STEPHENSON — The Menominee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved personnel changes. A second assistant prosecuting attorney position was approved for the prosecuting attorney’s office and three part-time sheriff’s department positions were converted to two full-time positions.

Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Rogg spoke in favor of the personnel changes in his department, saying that although the office has always only needed two prosecutor positions in the past (the prosecuting attorney and the chief assistant prosecuting attorney) the department’s work load is now too great for two people.

The department has a backlog of cases that have increased the amount of work in the past several years. Rogg said this backlog predates even Bill Merkel’s, the previous prosecuting attorney, time as prosecutor.

Rogg spoke in favor of adding a third position to the office, an assistant prosecuting attorney, which would be the third-ranking prosecutor. The chief prosecuting attorney would have supervisory duties over the assistant prosecuting attorney. Rogg said he envisions the assistant prosecuting attorney to be an entry-level position filled by someone fresh out of law school, looking for courtroom experience. However, he said he does not imagine the position to remain filled by the same person for years at a time.

Rogg was sworn in as Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Friday and his previous position, chief assistant prosecuting attorney has yet to be filled. He said this position, which would have supervisory duties over the new assistant prosecuting attorney, would ideally be filled by someone with more experience.

Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks also spoke to the board in favor of personnel changes in his department.

Marks told the board that part-time positions are becoming increasingly difficult to fill, because people are looking for full-time positions.

The sheriff’s department has had a trend of going over its overtime budget. Marks said this is because he cannot fill the part-time positions, which usually fit in between shifts, and the full-time workers are forced to cover the lapses.

“I have to order them to stay and work overtime, we need three deputies at the jail at all times, or it’s not safe,” Marks said. He also said forcing his deputies to work the hours they are currently working, sometimes up to 16-hour shifts, is not safe either.

“Sixteen hours is a long shift. My employees they want to go home to their families, they have kids, but we are forcing them to work,” Marks said. “Somebody has to work these shifts, but it wears our employees down.”

Marks told the board he is confident that if the three part-time positions, only one of which is filled, were converted to two full-time positions, it would decrease the amount of overtime his employees use. This would also save the county money, because it would not have to pay time-and-a-half for employees who are working overtime if every shift is properly staffed.

Marks also said when the part-time positions are filled, the county pays for the training and certifications they need to fulfill their jobs, but once they have the certifications, it becomes easier for them to find full-time positions elsewhere.

“We pay for that training, we invest money and time into them but we lose them almost right away,” Marks said.

Both items passed unanimously, 8-0. Commissioner Jan Hafeman was excused from the meeting and was not present.

In other business, the board also made personnel changes to the Menominee Regional Airport. It eliminated the full-time airport manager and part-time lineman positions. It added a full-time operations technician position and gave high-level administrative airport duties to the county administrator (Jason Carviou).