County Commission gives Museum Board the go-ahead to hire a single central director

(Lander, Wyo.) – After more than an hour of discussion on Tuesday morning, the Fremont County Commission directed the Museum Board to move forward with a search to find a central director for the county’s museum system.

The commission first provided some comment and gave suggestions on a four-page job description for the central director position. The plan for the administrative reorganization is to have one central director with individual full-time site managers at each museum. Formal job titles have not yet been decided upon.

The museum board also presented a more fully fleshed out staff structure, that on top of the aforementioned jobs, would utilize full time curators at each location as well as making a currently part time administrative assistant full time.

Board Chairman Steve Banks asked the commission to consider allotting the board a full 1 mill to make up for additional costs. Commission Chairman Doug Thompson said the board does not allow for specific mills to be given to individual entities, but rather to allow the budgeting process to dictate where funds go.

Thompson and Commissioner Keja Whiteman also emphasized that they had hoped for the single main director to take the load off of the site managers so that they could then take on additional responsibilities like curating, education and public involvement. They argued that the single directorship should create more efficiencies, not increase costs by $44,000 as the board requested.

“I don’t feel at this point we’re asking for something extravagant to get this done,” Banks said.

Commission Vice Chairman Travis Becker suggested scrapping the whole staffing plan and wait and talk with the new director to figure out staffing needs. Whiteman suggested working within the board’s current budget this year, as it should see some savings due to not currently having directors at either of the Lander or Riverton museums. She said after the overall director is hired, efficiencies will be found as will expenses and that could be addressed in next year’s budgeting process.

It was generally agreed upon that additional staffing plans could not be finalized until the central director is in place.