The Carlton County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a hiring freeze suggested by Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau at its Tuesday, May 26 meeting.

“Because the departments are all different and many have unique jobs, it was difficult to find one clear, flat rule that worked across the board for everyone,” Genereau said.

If a job needs to be filled, the department head will need to ask the board’s permission before posting the job whether internal or externally. Genereau said the departments will post jobs internally first.

He said some of the departments may have open positions that can be filled by current employees, or have a qualified employee who could move into the position temporarily.

He said it will save the county financially, but it will have costs. For instance, if there are less people working, it will take longer for work to get done. For example, if there is one less snowplow driver, it will take longer for roads to get plowed because routes will be combined.

The minimum cost in wages for a full-time county position is $40,000 without benefits, Genereau said. The actual cost depends on the specific position.

"This will impact how things are done," Genereau said. "We will be making sacrifices. That means some things will not be done."

District 4 commissioner Mark Thell asked if the county would face objections from the employee unions if it pursues a limited hiring freeze and moves current employees into open positions.

Genereau said he has been talking to the unions involved and they seem willing to work together.