Westmoreland may hire human services director by end of year
Westmoreland County officials said that hiring a human services director will improve efficiency in human service programs, which account for more than half of the county's $315 million operating budget.
To that end, commissioners expect to hire someone by the end of the year to oversee departments such as the Children's Bureau, the local Area Agency on Aging and behavioral health and developmental services.
“We believe a human services director will assist the county in coordinating redundant services,” said Commissioner Tyler Courtney.
The director will oversee about seven human service departments, which now operate as separate entities directly under county commissioners, he said.
Commissioners received about 30 applications and interviewed 13 candidates. Four finalists were brought in last month for a second round of interviews.
Courtney said commissioners have reached a decision on who will be offered the job, but no formal action is planned until salary negotiations are completed.
Commissioners will have to officially establish the job and set the pay during a salary board meeting. The board next meets on Nov. 8.
“We pretty much nailed down the candidate. Now we have to figure out the salary,” Courtney said.
Commissioner Ted Kopas, who has opposed the plan, said early discussions called for the job to pay more than $100,000 annually.
“I don't think bloating government or adding another layer of bureaucracy is ever the answer,” Kopas said. “It's an unnecessary expense the county cannot afford.”
The county has budgeted more than $165 million for human service programs this year, funded mostly through state and federal grants. State funding was cut by 10 percent for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Courtney said the lack of a human services director played a role in the state's decision last month to exclude Westmoreland from a pilot program addressing the disbursement of human services grant money.
Westmoreland was one of 30 counties that applied to participate in a block grant program, with counties receiving a lump sum for all programs. Local governments would then divide the money among individual human service programs.
Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Greene counties were selected for program. Westmoreland and Washington counties were rejected.
Courtney said the selected counties have human service directors.
“We're addressing that,” he said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Salem teen surprised with Westmoreland Fair Queen win
- Audit: Westmoreland records were at risk in transfer to computer system
- Man admits preying on Lower Burrell neighbor, taking more than $100K in money, goods
- Ex-worker admits to taking money from Penn Township Sewage Authority
- Hours to be reduced at Ruffsdale post office
- 9 displaced by fire in Grapeville
- Catholic Diocese of Greensburg injunction becomes permanent
- Monessen man’s homicide trial set
- Radiation measuring device triggered by load at Yukon facility
- North Huntingdon man pleads guilty in road rage case
- Greater Latrobe schedules will be available online