The employment market and the lack of employee housing is a challenge for all employers in Pitkin County. The only way to retain employees is to somehow offset the commute from down valley and time away from their families. We have to offer more than competitive pay and benefits.
As a deputy we provide excellent health care at no cost to the employee, a family plan is available for extra cost. Deputy pay is competitive, and salary surveys are done regularly to keep pace with other agencies, and we offer a 7% shift differential. Also, all employees, including me, get 8 weeks vacation per year, which is a healthy amount and helps with work life balance. Pitkin County has 401k retirement program with a county contribution of 14% and availability to add more if the employee wishes. We provide each employee with a fitness wellness benefit to assure our employees remain physically fit. I believe our total compensation package is better than most. A good compensation package could be the best tool I have to attract and retain employees.
Contrary to those less experienced, there is no magic wand solution that will solve the lack of employee housing for our deputies. Our budget is guided by government regulations and statutes set in place to ensure funds are not misappropriated. However, I can tell you that every budget season the County Commissioners, County Manager and I continue to explore and provide creative ways to retain employees in an effort to offset the lack of up valley housing.
A sneak peek into public safety in Pitkin County, from special events and trends in policing to other major issues or issues in the County that may impact you. Just one example of Sheriff Joe DiSalvo's influence in our community's public safety.