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Dinsmore ‘on loan’ to MN through December

John Dinsmore Submitted photo

Effective this Tuesday, Otter Tail County’s Community Services Division Director, John Dinsmore, will spend a portion of his time working for the state of Minnesota as Director of County Relations.

Dinsmore will work approximately 30 hours per week with the State Department of Human Services, based in St. Paul, Tuesday through Thursday. He will perform county responsibilities on Mondays and Fridays.

This arrangement will continue through Dec. 31. The plan is for Dinsmore to return to Otter Tail County as a full-time employee in January 2015.

“Our goal is to form a long-term partnership that improves the human services delivery system in Minnesota,” said Dinsmore.

Dinsmore has served as president of the Minnesota Association of County Social Services Administrators and had a leading role in the development of the State-County Human Services Partnership Council.

Deb Sjostrom, a current county employee, will serve as Human Services Director through Dec. 31. She will also continue to serve as the program manager/supervisor of developmental disabilities services.

The county’s Human Service Department plays a major role in providing a variety of social service and economic assistance programs to county residents.

As a program manager, Sjostrom has supervised adult mental health and chemical dependency programs. These program areas will be supervised by Margaret Williams during the remainder of 2014.

“As for my county work,” said Dinsmore, “I’ll work approximately 10 hours per week, primarily Mondays and Fridays, in Otter Tail County performing duties related to my role as the Community Services Division Director. The division is comprised of five departments: Extension, Human Services, Probation, Public Health and Veterans Service Office.”

During the ‘on loan’ work with the state of Minnesota, Dinsmore will continue to be an Otter Tail County employee. However, because 75 percent of his work will be for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the state will pay for 75 percent of his salary, benefits and other costs.

“In the public sector, such arrangements between the state and a local unit of government is referred to as a mobility assignment,” said Dinsmore.

Some county residents have wondered if Dinsmore might stay longer with the state of Minnesota.

“That may be an option,” he said, “but it will depend on a variety of factors. One of those would be whether the state...and Otter Tail County want me to continue with the mobility assignment.”