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County discusses complaints over south transfer station

Complaints about service at the transfer station concern the board. This photo is of the recycling center, which has never had a customer complaint. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

As nightly repairs continue to the South Side Transfer Station dump chute, commissioners and Solid Waste Superintendent Vern Massie discussed what may be a growing number of complaints against personnel there.

And both the board and Massie said they were disappointed that staffers have apparently lost sight of the fact they are in the customer service business.

Commissioner Dick Devine said he received three recent complaints over unspecified matters involving solid waste attendants.

Apparently Massie has also received complaints.

The transfer station generally gets high marks for its service and Massie doesn't want to see public confidence erode.

The board discussed an on-site supervisor, but Massie is reluctant to elevate one employee over the other two.

Commissioner Kathy Grell said that could put the supervisor in an unenviable position, "ratting on" co-workers.

The board also discussed bringing in an outsider as supervisor.

Massie asked for time to monitor the situation before he makes any moves.

Grell said future complaints should be documented in employee personnel files and discussed during annual reviews.

"Maybe we should change the mix and get people in there to do the job," Grell said. "We can't have staff irresponsible to the public."

The chute is being repaired for safety reasons. The chute was so badly damaged from trucks hitting it repeatedly, it began dropping into the cavity it is suspended in.

In other business the board:

n Set June 22 as a work session to meet with architects that drafted the county's space reallocation plan. Court personnel and the disbanded Building Committee will also be invited.

Because of shrinking caseloads, the district courts may not need all the extra space and courtrooms initially envisioned when the study was commissioned two years ago.

Court personnel have indicated they need additional meeting space for attorneys and juries. For security reasons, personnel also want the Law Library moved.

Meanwhile as Social Services' caseload increases and the department hires more personnel, that department's expansion needs are getting critical.

"They talk to each other through the walls," board chair Greg Larson said.

Privacy concerns for clients has been a longstanding matter.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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