By Curt Nettinga
HOT SPRINGS - The Fall River County Commission held a special meeting on July 2.
The meeting was needed to approve a temporary malt beverage license for The Hat Creek Grill in Edgemont, for the Redneck Rally, which took place July 3-5.
Also on the agenda were five hire requests for the Sheriff’s department, the Dispatch office and the jail.
Receiving the majority of the discussion was the hiring of Justin Hayne as a deputy sheriff. Hayne, who is currently a Hot Springs city police officer, will begin work at $20.29 per hour, significantly above the regular starting wage.
Sheriff Bob Evans made the case for Hayne’s wage, stating, “Justin has nearly 20 years experience. He’s turn-key; all you need to do is give him the keys to a vehicle and a county map and he can go to work.”
Commission chair Deb Russell expressed concern that making the hire “could bring an avalanche” of similar requests, although she noted that the county may need to re-examine and modify its pay scale, to remain competitive in its hiring of employees in all areas.
“It will mean lowering the budget in some other area, however,” she added.
Commissioner Mike Ortner noted that the employees union had given the okay for the hiring. “They were alright as long as we weren’t hiring below the contract wage,” he said.
Other hires approved by the commission included: Julian Ulrich, (jailer ($12.50/hr); Ashley Madrid (Dispatch, $12); Niki Raymond (24/7 program, $10) and Nancy Cates (part-time Dispatch, $12.56)