The successful candidate has not been named yet pending completion of a background check, but the Trinity County Board of Supervisors last week authorized the hiring of a new Director of Building and Planning at the high end of the county pay scale due to the individual’s 17 years of applicable experience in other counties.

The Trinity County Building, Planning and Environmental Health departments were consolidated several years ago under the Department of Transportation as a cost-saving measure, operating under a single department head, Rick Tippett. The current need to separate Building, Planning and Environmental Health divisions from Transportation and hire a dedicated department head was attributed to the workload expansion over the past three years to create and administer the county’s cannabis licensing program.

Director of Transportation Rick Tippett has also been assigned to work with County Administrative Officer Richard Kuhns to manage the county’s $20 million construction project of building a new jail.

So the county recently recruited and interviewed for the position of Director of Building and Planning. The selected candidate has worked for more than 17 years in local level land use planning and resource management in both administrative and supervising roles. The candidate has 14 years of direct experience working with rural Northern California counties.

Trinity County’s Director of Human Resources Shelly Nelson requested the board’s authorization to transfer 17 years of applicable longevity from prior employers to Trinity County in order to hire the selected candidate at the top of the salary range for the position and the board’s consent was unanimous.

The approximate monthly cost in salary and benefits for a Director of Building and Planning at the beginning A step is $11,364, but it is $14,878 at the higher G step approved by the board.

CAO Kuhns said it is very difficult to recruit experienced workers to come to Trinity County, but the G step salary “makes it very competitive. We offered this, and the person accepted. We will do a background check, and they could start July 1.”  

Assisted by a deputy Planning Director and other staff, the new department director will oversee all Building, Environmental Health, Planning and Cannabis divisions.

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