County looks for cost cutting ways to keep staffing levels

County looks for cost cutting ways to keep staffing levels »Play Video

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- Coos County commissioners want to hire four new county officials, while spending little to no new money.

With the resignation of Human Resources Director Mike Lehman and Tuesday's announcement that county treasurer Mary Barton will be retiring after this term, commissioners see this as an opportunity to make some changes to county government.

Commissioners are considering eliminating the HR director's position and hiring four new officials to speed up the functions of county government and make sure contracts go through more than one person.

"We know we really can't afford to add a bunch of extra people, but maybe what we can do is through adding positions in strategic areas," said commissioner Melissa Cribbons. "We can provide those redundancy without adding personnel."

The new officials would be a county paralegal, a human resources officer, an assistant county counselor and possibly a chief financial officer, mostly paid for by reducing the treasurer's salary and eliminating the office and salary of HR Director. Commissioner Bob Main told KCBY News, "I don't want to hire any more people, I just want to rearrange what we have and spend less than what we are doing now."

There will be at least one more work session about the potential changes before the ideas are brought up at a regular commissioners meeting.