By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
Two commissioners Monday authorized County Administrator Jim Jones to hire a full-time appraiser using a state grant that the county received as reimbursement for costs of a recent upgrade to software and hardware systems in the Assessor's Office.
The grant can be used for a onetime bump in personnel costs to “get them back on track,” Jones said.
“The office needs the help,” Jones said. “I believe it's a proper use of onetime money as a bridge to a future date.”
The person who fills the temporary job could replace a retiring appraiser before the grant expires in 2½ years.
The Assessor's Office has fallen behind since the Feb. 27 death of Deputy Assessor Michael Hopf.
Hopf, a 29-year veteran of the office, collapsed and died while riding his bicycle with a group of friends near Port Angeles. He was 61.
Two appraisers have been removed from their field work to help cover a shortage in the office, County Assessor Pam Rushton said.
“Already being short on appraisers, this impacts our productivity and deadlines immensely,” Rushton said in the executive summary to her request.
Commissioners Mike Chapman and Mike Doherty authorized the hiring of a temporary appraiser using the grant.
Commissioner Jim McEntire and Rushton were absent from the work session.
“Financially, it is covered,” Jones said.
“It would not be an increase on expense, but policy does require that any increase in [staff] come to the board before approval.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.