Blair salary study under HR review

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County’s job classification and salary study has generated reports with information that may or may not be available for use in planning the county’s 2020 budget.

Commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said Tuesday the study’s report with information on job descriptions was turned over to the county’s human resources department for review. A companion report with salary-related information, he said, was turned over to the county’s labor counsel for review.

When asked if those reviews would generate information in time to prepare the 2020 budget, Erb said he didn’t know. Based on his experience with these studies in the private sector, Erb said he knows these kind of reviews can take time.

Fellow commissioners Ted Beam Jr. and Terry Tomassetti said Tuesday that they haven’t seen or received the study’s reports.

Beam said he is OK with waiting, because the process needs to be handled correctly.

Tomassetti, who has previously spoken of his desire to have the salary study done for use in planning the 2020 budget, said he hopes the information is going to be available by mid-October.

“I’m going to be very hesitant to adopt a budget without that information,” he said.

The county’s 2020 budget-planning process has already been initiated, with public budget review sessions scheduled for Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.

Commissioners typically make decisions in mid-October to early November that influence amounts included in the tentative budget. which is introduced in mid-to-late November.

Budget adoption generally occurs in December.

When planning the 2018 and 2019 spending plans, commissioners often referenced the job classification and salary study as a worthy resource that would help them evaluate and consider department head requests for staff raises. Salaries make up a major portion of the county’s annual budget that is supported with real estate tax revenue.

In June 2018, commissioners hired Felice Associates, a Greensburg-based company with experience in examining governmental and municipal job descriptions, to undertake the job classification and salary study for $74,500 plus expenses.

In June, Felice Associates owner John Felice advised the county and told the Mirror that his company’s study would be finished in August. He also told the Mirror that the results would be subject to review for corrections that could be addressed in time for planning the 2020 budget.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.