The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved Tuesday advertising for applicants for the open county auditor/chief operating officer position.
The commission also unanimously appointed a committee of Mark Klose, commission chairman, Dave Schwartz, commissioner , Stutsman County Emergency Manager/911 Coordinator Jerry Bergquist and Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser to review the job description for the county auditor/COO position and assemble an advertisement for the job to be posted online and in trade publications. The county’s policy and procedure manual requires the position to be advertised for 10 business days.
Nicole Meland, interim county auditor/COO, did not comment on if she would apply for the permanent position. She was appointed interim in August after Casey Bradley, former county auditor/ COO, resigned. Meland was serving as the county’s deputy auditor and recorder at the time Bradley resigned after he found a similar job in Wisconsin.
“I’d like to get this position filled as soon as possible,” Klose said. “I don’t want to rush this (process), but this (the position) has been open for a long time.”
Klose initially said the County Commission would be reviewing all the applicants for the position and putting together the advertisement for the job opening. Schwartz said the commission formed a committee the last time there was an opening for the position. The result of that search was hiring Bradley in August 2011. In his resignation letter dated July 6, Bradley said part of the reason he was resigning was due to malicious attacks, personal and professional, that he and his family had endured.
Schwartz said the committee during the last search was able to focus the search on candidates qualified for the job.
“We received 15 applications last time,” he said, “we were able to weed out the unqualified applicants.”
In other business, the commission unanimously approved sending $1.32 million of the $1.87 million fund balance from Stutsman County Social Services back to the county's general fund, as required by a state law approved in 2017. Meland said counties must send back any social services fund balance over $500,000 to the county's general fund. The county is now required to lower its general fund mill levy for the 2018 taxable year by the same amount as the transfer. The state is requiring counties to send back any fund balance over $500,000 to each county's general fund after the state Legislature approved having the North Dakota Department of Health take over running social services in the state.
(This story was corrected to say the transfer of $1.32 million from Stutsman County Social Services fund balance goes back to the Stutsman County general fund, not the North Dakota Department of Health as previously reported)