ELLSWORTH — County commissioners have decided to hire an administrator to oversee county operations. The decision came in a split vote during a meeting on Nov. 7.
Commissioner Antonio Blasi abstained from the vote, saying he was not convinced the position would be funded until the budget process for the upcoming year had been finalized, according to minutes from that meeting.
Phone calls to the other commissioners, chairman Steven Joy and Percy “Joe” Brown, seeking comment were not returned by press time.
Joy reportedly began the discussion at that meeting, saying the new position had been approved by the county’s budget advisory committee and funding for the job is included in the 2015 fiscal year budget. He suggested moving ahead with advertising for the position in hopes someone will be hired by Jan. 1.
The proposed budget includes $159,855 for the position. That amount and a 1.5 percent wage increase for county employees have led to a 3.48 percent increase in the budget. Commissioners have until Dec. 15 to finalize the budget and are expected to do so at their next regular meeting.
All but three counties in the state currently have county administrators, and one of those counties is in the process of hiring someone for the position.
According to the help-wanted advertisement approved by commissioners, candidates should have extensive experience in governmental and financial management, the “ability to communicate effectively” and “direct, supervise and motivate staff.”
Commissioners have said the county administrator would supervise the day-to-day operations of county government, research and provide information about the consolidation of the Hancock County Regional Communications Center and oversee any construction projects undertaken by the county.
In addition, the county administrator is to reach out to Hancock County municipalities with offers to provide or consolidate services. Examples given were assessing property values, animal control and the enforcement of shellfish laws.
The deadline to apply for the administrator job is Dec. 5.