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Settling turnover problem

Library board moves forward with study

The Moffat County Library Board of Trustees authorized two of its members on Monday evening to contract a consultant to study employee and board member turnover at the library.

Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos thanked the board for moving forward with the study, which has been a point of contention between the two boards since August.

After contacting several companies that perform employee turnover studies, library board member Sharon Spalding recommended the board contract services from Public Sector Personnel.



For a maximum price of $6,000, Spalding said the Arizona-based company, which has offices in Denver, would conduct in-person interviews, write letters to former employees and write summaries of the interviews and study.

The company has worked with libraries before, Spalding said.



All three Moffat County commissioners were at the meeting, and Spalding asked them why they had insisted the board conduct the study.

“This reduces the amount of liability Moffat County faces, and that’s the basic reason I’m interested in seeing this finished,” Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

Former employees have complained to the commissioners about the working conditions at the library.

If the commissioners ignored the complaints and someone sued the county, the lawsuit could cost the county more than it would have had the concerns been addressed, Steele said.

“If there’s a problem let’s fix it; and if there’s nothing, let’s put the whole dang thing to bed,” Steele said.

Commissioner Les Hampton said the library wasn’t being singled out as the only county department with turnover problems.

When problems are found in other departments, they are addressed, typically through the Human Resources Department, Hampton said.

The commissioners have asked the library board to have a study completed by the end of the year, because Hampton and Raftopoulos are leaving office and want the issue settled before their terms end.

Library board members were unsure whether a study could be completed by then, but board Chairman Dave Longwell said the board would try to comply with the commissioners’ wishes.

“Our intent is to heal the breaches between the two boards and in good faith comply with the commissioners’ wishes,” Longwell said.

But the commissioners don’t have the authority to set a deadline for the study, and the library board shouldn’t rush and do a poor job, Longwell said.

Spalding and board member Jeff Foster will work on the contract, which will be approved pending the opinion of the library’s attorney.


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