Agenda Personnel Policy Board August 6, 2009 Telephone Conference
Members Present: Hon. M. Richard Geiger, Chair; Jerrold Arneson; Hon. Gail Hagerty; Hon.
Carol Ronning Kapsner; Rod Olson; Hon. John T. Paulson; Gladys Schmitt;
and Ted Smith
Members Absent: Chris Myers
Others Present: Sally Holewa, ex officio Amy Klein, staff Renee Barnaby, minutes
Chair Geiger called the special meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. The special meeting was called to
consider a request submitted by Unit 2 Trial Court Administrator, Rod Olson, to accept a
counteroffer to hire a new clerk of district court II at pay grade 18, step 2.
It was moved by Gladys Schmitt, seconded by Justice Kapsner, to adopt the recommendation
contained in the memo prepared by Amy Klein accepting the recommendation of Rod Olson
to hire a new clerk of district court II at step 2, grade 18.
Judge Hagerty stated she does not oppose the request, but in reviewing Policy 103, there is an
indication that if none of the qualified candidates will accept the position at the entry level salary,
the hiring authority may seek approval for a higher salary. The term "qualified" needs to be defined
because in the past, everyone who interviewed had to reject the salary at entry level before it could
be offered at a higher step.
Mr. Olson responded that after interviewing the other candidates who met the minimum
qualifications of supervisory experience and education, he determined that they did not have
experience in working in all areas of the court, which is needed for such a large office. If the request
is not granted, the position will not be offered to another candidate. Mr. Olson will name an acting
clerk and re-advertise in the spring.
Justice Kapsner stated because of the large transition with the new case management system, it is
important to fill the position now with someone who is fully qualified rather than in the spring. She
also noted that the candidate has past experience with the Odyssey case management program, which
she views as a very strong reason to consider the request.
In response to a question from Jerrold Arneson asking if such a request has been submitted in the
past for a clerk of court position, Mr. Olson responded no but it has for the management positions
such as the trial court administrator.
Justice Kapsner commented the clerk position is in our largest county supervising the most
employees so it is comparable to a management position.
Ms. Klein said the reason we have preferred scoring is because the goal is to hire the person who will
be the most successful in the position and for the organization.
Judge Hagerty responded we also have a policy that requires the court to hire at entry level. She
suggested that Policy 103 be reviewed because it should be applied consistently throughout the
Ms. Schmitt commented on the importance of having a qualified person due to the implementation
of the new information system and noted the candidate is only requesting a one-step increase. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote and will be forwarded to the chief justice
for consideration. In reviewing Policy 103, the term "qualified" was interpreted by the Board to
mean sufficiently qualified to be offered the position after being interviewed and not minimally
qualified. Further, based on the August 4 letter from Rod Olson and his statements at the meeting
that he would not offer the position to the other candidates and the other materials provided, the
Board agrees that Karla Johnson is the only qualified candidate. Policy 103 will be reviewed at the
next regularly scheduled meeting.
Next meeting is scheduled for August 28, 2009, in Bismarck.