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Weights and Measures job sought by 41 applicants

The Harrison County Commissioners received 41 applications for the county’s Weights and Measures inspector position by Monday morning’s deadline. The commissioners narrowed the field to five applicants and will likely be down to three after interviews on Thursday, Auditor Pat Wolfe said.
The state previously conducted the inspections, but Indiana counties are required to hire their own inspectors after reaching a population of 30,000. Harrison County passed that milestone, and in 1997 George Fink was hired as its first Weights and Measures inspector.
Fink recently resigned citing health problems, but he has expressed an interest in working part time to help train his successor and perhaps realize his potential retirement benefits. He has been unable to perform his duties since December when he went on short-term disability leave.
After exhausting his sick days and vacation days, Fink received 75 percent of his pay for three months and then 50 percent for a fourth month in accordance with county short-term disability policy.
‘I think it is a very important job, and I think we have been able to see that with Mr. Fink not being able to do that, because we all depend on things being correct,’ Wolfe said.
The commissioners had received some complaints about the lack of inspections coming at a time when gas prices are at record highs. ‘There are some people who feel like they aren’t getting a gallon of gas for what they’re being charged,’ Wolfe said.
As a result, she said, they are moving quickly to get an inspector hired and into the field. However, she said, ‘The commissioners publicly expressed their gratitude for everything Mr. Fink has done.’
The size of the response was a surprise for the commissioners. Wolfe explained what she believes applicants find appealing about the position.
‘It’s a position that holds some authority. It is a public service. There is the allure of being close here in the county, having a vehicle that is provided by the county and gas that is provided. And once you are hired, you are hired here and paid here, but you actually become a state employee. They make their own schedule. This person is an inspector, period,’ Wolfe said.
With that authority comes some power. When the inspector shows up, Wolfe said, business owners can’t simply say they are too busy to have their scales or gas pumps inspected. If they don’t submit to the inspection, the inspector can close them down on the spot. And, inspectors can only be terminated with a good, documented reason.
The salary is $26,226, and the benefits include health insurance of which the county pays 95 percent.