The Utah County commission voted on Wednesday to appoint Peter Brown to a new position of project coordinator hosted by the commission.
According to his LinkedIn pageBrown has served as the Utah County CFO since 2020 and is responsible for “the management of federal pandemic grants (COVID-19) for the government of Utah.”
The project coordinator position is one of two full-time budget administration positions the committee approved for creation on July 14 in a 2-0 vote. Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner abstained from voting on the proposal, fearing it had not been approved to the degree expected by other county departments.
“So the reason I abstained was because I really didn’t appreciate that we were putting all the other departments in the county through a thorough process to add people, but… the commission was ready to do it. do it quickly for herself, ”Gardner told The Daily. Herald last week. “I just didn’t like that it didn’t follow the process that we are passing all the other departments in the county through to add a post, but yet when the commission wants to add posts below it- even, it cuts all corners and requires much less.
But Commissioner Bill Lee rebuffed Gardner’s comments on Wednesday, noting that the commission frequently approved staffing plan changes with little to no discussion and arguing that there was nothing “out of step” with the way the proposal had been adopted.
The Commissioner further argued that there had been discussions between the Commissioners “for some time” on the new positions, including behind closed doors.
“So we had a dialogue for a while on these positions,” he said.
Lee also noted that the commission is the appointing body in the county, “where (like) department heads are not, and they have to come to the commission for approval.”
“So there is a big difference when we do staffing, either at a department level or at a commission level (level), which is different,” he said.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Lee asked HR Director Ralf Barnes if he thought there was anything inappropriate about the way the proposal was approved. His answer ? “Not really.”
“It may seem unusually fast in this case. (But) I don’t think that’s irrelevant to the fact that it’s happened before, ”Barnes said. “It’s always up to the board to decide how much scrutiny it needs to make its decision. So it’s the variability that I think we see in these cases more than anything. “
Barnes continued, “I agree that in this case maybe it looked like it was quick and maybe the level of control wasn’t there. But you’re right, there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes talk about this one.
Gardner made no objection to the budget administration’s positions on Wednesday and voted to approve the resolution appointing Brown as the project coordinator, which was passed unanimously.
Brown’s post is temporary and will not exceed three years, according to the resolution. It will be paid for using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and other federal COVID-19 funds.