Former county engineer hired as assistant

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The supervisors approved hiring David Patterson as the assistant county engineer at their meeting Tuesday morning.

Washington County engineer Jacob Thorius asked the supervisors to consider Patterson.

?The name might be familiar to a few people ? David Patterson,? Thorius said. ?We had a handful of applications and in the review process David was the most qualified person.?

Thorius said he knew some people were shocked that Patterson applied for the position because it would be a role reversal for him but Thorius was confident Patterson would be the best person for the job.

Patterson?s first day on the job would be Wednesday, Oct. 18, Thorius added. The salary would be $3,156 every two weeks, which is comparable to other assistant county engineers with similar experience as a licensed engineer.

?The other thing I would like to do is I?m going to start him out with 80 hours of vacation on the books, but he will earn and accrue vacation as a new hire,? Thorius said.

Supervisor Abe Miller asked Thorius if the 80 hours was an additional benefit.

?Somebody with this experience I believe deserves that,? Thorius answered. ?No different than other departments in recent history in this county.?

Miller said he wasn?t aware the county was doing that.

?I?ve never heard of that in this county that I know of, Jacob,? supervisor Stan Stoops said.

Thorius gave Shawn Ellingson as an example. He said when Ellingson was hired he earned vacation at a higher rate but didn?t have any vacation time on the books.

Thorius asked Schneider to tell the supervisors what Ellingson was earning for vacation time, whether it was three weeks or four weeks.

?That?s spelled out in our contract,? Sheriff Jared Schneider said. ?We can start people out at an equal rate based on our experience based on the structure of our vacation, so with Shawn?s experience he could start out at four weeks of vacation and that?s accruing four weeks of vacation ? that?s where we started him out at. Historically, a lot of the deputies that have been hired with experience do get that vacation bump as an incentive to get them hired.?

From a tracking standpoint, Thorius said he spoke with the auditor?s office and they preferred Patterson having a certain number of hours on the books because it?s easier for them.

?So in a way you could look at this as saying his experiences and his certifications and licensing might be more than the pay, but it?s a trade-off to give him a little bit more vacation stocked up,? supervisor Jack Seward Jr. said.

Thorius agreed with that. The decision to hire Patterson was due to his experience and the licenses he carried, which would save the county money because they wouldn?t have to hire a consultant as much.

?By hiring David does that mean you?ll have two licensed engineers in the engineering department now?? supervisor Bob Yoder asked Thorius.

?Yes,? Thorius replied. ?We used to have three.?

The supervisors approved hiring Patterson unanimously.

A subdivision application was also approved for Gingerich Tiling at 2461 Highway 22 in Riverside. The subdivison will be for three lots and will be used for business reasons.

The supervisors also heard the treasurer?s quarterly report and the quarterly report from the auditor?s office.