Yellowstone County commissioners

Yellowstone County Commissioners, from left, John Ostlund, Robyn Driscoll and Denis Pitman pose for photos after Pitman was sworn in Tuesday.

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

Help wanted: Yellowstone County justice of the peace and auditor.

County commissioners on Tuesday approved job postings seeking applications for the two elected official positions.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Nov. 9.

Commissioners expect to conduct public interviews with finalists and make appointments in early December.

“We’ll move right along with it,” said Commission Chairman John Ostlund. “We’ll look forward to seeing how many applications we get for the two positions,” he said.

The successful applicants will replace Justice of the Peace Pedro Hernandez and his wife, Auditor Debby Hernandez, a Republican. The couple announced they were retiring effective Nov. 30 after many years in office.

Because the Hernandez retirements come before their four-year terms of office expire at the end of 2018, whoever is appointed to replace them will face election next year to retain their jobs.

Two committees will review the applications and make recommendations on finalists to the commissioners.

The auditor’s committee is composed of Chief Deputy County Attorney Dan Schwarz and Deputy Attorney Kevin Gillen, both of whom are in the county attorney’s civil division, and Human Resource Director Dwight Vigness.

The justice of the peace review committee will be headed by County Attorney Scott Twito, who was finalizing committee members on Tuesday.

The justice of the peace job pays an annual salary of $101,082 and has health and other benefits.

Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter in Yellowstone County and a resident of the county for one year prior to appointment.

The county also is seeking a letter of interest, resume, writing sample and five references. Application materials are considered public information.

Montana law does not require a justice of the peace to be a lawyer.

The county followed a similar committee review process, headed by Twito, when commissioners appointed Justice of the Peace David Carter to the job to fill a vacancy created by a retirement. The county has two justices of the peace.

The auditor’s job has a base annual salary of $69,721 and has health and other benefits.

The job posting said knowledge in auditing, finance and accounting with supervisory experience would be “beneficial” but is not required.

Montana law does not require county auditors to have financial experience credentials. The general qualifications for office are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, a citizen of Montana, a registered voter in Yellowstone County and a resident of the county for two years prior to appointment.

The county also is seeking a letter of interest, resume and five references, with the application materials being considered public information.

Interested persons for either job should apply to the Yellowstone County Human Resources Office, attention Board of County Commissioners, P.O. Box 35041, Room 106, Billings, Mt., 59107. Information about the jobs also will be on the county's webpage at www.co.yellowstone.mt.gov/Human_Resources.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.