CLARION – In an effort to fill the void left by last month’s resignation of Clarion County Human Resources director Trisha Douglas, the Clarion County Salary Board earlier this week created two new county positions to handle the administrative responsibilities of the Human Resources Department.

In a unanimous vote during its meeting on March 13, the salary board — which includes Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius and Ed Heasley, and Treasurer Tom McConnell — approved the creation of a new full-time payroll administrator and accounting assistant position.

“We took payroll [from Human Resources] and moved it into accounting,” Tharan explained of the new position.

Immediately following its creation, the board unanimously agreed to hire Vicki Duncan as payroll administrator and accounting assistant effective March 1 at a salary of $29,400.

“She will be doing the payroll and other accounting duties,” Tharan said of Duncan.

The board also took action to create a new county director of employee relations and asset manager position at a salary range of $36,000 to $44,000 based on experience and education. The motion passed with three “yes” votes and McConnell abstaining.

Board members explained that the director of employee relations and asset manager will not only be in charge of handling duties such as union negotiations, employee grievances and contracts, but also be responsible for overseeing the county’s assets — including vehicle fleets and “real property” such as the buildings.

“We’ve taken part of the Human Resources responsibilities that Ms. Douglas had done, and that will be the employee relations [part],” Tharan said. “We wanted someone in the position who deals with a lot of the things she did, plus manage other parts of the county.”

Currently, he continued, Clarion County has no immediate plans to hire a Human Resources director to replace Douglas.

In addition to the new positions, the county has even contracted the services of the Venango County Human Resources director on an as-needed basis and has enlisted the help of county solicitors Christopher Gabriel, Sara Seidle and Stephanie Fera to also fill in the gaps.

“At this point, this should cover everything there,” Tharan said of the county’s Human Resources department.

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