A familiar name has been dubbed Yellow Medicine County’s new Family Services Director.
Following last week’s regularly scheduled meeting, board members interviewed candidates for the directorship, which was vacated by Peggy Heglund when she was hired to serve as YMC Administrator. In the end, Heglund said Rae Ann Keeler-Aus’s long-time tenure and ideal skill set made her the county’s choice. She began her duties June 1.
“I feel like I am ready. I feel I have a good working relationship with the employees and feel that I can handle new challenges that face me,” said Keeler-Aus. “I know there will be some trials, but we have a good group of people that are very knowledgeable and who do their jobs well, and that should assist me reaching the point where I need to be.”
Keeler-Aus was hired on as a social worker with the county roughly 23 years ago in October of 1990. In 2003 she was promoted to the role of Social Services Supervisor, a capacity in which she has served up until her new hire.
As Social Services Supervisor, Keeler-Aus was responsible for a number of different sectors within the family services department that included chemical dependency, adult mental health, adult protection and licensing for fostercare and daycare. As Family Service Director, she will be in charge of overseeing the responsibilities of her old position as well as that of children’s services, income maintenance, accounting, child support and office administration.
Beyond her extensive experience, Keeler Aus said that she felt that her solid organizational skills, internal and external existing relationships, humor and willingness to ask for advice as being positive character traits that will lend to the county’s success.
“I think I have a lot of good contacts within this county and others that provide the ability for us to collaborate and be more efficient within Yellow Medicine and neighboring counties,” she said.
With a strong foundation in place, Keeler-Aus said that people should not expect to see a drastic degree of change with her leadership. As it is, she’s plenty busy fitting into her new shoes and dealing with its concomitant responsibilities, such as incorporating new policies and mandates stemming from the 2013 legislative session as well as the hiring of a replacement Social Services Supervisor.
According to Heglund, the county has again elected to first attempt to hire the supervisor’s position from within. Internal applications will be accepted until mid-week, and if all goes well the board hopes to interview candidates following its next meeting, Tuesday.
Keeler-Aus was moved from a grade 23 to grade 27 on the Springsted pay scale, and will also move from a salaried 37.5 hour per week position to a 40 hour non-salaried post. The change will bump her annual salary from $68,897 to $75,759.
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