Double-edged sword: Pitching jobs could cost jobs

County says estimating the cost of advertising for the year can be difficult.
Friday, June 29, 2007 | 12:02 a.m. CDT; updated 2:11 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Boone County human resource department may have to dip into emergency funds for the third straight year.

The county has $3,162.09 left in advertising funds to make it through the end of the year. The money is earmarked to promote open positions within the county in job listings and classified sections.

Increased spending

2001 Budget/Spent $40,000/$33,573.84 $6,426.16 under 2002 Budget/Spent $35,000/$34,265.39 $734.61 under 2003 Budget/Spent $35,000/$36,785.26 $1785.26 over 2004 Budget/Spent $30,000/$27,393.73 $2606.27 under 2005 Budget/Spent $30,000/$39,009.98 $9009.98 over 2006 Budget/Spent $30,000/$43,383.62 $13,383.62 over 2007 Budget/Spent $35,000/$31,837.91 (so far) $3,162.09 (to last through Dec. 31)

There are currently 10 open positions.

“We do not have adequate funding, historically, if you look at numbers,” said Betty Dickneite, director of human resources. “In 2001, we had a $40,000 budget, and that is probably where we need to be. We tend to run from $27,000 to a little over $40,000.”

Each fall, Dickneite estimates advertising expenses for the following year, which the county commissioners must approve. “It’s hard to predict how much funding is needed in a year,” she said. “It depends on how many positions there are to fill and how much advertising we have to do.”

Since Jan. 1, 38 positions have become open, some of which have been filled.

County Commissioner Skip Elkin said people aren’t taking chances on new jobs, and that’s hard to predict.

“Betty never knows what positions will come open and how long those will take to fill,” Elkin said. “She budgets in September and has to plan and guess like the rest of the departments.”

Although the county has never depleted its emergency funds, Elkin said, if they had to dip too far into reserves beyond emergency funds, it could result in a number of changes, including layoffs.

“We would be in serious trouble if we were to run out of emergency funds,” Elkin said. “We budget for emergencies.

But if we had to tap into the reserves above and beyond that there would be something wrong, something completely out of whack.”

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