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Museums chief getting $63K salary

Mar 21, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Fremont County's first-ever countywide museums director will be paid $63,000 annually.

The county museums board approved the salary for Scott Goetz on a 3-1 vote, with trustee Tom Duncan voting against the motion.

Goetz, who began work last week, was not present at the meeting. Acting chairman Jon Lane said Goetz was still in the process of "transitioning his replacement" as director of the Lander Area Chamber of Commerce.

To determine Goetz's salary, board treasurer Carol Chidsey said the trustees interviewed the county's library, ambulance and weed and pest directors about their salaries and department budgets.

Chidsey said Goetz will be traveling and working on "one capital project, if not two."

Sue Tonkin of the Riverton Museum Association asked if the salary would cause the board's budget to increase.

Chidsey said there are three director positions available, one at each county museum. Because the countywide museums manager will assume some of those responsibilities, the new directors will be paid less than their predecessors.

"We will be adjusting salaries because of that," Chidsey said.

Acting chairman Jon Lane said the board will ask the museums to budget items that need to be accomplished in the future to show the real needs of the system.

Chidsey said the Fremont County commissioners understand the museums budget will grow.

"They want three extraordinary museums." Chidsey said.

Fremont County Commissioner Stephanie Kessler said it will be part of Goetz's job to comb through the budgets and look for ways to be more efficient, which will help cover the cost of his salary and benefits.

Kessler said the commissioners do not expect to see a large increase in the museums budget from the addition of a countywide museums manager position.

"Not to mention (the museums board) has well over $100,000 in reserved funds that could potentially be used to fund the position," Kessler said.

She said Goetz has only a short period of time to find inefficiencies before budgets are presented to the county.

"We can't set unrealistic goals," Kessler said.

Lane said that although a countywide museums manager is coming on board, each museum still will be its own entity.

"Each museum will own its own local flavor," Lane said.

Chidsey agreed, stating the three museums will not be melting together but will work off each other.

"We want the community to be involved," she said. "We can make this place something, and we are determined to."

In other business

The board also approved up to $3,000 for a laptop computer to be used by Goetz.

According to the board, the computer will allow Goetz to plug into the county system while he travels.

The purchase will be guided by the county information technology director, the board said.

The trustees passed the motion in a 4-0 vote.

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