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Department names new probation chief

Debra Moore
Staff Writer

Daniel Prince is no longer acting the part — he is the county’s new chief probation officer.

The supervisors voted unanimously July 15 to offer him the position based on the recommendation of the interview committee, which consisted of Judge Janet Hilde, retired Chief Probation Officer Terry Lee and Human Resources Director Gayla Trumbo.

Prince, formerly a superintendent for the Nevada County Juvenile Hall, has served as the acting chief probation officer in Plumas County since the end of January.

Prince succeeded Doug Carver, who had served in the position since June 2013. Carver, a retired chief probation officer, couldn’t remain with Plumas County because his public service retirement limited the hours he could work.

Carver had taken over the department following the long-term leave of Sharon Reinert.

Road crew

Following two promotions in the Graeagle area, the county road department is hiring a road maintenance worker. The position is already allocated and funded in the department’s 2014-15 budget.

New hours

Several employees in the department of social services will be working four 10-hour days instead of a traditional schedule of five eight-hour days.

Director Elliott Smart made the request on behalf of his staff, who have been handling record numbers of applications and cases because of the still-weak economy, as well as the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act.

“Staff has stated that working at the pace they have for five days can result in draining their energy,” Smart wrote in a memo to the board. “They state that given the need to recharge, they often don’t have time to take care of routine household management responsibilities in the course of a two-day weekend. Having the third day could provide them with the time to both recharge and to take care of household responsibilities.”

Smart requested that the new schedule be adopted on a trial basis and if it isn’t successful, then the department will revert to the old schedule. The department will remain open full time to the public.

The item had been placed on the consent agenda, but Sherrie Thrall asked that it be pulled off and discussed.

She wanted to ensure that it would only be a trial basis. “It’s a priority to have staff available,” Thrall said.

The supervisors voted unanimously to allow the new schedule as requested.

Management council

Dony Sawchuk, the county’s director of facilities and airports, updated the supervisors on the most recent management council meeting. Fourteen of 25 department heads attended the July meeting, where the focus was on safety.

A representative from the county’s insurance carrier addressed “the importance of creating a culture of safety.”

Sawchuk said that the county’s claims are trending down, which means that there is more money to serve the public.

He discussed the development of training materials for new department heads, which can also be used as a resource by other county officials.

Management Council is also developing a mission statement.

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