Salisbury Department Split Proposal Dies

SALISBURY — Internal Services will remain a single department, despite Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton’s attempt to have it split into two separate divisions.

He told the City Council Monday that a charter amendment placing Internal Services into its original components, Financing and Purchasing, would allow for greater internal control as well as making it much easier to find suitable department heads.

“We can’t find anybody that has all three of those things,” said Ireton, who added that Human Resources (HR) is also under the Internal Services umbrella.

“The idea that Human Resources is in there doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” he said.

Councilman Tim Spies also felt that it was odd that HR was lumped together with Financing and Purchasing, though he wasn’t sure if that justified splitting up the department.

“So this comes as a matter of convenience?” he asked.

Ireton reiterated that the major reason behind his request was not convenience but finding a qualified leader. Since the departure of former Internal Services Director Pam Oland, Ireton told the council that finding one person with sufficient skills in HR, Financing, and Purchasing, has been impossible.

None of the candidates displayed enough across-the-board experience to satisfy Ireton, prompting him to move forward with the idea of splitting Internal Services into two departments, with the remaining HR falling under the purview of the mayor’s office.

Councilwoman Deborah Campbell pointed to the success of Internal Services as a combined department over the last few years as one reason not to divide it.

“You can see where we really moved forward … Perhaps this is the better way,” she said.

Councilwoman Laura Mitchell agreed with Ireton about the trouble with finding a suitable department head.

“It’s difficult to find anyone to wear all three hats,” she said.

However, Mitchell felt that she didn’t have sufficient information to make a decision at the time.

Council President Terry Cohen noted that it seemed like there were easier solutions to finding a leader.

“Hiring issues are a different matter … What I’m hearing is not in the structure of the department,” she said.

Cohen suggested that Ireton “get the advertisements to express the job better.”

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