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File #: 2020-0319   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 3/20/2020 In control: Human Resources
On agenda: 3/24/2020 Final action:
Title: Classification and Compensation Changes
Department or Agency Name(s): Human Resources
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Resolution, 3. Resolution Attachment A
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma, Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Water Agency, Board of Commissioners of the Community Development Commission, and Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Department or Agency Name(s): Human Resources Department

Staff Name and Phone Number: Christina Cramer, 707-565-2988

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): Countywide




Classification and Compensation Changes



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Adopt a Concurrent Resolution amending the Salary Resolution 95-0926, Salary Table Scales, to adjust the salaries for the Health Officer, Deputy Public Health Officer, and Behavioral Health Medical Director job classifications, effective March 24, 2020.



Executive Summary:

The County’s Human Resources Department is responsible for managing the County-wide classification and compensation structure. Components of this responsibility include ensuring employees are appropriately classified and job classification salary ranges are appropriate. 

Human Resources requests approval to adjust the salaries of Health Officer, Deputy Public Health Officer, and Behavioral Health Medical Director job classifications in light of ongoing recruitment and retention challenges the County has experienced with these positions, and given the importance and highly specialized qualifications of these positions and the limited candidate pool.   



The Department of Health Services (DHS) requested that Human Resources review the specifications and compensation of the Health Officer, Deputy Public Health Officer, and Behavioral Health Medical Director classifications in light of long standing recruitment and retention challenges associated with all three classifications.


Changes were approved by the Civil Service Commission in February 2020 to amend the licensure requirements of the Deputy Public Health Officer classification. The original pathway to qualify as Deputy Public Health Officer required an individual be eligible to obtain a license to practice medicine.  However, the classification did not require the incumbent ever obtain licensure to practice post hire. Now, licensure to practice is required upon entry, which will ensure the Deputy is fully qualified to act as the County Health Officer as needed.


The Department of Health Services also adjusted their organizational structure in Fall of 2019.  These organizational changes added to the Health Officer position’s responsibility by having the position oversee the entire Public Health Division. 


Recruitment data over the last few years suggests there have been challenges in recruitment and retention All three of the following positions are vacant and have had recent separations.


The County has conducted four recruitments for Health Officer since 2011.  For each of the recruitments, the pool of qualified applicants was small (typically less than 10), extensive outreach was conducted, and the recruitments were open for significant amounts of time.  The most recent recruitment in 2018 was open for 10 months.  


The County has conducted two recruitments for Deputy Health Officer since 2012.  These recruitments resulted in 9 and 5 candidates, respectfully, and extensive outreach was conducted. 


The County has conducted two recruitments for Behavioral Medical Director since 2014.  These recruitments were open for five and six months, and each recruitment resulted in two or fewer candidates after extensive outreach.


All of the most recent hires in the above positions were placed at the top of the respective salary ranges.  This indicates the salary ranges for these positions were barely sufficient to these job candidates, prior to their hire.  None of the recent hires were living in Sonoma County at the time of the recruitments, two were out of state. The County has also been using a search firm to help source candidates and the firm has consistently provided feedback to staff the current salary ranges are being turned down by prospective applicants.  Additionally, salary data shows the County’s positions are less than many of their like positions in the Bay Area and some other Counties indicating their lack of competitiveness in the job market. 


The Health Officer and Behavior Health Medical Director are mandated positions, meaning there needs to be someone employed or contracted who functions in these roles for Sonoma County.  While Deputy Health Officer is not mandated, the position provides much needed redundancy and coverage.  For example, there is mandated 24/7 reporting of certain medical diagnoses by health care providers to the Health Officer. 


Human Resources recommends salary adjustments for these positions.  The salary for all three positions have not kept pace with other county jurisdictions. The salary for the Deputy Public Health Officer should maintain an appropriate differential with the Health Officer, therefore it should also be adjusted.  Based on an evaluation of both market data and internal equity factors, Human Resources has determined that the salaries for the positions should be adjusted as follows:

                     Health Officer should be set at $21,943/Monthly I-Step.

                     Deputy Health Officer should be set at $20,000/Monthly I-Step, 10% below the Health Officer

                     Behavioral Health Medical Director should be set at $23,040/Monthly I-Step.



Prior Board Actions:



Fiscal Summary


FY 19-20 Adopted

FY20-21 Projected

FY 21-22 Projected

Budgeted Expenses




Additional Appropriation Requested




Total Expenditures




Funding Sources




General Fund/WA GF












Use of Fund Balance








Total Sources





Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

The cost of the salary increases is estimated at $15,488 for FY 19-20, assuming the positions are filled in April 2020, and $61,951 for FY 20-21 and FY 21-22. Fiscal impacts will not be realized in FY 19-20 until hires are made.  The Department of Health Services will incorporate applicable costs into its budget


Staffing Impacts:




Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

Additions (Number)

Deletions (Number)















Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):

There are no staffing impacts associated with these changes.




1.                     Resolution 1: Concurrent Resolution amending Salary Resolution No. 95-0926

2.                     Resolution 1: Appendix A - Salary Tables


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: