County Staff Appreciation Day

Clay County Commission Chair Kevin Campbell joins with Governor Walz to honor county employees for their fine work under challenging conditions.

Karen Newman 

Clay County Commissioners approved numerous requests to fill several vacant positions in county departments.  “We are refilling a lot of positions here today,” observed Commission Chair Kevin Campbell.

“I certainly believe that these are very needed positions and hope we can find the magic avenue to find more employees to fill them,” Commission Jenny Mongeau added.

Josh Swanson, Non-Secure Detention Supervisor West Central Regional Juvenile Center (WCRJC) requested permission to begin the process to fill two positions in the Juvenile Center’s Secure Unit and one position in the Non-Secure Unit with backfill if necessary. Regarding personnel turnover, Campbell observed that he attended a regional meeting where significant time was spent discussing WCRJC staff.

Social Services Director Rhonda Porter and Financial Assistance Supervisor Jamie Steward requested approval to replace an eligibility worker in the Financial Services Department with backfill as needed. The employee is on the Medicaid Team managing 12,000 county residents who are service recipients.

Correctional Facility Administrator Justin Roberts requested permission to fill vacancies for two fulltime correctional officers.

County Attorney Brian Elton requested permission to fill an unexpected Assistant County Attorney vacancy.

Clay County Commissioners in conjunction with the State of Minnesota proclaimed July 27, 2021 as County Staff Appreciation Day:

WHEREAS, county staff serve as the cornerstone of this community, dedicating their time, skills, and expertise for the benefit of their neighbors; and

WHEREAS, county staff went beyond expectations, taking on personal risks, to continue delivering essential services to the citizens of our county during the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, in addition to their regular duties, many county staff were called upon and accepted new and challenging responsibilities during the pandemic such as expediting the distribution of thousands of dollars in economic recovery appropriations, empowering the survival of our local business community; successfully managing a deluge of mail-in ballots in an unprecedented federal election; and retooling local public health education outreach to flatten the curve; and

WHEREAS, although the state has turned the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, county staff continue their exemplary work, assisting with recovery through vaccination roll outs and preparing for the American Rescue Plan’s multi-year recovery effort; and

WHEREAS, the work of county staff over the past year and a half have kept the doors of the county open and our community safer, healthier, and productive throughout months of unprecedented global transition; and

WHEREAS, President Sve and the Board of the Association of Minnesota Counties requested the Office of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan to proclaim July 27, 2021 as County Staff Appreciation Day and their request was granted;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Clay County Board of Commissioners, proclaim July 27, 2021 as County Staff Appreciation Day and extend our thanks to the staff of our county and express deep gratitude for their commitment to excellence in public service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Mongeau declared, “I think that this proclamation is very important, but I think it maybe falls short on the actual work that really did go into making sure that business was “as usual” during the pandemic. I know that all of the people and departments represented in this room and more that couldn’t be here really did work to find alternative ways to be sure that services were still rendered without too much of a hiccup. My sincere gratitude to staff.”

Campbell concluded, “I think it is extremely important and well-deserved. Working closely with this pandemic and the CARES Act Committee that we had, I think we saw just about every department head coming in to us about difficulties and challenges.”

He continued, “I firmly believe that over the course of this, we’ve learned how we can do business differently. There are areas where, thanks to our county staff, we’ve been able to think ‘outside the box’ on how to move things in a different direction and maybe make changes in the way we operate on a daily basis. I look forward, with our management team, to re-inventing some processes and I look forward to those discussions.”

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