Director application deadline moved up

By Maura Wery

The Riley County Commission on Thursday decided to move up the deadline to apply for the county health department director position and reversed its earlier decision to hire an interim director. The deadline had been April 30, but it has been moved to April 1.

Human Resource Manager Cindy Volanti presented the commission with the pros and cons of hiring an interim director. Volanti said she felt that the health department had enough long-term staff that it could work proficiently without an interim director.

Volanti said that overall, not having an interim director could keep the transition for staff at a minimum and allow the county more time to search for a permanent director.

The department’s current director, Susie Kufahl, will depart from her position on April 1. Volanti originally set the deadline for applicants for April 30 but said the county already has received five “qualified candidates,” so the commission opted to move the date.

Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo agreed that the commission would have flexibility with the earlier date.

“It speeds up the transition,” Vargo said. “And if you need more time, then you can re-open the position.”

Commissioner Dave Lewis said he wondered why more candidates seem to be interested in this position now than when the position was open in 2011.

Volanti said she thinks there are two reasons: first, there have been large economic and state structure changes since the position was last open; and second, the department?s changeover to the county probably made the new listing more attractive to potential applicants.

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