Archived Story

DJFS names three to child welfare jobs

Published 9:39am Friday, March 1, 2013

After four years of walking a financial tightrope where job cuts were a necessity, Gene Myers, director of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services, is now seeing the opportunity to fill positions he was once forced to let go unmanned.

On Thursday Myers presented the Lawrence County Commissioners with the names of three he was recommending to fill posts in the child welfare area. All three recommendations were approved by the commission.

“We had in 2008 to reduce our workforce by half and we are slowly working back to the workforce we needed,” Myers told the commissioners.

Named to social services worker post was Megan Kerns; income maintenance worker was Delana Gates; and fiscal officer, Tiffany Porter.

“(The latter) was almost demanded (by the state) that we have to get someone for checks and balances,” Myers said.

The fiscal officer position will receive approximately $17 an hour; while the other two workers will earn approximately $16 an hour.

In 2007 the department’s annual budget was about $11 million; now that budget has been cut to $4.4 million by reductions in state and federal programs.

In 2008 the department began reducing its workforce by 50 percent through layoffs and attrition. Then about two years ago Myers began recalling employees.

“We have had our hard times,” Myers said. “It is not going to get much better. It is what it is. We are not expanding, (just) trying to replace in many critical areas.”

In other action the commission:

• Approved a change order for $10,800 to replace a water line to South Point village specifications for the infrastructure to locate Intermountain Electronics at The Point industrial park;

• Approved the FEMA-funded landslide work agreement for County Road 21;

• Proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month;

• Received the weekly dog warden’s report where no dogs were euthanized, 41 were adopted or sent to rescue and three were redeemed by their owners. There were 91 dogs in custody that week.

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