The LaGrange County Human Resources (HR) Committee took a giant step Tuesday morning when they moved to establish a human resources department and hire an HR professional to head that department. The goal is to have the department formed and staffed by the first of the year.
The issue was brought to a head after officials from LaGrange and Steuben counties had met and discussed the possibility of forming a joint HR department. The idea of the joint department had evolved to the point of the two counties drafting a memorandum of understanding that outlined the human resources needs of the two counties, hiring a person to direct the department and a method of funding.
Michael Strawser, HR committee member and county councilman, said that he seriously doubted a joint plan would save any money in the long run and that he favored LaGrange County seriously consider hiring a professional person to head up a HR department locally. He also said that the department needs to be set up immediately with the thought in mind that a person needs to be in place by the first of the year.
Strawser also noted that 2015 pay increases are to be based on employee evaluations which are to be made in 2014.
Others on the committee, including Jac Price, county commissioner, and Peter Cook, county councilman, were quick to support Strawser. The vote was unanimous with Garry Heller, Richard Yoder, Charles Ashcraft and Kay Myers joining in on the vote.
The move to establish a LaGrange County HR Department effectively ended the prospects of a joint department with Steuben County.