member suggested promoting Assistant Director Sue Galoff, Board of Health Chairman Rich Purdy said.
Galoff has the qualifications, is doing much of the job already and has demonstrated competence. Purdy said the county spent $5,000 to advertise for applicants when it hired the new Health and Human Services Department head.
Also, he said, because Galoff will complete requirements for her master's degree in health care administration shortly, her education will qualify the department for Level 3 rating. He said that would mean increased funding of about $5,000.
Purdy said this move seems pragmatic because Hodgson was interim director four times before the board hired her as the official director. Also, he said, another person accepted the job, learned firsthand what the responsibilities were and quit within a week.
County policy says the value and integrity of, and the checks and balances associated with, advertising job vacancies promote hiring the most qualified people and "outweighs the costs involved in advertising for those vacancies."
The policy adds that the county shouldn't offer "strict promotions to internal candidates only" but should advertise externally and notify current employees of the opportunity.
"We don't want it to be the norm, but we think in this case it's the thing to do," said Purdy of simply hiring Galoff.
Supervisor Mel Pittman, Plum City, wasn't convinced.
Most of the advertising costs for other director positions involved ads in the Twin Cities media. If the county advertised just in the four newspapers in the county and on the state's posting site, the cost would be about $500, said Pittman.
He said he is troubled by ignoring policy.
"I'm not sure that it's the right thing to do at this point," Pittman said. Supervisors can say this won't set a precedent, but it will, he said.
Galoff, who began working as a nurse for Pierce County Public Health in 1991, was named assistant director/health officer II in April 2005.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1987 and is enrolled in a health care executive master's degree program at the University of Minnesota.
The health director job is a Grade 25 position. The annual pay for that grade is $66,206 to $84,053. The Board of Health and Galoff will negotiate her placement on the pay grid.
The motion to deviate from policy and to promote was adopted with only Pittman and Supervisor Chip Simones, Prescott, voting no.