County hires temporary Community Development Director | ParkRecord.com

County hires temporary Community Development Director

Caroline Kingsley, The Park Record

Former Park City Planning Direct Pat Putt has been hired by Summit County to temporarily fill the Summit County Community Development Director position.

"We’ve talked to Pat and he’s agreed to come in at this time on a temporary basis to help us through the transition," said Brian Bellamy, Director of Personnel Management.

Putt will start Monday, March 25, and outgoing Community Development Director Don Sargent will be leaving the post May 1.

"So there will be some crossover, which is really good," Bellamy said. "Pat is coming in cold. As I understand Pat, he’s fairly brilliant, but there’s still going to be a little bit of a learning curve for him. So when Don steps out, he can fully step into that temporary position."

There is no set time limit for how long Putt can fill the position, but county policy is for temporary hires to work for up to six months, said Bellamy.

However, because the position is not a "merit" position, County Manager Bob Jasper can hire Putt or another candidate of his choosing to work full time without going through a formal hiring process.

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"A century ago, an election would occur, and whoever won would fire everybody and bring in their family, friends and those who got them elected," Bellamy explained. "And so they said enough of this. We have to create merit protection for employees, which means you can replace certain non-merit people, the major decision makers, such as the Community Development Director, at-will. But while you can still terminate a merit employee, you have to have just cause, such as insubordination or they aren’t doing their job."

To hire for a merit position, the county must go through a specific hiring and interviewing process. But for non-merit positions, which include most non-elected county department heads, the county isn’t required to go through that hiring process.

Jasper has three options for filling the position, Bellamy said.

The county can advertise through the American Planning Association, hire a headhunter to find the best people to fit the county’s needs or directly appoint a person to the position.

"Let’s say Bob knows someone from his days in Reno who was really good," Bellamy said. "He can say, this guy was really great; I’m going to approach him and see if he’s available, and directly appoint him to the position."

Jasper will determine with hiring path the county pursues. However, since he is out of town for the next two weeks, none of the options will be considered until his return.

"It can be any one of the three, but right now we’re just letting Bob be on vacation," Bellamy said. "But we want to get it done as fast as we can because there are so many issues up there. We also want to make sure we have the right person, because my belief is that it’s the second hardest job in the county. The first is Bob’s. But the second has to be that one because all that goes on and the diverse people they deal with and how passionate they are. It’s a tough position."