Salary Board OKs Staffing Changes to Address Needs at County Jail

CLEARFIELD – On Tuesday the Clearfield County Salary Board collapsed two vacant positions, then created two new positions in an effort to better address the needs at the county jail.

More specifically, the board voted to approve four requests from the commissioners, which were to:

  • collapse the vacant position of lieutenant at the jail, effective May 28.
  • collapse the vacant position of deputy warden of treatment at the jail, effective May 28.
  • create a position of second-shift deputy warden at the jail, effective May 28, at a salary of $34,000 per year, plus an additional $1,000 per year as second-shift premium pay.
  • create a position of director of nursing, medical and drug & alcohol treatment, effective May 28, with a salary range of $40-45,000 annually. Controller Tom Adamson opposed.

Prior to voting, Commissioner John A. Sobel said the requests were being made following discussions with President Judge Fredric Ammerman and Court Administrator F. Cortez “Chip” Bell III.

He said it was the “strong belief” of the commissioners and there was no objection from the court that there should be a deputy warden on second shift.

Currently, he said all the deputy wardens are scheduled to work during the first shift, and this new position would improve safety and general administration.

“… Other than during sleeping hours, there would be wardens on duty at the prison,” Sobel said.

Because of the severity of the drug crisis, he said it’s also the commissioners’ belief there needs to be a management level nursing position that would require an RN certification.

Commissioner Mark B. McCracken said the jail has an LPN on staff and used to employ a deputy warden of treatment, but this person didn’t necessarily have a medical background.

“We’re collapsing two positions but also creating two positions that are more in line with what we need now … with the medical issues and population numbers out at the jail,” McCracken said.

Bell, on behalf of the court, said the lieutenant and deputy warden of treatment positions were funded through the county budget but have been vacant.

Through discussions between the board of commissioners and Ammerman, he said an agreement has been reached and the two new positions will be funded through assessments by the court.

He said on May 21, Ammerman issued an administrative order that imposed a $200 cost on every ARD case and a $100 cost on every general case, effective in June.

According to Bell, last year the court saw 212 ARD and 1,271 criminal cases. Currently, this year’s ARD numbers are pretty comparable while criminal case numbers are likely to be higher.

“… The court believes in good faith that it can generate $169,500,” he said. “The purpose of this fund initially is to solely fund these two positions.”

He said the intent is to provide the commissioners and the controller with a monthly listing of the funds generated and to issue a check to cover the salaries and benefits related to the positions.

Because of an anticipated excess in funds, Bell said those left over will be available to Ammerman for whatever purpose he deems appropriate. He noted funds can only be withdrawn by court order.

Adamson pointed out the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission has a pilot program that basically offers the same services as would be by the nursing director once hired.

Bell, however, said this position would allow the county to take on the drug & alcohol program itself and it may even result in a savings in monies paid to the CJDAC.

In other business, the board voted to approve:

  • a request from Magisterial District Judge Mike Morris to create a temporary position of secretary, effective May 20 through May 31, for training purposes.
  • the minutes from the May 14 meeting as presented.
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