By Michael Howell
Ravalli County Floodplain Administrator Eric Anderson has accepted a job as Ravalli County Road and Bridge Department Administrator. Anderson was hired the day after the commissioners refused a request to reinstate former Road Department supervisor David Ohnstad, who was recently terminated. Anderson’s last day working in the Planning Office will be on April 13. On April 16 he will start work as the county’s new Road Department Administrator.
Human Resources Director Robert Jenni said that there has been some confusion about David Ohnstad’s job being split into two positions following his termination. He said it was not true. He said the commissioners did rewrite the job descriptions and changed the titled of both the Supervisor’s position and Road Foreman’s position.
“They’ve been re-named, Road Department Administrator and Operations Manager,” said Jenni, “but if you read them there is not much difference between the old job descriptions and the new, except for their titles.” Jenni said that in the recent past Ohnstad served as Supervisor and the Road Foreman was Bill Meisner. He said that Meisner had been faced with some health problems recently and Ohnstad had stepped in to fill the role in the last few months, but the roles were always considered separate.
Jenni said that Anderson negotiated a contract with the commissioners that includes a starting salary of $47,500. At six months, if he meets the review criteria for performance, he will get an additional $2,500. If he passes annual review, and the department as a whole passes review, he will receive an additional $2,500. This is a jump up from the $36,000 he was making as Floodplain Administrator.
Jenni said that although Anderson has been serving in the floodplain administration office he is a licensed professional engineer and has experience with roads with an emphasis in drainage issues.
“He knows the grant process and he has the experience to handle the bidding process and to check for contract performance and other functions of the Road Department Administrator,” said Jenni.