Selah’s proposal for a full-time attorney who also serves as the city’s human resources manager has not been well received by city council members and some of the public.
While some of the council members agreed to move the city attorney position from a contract position to a full-time position, there has been a setback in adding human resources to the position’s portfolio. Instead, some at Tuesday’s meeting suggested that the city should have a recruiter under contract.
While city administrator Don Wayman said the job title of human resources manager could be removed, he said the city’s lawyer would continue to be involved in human resources matters.
“Let’s be clear: HR is not a confessor. It’s not a separate entity that works separately from management, ”said Wayman. “Everything that is said to HR goes directly to me. If you want to hire a direct city attorney, it will be passed on to the city attorney in order (serious HR matters) “
The proposal is part of the city’s proposed $ 16.5 million budget for 2021. Wayman first announced the proposal at the Council meeting on Oct. 28 and was formally unveiled during Tuesday’s budget hearing.
Wayman said the question of whether Case would be offered the position or opened to others was “a question for another day,” but traditionally the city tries to fill positions internally first.
In the proposed budget, the city’s attorney would receive $ 160,000 a year and take over from HR director Andrew Potter, who stepped down in September. Wayman said a salary level was required to attract a qualified candidate who, unlike Yakima and Ellensburg, would work without employees of clerks or assistants.
Councilor Suzanne Vargas, who ran the human resources department at Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, said the human resources department should be independent from both Wayman and Case. She also asked why the city would offer so much when her former city attorney Bob Noe was offered $ 132,000 to work full-time.
Residents who commented on the meeting also called it a terrible idea. Jim Mesplie said it wouldn’t be worth the $ 16,000 saved by eliminating the hiring manager position if the attorney balanced the two duties and other issues.