Rhodes restructures county clerk’s office

PARKERSBURG – Newly appointed Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes announced instead of filling the vacant administrative assistant post he previously held, he has restructured the department, naming three department heads.

Rhodes informed the county commissioners the three department heads will all receive the same pay hike for their additional assigned duties. There will still be 16 employees in the office, but by eliminating the administrative assistant position, which carried a salary of about $53,000, it also freed up funds for a pay raise for the remainder of the clerk’s office personnel.

Rhodes said he had originally intended to hire an individual from the State Auditor’s Office to step into his now vacant administrative assistant’s post, but the individual was no longer interested in the job so he changed his plans.

“Instead of hiring for the administrative assistant position, I am assigning three people to supervisory roles,” Rhodes said. There will still be a total of 16 staffers.

Deputy Clerk Melody Ross, who previously worked in the voter’s registration office, will be the supervisor for finance and elections. Barbara Johnston, who was former clerk Jamie Six’s secretary, will supervise the records room on the first floor, as well as handle purchasing and scheduling. Penny Givens, who worked in the finance department, will supervise the second floor recording office and probate office.

“We will still have the same number of employees; there will just no longer be an administrative assistant,” Rhodes said.

The pay hikes were funded with existing funds in the clerk’s office budget without asking the commission for additional money.

Rhodes said the new supervisors will be cross-trained to cover other operations during employee vacations.

“I believe this arrangement permits me to take advantage of the supervisors’ strongest abilities and will enable us to strengthen the weaker ones. The difference between the administrative assistant salary and the new supervisors pay raise will be distributed among the employees,” Rhodes said. The raise to the remaining staffers amounts to approximately $960 annually.

The county’s new fiscal year began July 1.