HOW WE GOT HERE: Gone are the days of bloated budgets
“Knock on wood, we’ve been very successful the last four or five years, but we all know where we came from and we’re not going to go back there,” Dixon said. “I think it’s an investment, it’s just not adding personnel, it’s not that, it’s really an integral part of staying on track of the plan we’ve got going.”
Butler County weathered deficits in excess of $6 million through The Great Recession.
The commissioners have now interviewed six candidates for the assistant county administrator position. They are:
- Tim Hershner — Pierce Twp. Administrator
- Tawana Keels — Butler County Finance Director
- John Kirk — Montgomery County Information Technology Director
- Mike McNamara — Executive Director of the Butler County Port Authority and President of the Land Bank
- Joan Tumblison — Chief Operations Officer/Corporate Counsel at St. Aloysius Orphanage
- Susan Vance — Division Head in the Butler County Water and Sewer Department
MORE: County receives eclectic crop of administrator candidates
The job also entails helping to manage the $95.9 million general fund budget, 642 employees under the commissioners control and working with other elected officials and their staffs.
Young said this position is unique to the county because previous assistant administrators — there were such positions prior to his tenure here — were also department heads, like Pete Landrum who was both the assistant administrator and finance director when Young came on board in 2012.
The new position won’t be split, and Young said the person will be charged with helping him implement the commissioners’ vision for the future.
He said a “cornerstone” of how the commissioners want the government to run is to provide excellent service but doing so with smaller government and being unobtrusive when they aren’t needed.
The task is monumental, he said, given the far ranging services county government provides: social services like JFS and Children Services; the justice system; water and sewer service; mental health and addiction services; development; elections and more.
“We always begin with financial stability,” Young said. “We’ve made everything we do revolve around the absolute requirement that we are fiscally strong and prepared for the future. We are constantly making certain that we are providing outstanding service in the most economical way we can do so.”
“That’s a constant challenge to continuously evaluate our methods, our processes and our procedures,” he said.
RELATED: County passes structurally balanced budget
The decision to add another person at the top level came after the sudden death of Jerome Kearns, the Assistant Job and Family Services Director and the resignation of asset director Randy Quisenberry. Those departures meant Young picked up several new responsibilities.
Commissioner T.C. Rogers said those events weren’t the only reason they felt they needed to get Young some help. He said the job is just too big for one person.
“While we have made tremendous strides in making the operations more efficient and predictable for the future, there are several ideas on making the operations even smoother, which we would like to pursue, but Charlie can’t do it while being bogged down with some of the details he has to deal with every day,” Rogers said. “Things are going well but we want it to be better.”