warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Trailblazer still struggling to fill positions

The Trailblazer Transit Joint Powers Board on Monday turned down a request to allow its executive committee — consisting of the chair and vice chair — to negotiate contracts with potential administrative employees.
It did, however, agree to allow Executive Director Gary Ludwig the latitude to negotiate salaries on suggested pay ranges, and bring recommendations back to the full board of approval.
In the past, the board set a maximum offer for the position. Now, Ludwig will have leeway to make an offer, as long as it is within the suggested salary range based on qualifications and experience.
Jack Russek, who represents Wright County Area Transportation (WCAT) on the Trailblazer Board, said Trailblazer needs to move quickly to hire administrators and other staff.
“We need the authority to negotiate some offers,” said Russek. “We’ve got a Buffalo facility that’s going to open in two months, and we need to fill some positions.”
Russek noted that Trailblazer’s recently hired human resources officer resigned after six weeks on the job, making the hiring task more difficult.
Bill Pinske, who represents Sibley County on the joint powers board, said the executive committee could assist with some of the “legwork” in finding candidates, “but the finalization of an officer should come back to the full board.”
Lynn Kissock, also a WCAT representative on the joint powers board, suggested that Trailblazer develop more detailed job descriptions, and then consider a compensation study to make sure salaries being offered match up with the job description.
While her fellow board members agreed, they also expressed concern about filling positions as quickly as possible.
Trailblazer Joint Powers Board Chair Ron Shimanski, a McLeod County Commissioner, said Trailblazer “should have a management team of about nine people — right now we’re at three.”
“We need the help; we’re hurting bad,” said Ludwig.

For more from the meeting, see the Feb. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.