As Cache County’s population grows, so do the administrative responsibilities required to run it. To address these challenges, County Council members are discussing creating a new administrative position on the county’s staff.
“We’ve been noticing that our county executive has a lot on his plate and isn’t able to do everything,” said County Council Member Gina Worthen. “There is a mix of attending a lot of meetings where he needs to be, but also, of course, the day-to-day operations and overseeing that for the county.”
As the county executive, Craig Buttars said he serves on about 25 boards and chairs around half of these boards. Between the day-to-day needs of the county and the sheer number of places he has to be, his many responsibilities often conflict with one other.
This is why the council is discussing creating an administrative position. Although the exact title has not been decided on, Buttars and Worthen say council members agree that steps need to be taken.
“I am, at times, feeling like I am spread a mile wide and an inch deep,” Buttars said.
Buttars said although he is not the one pushing for the new employee, he would benefit from having his load lightened.
According to Buttars, an administrative assistant or county administrator could relieve him of some of his day-to-day tasks and possibly serve on boards at his assignment and based on their areas of expertise.
If Buttars had less to do administratively, he said he would be able to work more with state and federal lawmakers to advance the county’s needs.
“It would just give the executive more opportunity to be involved in other areas and to drill down in areas that are more impactful,” Buttars said.
One reason this issue matters is the growing population means Cache will soon become a county of the second class. This change in the state’s designation of the county would impact many areas of county government, from administration requirements to road funding.
James Swink, a Cache County attorney, said Buttars will need time to implement these changes and to potentially lobby state lawmakers if adjustments to the requirements need to be made.
“I appreciate the foresight and vision of both the council and executive Buttars in considering this right now. I think it will be really an important move for the county to stay ahead of the curve and to properly plan for the future,” Swink said.
Worthen said another benefit of the position is it could create more continuity in county government as executives and council members change.
“We want to make sure that there is continuity and that level of experience so when the time comes that we get a new county executive, that person, he or she, doesn’t have to start from square one. The county doesn’t have to lose that expertise. We have somebody there who knows what is going on and can help with that,” Worthen said.
From her observation, Worthen said it seems most council members are on board with creating this position.
As they continue through the process of finalizing details like the name of the position and its job description, she said she is sure other questions will arise. Additionally, she wants to make sure the council gathers public input.
“I would love the public to be engaged,” Worthen said. “I would love to know what they think about this idea and how they feel about it and if they have any concerns or questions or thing we haven’t thought of.”
A public hearing to discuss the new position will held during the council’s July 30 meeting at 5 p.m.
Buttars said if the position and the funds necessary for it are approved, it could be filled for the last quarter of the year.