County Human Resources director resigns

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The Moffat County commissioners unanimously accepted the resignation of County Human Resources director Tom Skelding Monday.

Skelding came before the commissioners to discuss a personnel matter, and asked that they go into executive session.

When they came out of the executive session, Commissioner Darryl Steele made a motion to accept Skelding's verbal resignation effective immediately. Moffat County Commissioners Marianna Raftopoulos and Les Hampton voted in favor of the motion.

No letter of resignation was provided, and one was not available at the courthouse this morning.

The three commissioners said they could not comment on the resignation for personnel reasons.

When contacted at home this morning, Skelding declined to comment on his resignation, saying, "it wasn't a good fit."

The commissioners said they would schedule a meeting later this week to discuss what the county will do with its human resources department now, and whether it will replace Skelding's position.

"Human Resources is very important to us still and we will continue to move forward," Raftopoulos said. "We don't know at this time what we're going to do."

For now, Human Resources Assistant Lynette Running will fulfill the office duties, Raftopoulos said.

Skelding's top priority in recent weeks was to complete paperwork to get the county in compliance with the Equal Opportunity Employer Act.

A grant for emergency management was recently put on hold because the county did not have proper documentation outlining its status as an equal opportunity employer.

But the county was awarded the grant, with the agreement that it would have the paperwork completed by a May 15 deadline.

Mountain States Legal Foundation and County Attorney Kathleen Taylor will complete that work, Raftopoulos said.

The function and requirements of the Moffat County Human Resources Department has come under considerable debate within the county in recent months.

After being sworn in as Moffat County commissioner in January, Darryl Steele made a motion to eliminated Skelding's position for money-saving reasons, and have the human resources assistant fulfill the role of the human resources department.

The motion was denied by a 2-1 vote, with commissioners Raftopoulos and Hampton voting against Steele's proposal.

Tensions surfaced in a Moffat County public officials meeting last week when officials were discussing how it could make the HR department accessible for county employers other than those under the commissioners.

It was discussed that a policy or agreement be developed so employees under the assessor, treasurer, sheriff and clerk and recorder have the same HR benefits as those who work under the commissioners.

During that discussion, Steele said it was important that a countywide firing and hiring policy be developed.

Skelding was skeptical of the proposal, and responded to Steele saying the human resources department is a channel through which the hiring process should be run.

"Human resources is not the authority," he said. " It does not tell you whom to hire. It is the funnel to go through. Don't tie your hands so you're doing it the same for everyone."

When Steele disagreed with the human resources director, Skelding responded saying: "You hired me to do human resources and now you want to tie my hands. That makes no sense at all."

Hampton said this morning that it was important that the commissioners discuss what they are going to do this week.

"We will work through this to make sure we can provide human resources for employees of Moffat County," he said.

Hampton said he did not know when the position would be filled.

"I can't identify a timeline at this time," he said.


Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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