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Thursday, 02 May 2013 14:47

Animal Shelter Supervisory Position Back in Job Market

By Brian Cremo | News

BALLSTON SPA — After the full county Board of Supervisors rejected the proposal of hiring 22-year-old Christina Abele as the Saratoga County Animal Shelter Supervisor, an entirely new application process has started and the animal shelter committee expects to be interviewing candidates around the week of May 12.

Although there is no specific timetable, both Personnel Director Jack Kalinkewicz and Wilton town Supervisor Art Johnson said the qualified applications should be reviewed by next week.

“We will probably leave the job posted for another week or so,” Johnson said. “I’d like to see the interview process start the following week.”

Since all of the previous 62 applicants who applied under the 33-year-old job description have been tossed aside, there have been 13 new applicants, including those from out of county. A number of the 62 applicants do not meet the new enhanced qualifications, Johnson said.

Whether or not the new applicants meet the new qualifications is still to be decided. 

“The applicants haven’t been qualified yet,” Kalinkewicz said. “Even though they’re here as applicants, it doesn’t mean that they are qualified to even be considered at this point.”

The new application states the minimum qualifications of a “regionally accredited or NYS registered college or university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Accounting, Animal Science, Animal Industry or a closely related field.” 

The newly tuned description has people like Carol Lang, founder of Busy Bones 500, which raises money for the shelter, much happier than when the supervisory position was going to someone without any previous supervisory experience.

“I’m really happy that they realized they made a mistake and that they went back to the drawing board and did a new job description,” Lang said. “It’s still not exactly as I’d like, but at least they’re trying and you now need a college degree and some supervision. You can’t have a supervisor job without any qualifications.”

In addition to the four-year degree, the new description lists two years of being in a supervisory position.

The one thing Lang said she would have liked to see was an end date listed for the hiring process, “so people could know when they could have an answer by.”

The position is still for a $62,413 salary, which oversees an $829,705 shelter budget and 13 employees. The selection process will still go from the Selection Committee, to the Personnel Committee, then to the Law and Finance Committee before being voted on by the full board.

The six member personnel sub-committee who voted in the new qualifications and is responsible for screening and interviewing the candidates will remain the same, consisting of Johnson, Kalinkewicz, the Chair of Public Safety Committee Mindy A. Wormuth, Chairman of County Law and Finance Committee Paul Sauseville,  Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Alan Grattidge and County Administrator Spencer Hellwig.

“We’re proceeding as we normally would,” Kalinkewicz said. “We’re still gathering information and we will proceed as soon as the committee gets together and once they have the qualified candidates in front of them, we will start the interview process

In the meantime, Robert Hartmann the safety and health coordinator in the county’s Personnel Department has been going to the shelter daily, dealing with any possible administrative issues. 

“It seems to be going well,” Johnson said. “There haven’t been any issues or incidents that at least I’ve heard of since we haven’t had a director.”

Going forward, the issue has been somewhat of an educational experience, Johnson said.

“If I learned anything from it, whenever a department head vacancy comes up we really need to evaluate if the job descriptions and the qualifications are current with what the job requires,” Johnson said. “In this case, it was a very old job description. That facility has changed tremendously since Butler first got the job. Now we have a state of the art facility, bigger staff and more medical services. It’s a different animal from back in the old days.”

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