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Pennington County commission clarifies 4-day compressed workweek decision

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PivotPoint

The Pennington County Commission approved a new name and logo for the county's Crisis Stabilization Unit at its regular meeting Tuesday. The facility will add 16 beds to the existing eight-bed Crisis Care Unit and is set to open by the end of the year.

The Pennington County Commission rescinded a motion made at its Sept. 6 meeting implementing a compressed, four-day workweek in order to make a similar, yet more detailed, motion.

Holli Hennies, commission manager, explained two agenda items pertaining to the four-day workweek at Tuesday's meeting. One item was to rescind the motion approved at the Sept. 6 meeting regarding the implementation of the four-day workweek proposal, and the second was to make a new motion regarding the proposal.

Hennies explained that the purpose of both was to provide clarity and additional information that the Sept. 6 motion did not provide.

“Why this is back on the agenda in front of you is just for a request to make the motion and the intent clear by taking this clarifying action,” Hennies said.

She said the Sept. 6 action was simply to approve implementing the four-day, 10-hour workweek in 2023, but it was missing necessary details. The commission unanimously approved rescinding the Sept. 6 action on Tuesday.

The clarifying motion was made to approve implementing the four-day workweek for the County Administration Building, being opened Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Jan. 3. The motion said the county will continue to support remote and flexible work schedules for all county offices and departments. The motion also included language to provide public notice in Pennington County's three legal newspapers and on the county's website.

The motion states the commission will review the four-day workweek on July 5, 2023.

Sam Benne, First American Title, reiterated concerns with the proposal from previous meetings, saying he was not in favor of the compressed workweek. The commissioners encouraged Benne to record any issues he encounters as a result of the compressed workweek to present to the commission during its July 5 review.

“Let’s see what happens in six months,” said Commissioner Ron Rossknecht, noting they would be gathering feedback from the public in that time, as well.

The commission addressed suggestions that the administration building remain open five days a week while rotating four-day, 10-hour schedules for employees, saying the cost was not feasible.

“You got two things we can do,” said Rossknecht, referencing employee retention, the topic that originally sparked the four-day workweek proposal. “We can think outside the box, or we can increase the wages enough that we don't need that. I don't think the general public or taxpayers want to see a wage increase that we would need for retention and being able to hire.”

Commissioner Deb Hadcock emphasized that the compressed work week still provides 40 hours of service to the public, with an additional hour in the morning and evening each of the four works days the administration building would be open.

“They're going to be there more time in the morning, more time later in the day,” she said. “So let's see how that works out.”

In other business, the board approved a new name and logo for the Crisis Stabilization Unit located on Quincy Street in Rapid City. The facility, set to open by the end of the year, will be called Pivot Point, with a tagline reading “Your Path to Behavioral Health.”

Barry Tice, director of Pennington County Health and Human Services, along with several partners involved in the design and implementation, presented the name and logo to the board for approval Tuesday morning.

The logo, designed by Midwest Marketing in Rapid City, featured a face outlined by a blue moon on its right, and an arm on the left, wrapping around a figure at its center.

“A great deal of effort has been put into the name and the design,” Tice said.

Amy Iversen, CEO of Behavioral Management Systems — the organization that will be running services out of Pivot Point — spoke to the overall goal of the facility, and their excitement to get it up and running.

“I'm really impressed coming in new with the partnerships that are present here in Pennington County and the work that's gone into not only maintaining the facility but making this a reality,” Iversen said. “It's really impressive.”

“This is a great facility, a great concept, and I appreciate all the stakeholders that made this happen,” Rossknecht said.

The commissioners unanimously approved the name and logo.

–Contact Laura Heckmann at lheckmann@rapidcityjournal.com

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