Melissa Blosser, assistant editor of a Susanville, Calif., Web site, and a public relations specialist, has been hired as Douglas County’s community relations coordinator.
County Manager Steve Mokrohisky said Blosser, 33, was selected from 40 applicants for the new position, and is expected to begin work in early May.
She will be paid $53,000 a year.
“Ms. Blosser will assist in developing strategies that ensure open, transparent and strategic communications with the public, businesses and employees,” Mokrohisky said. “She will manage the county Web site and social media efforts, plan and coordinate public workshops, and assist in coordinating strategic planning and priority based budgeting efforts. We are looking forward to utilizing available technology and media platforms to broaden our communication efforts, as well as identifying opportunities to further engage the public in county services and issues.”
He praised efforts over the last two years to expand the county’s outreach, including monthly newsletters, videos, online question-and-answer forums, and the Open Douglas County tool utilized for the online budget challenge.
“There is more we can do to inform and engage the public in county issues. We want to continue to build upon our efforts to engage the public in issues such as priority-based budgeting, road funding, the Valley Vision and Economic Vitality initiatives.”
Blosser, who will be moving to Minden from Susanville, said she was excited about the new opportunity.
“I am looking forward to becoming a part of the Douglas County team, and I am excited about the opportunity to expand public engagement and community outreach,” she said. “I am very fond of Douglas County, its small town charm, beautiful scenery and great outdoor recreation.”
Blosser is currently an assistant editor with SusanvilleStuff.com and Couso Technology in Susanville.
She has also served as a public relations specialist for Banner Lassen Medical Center and the Lassen County Fair. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and public relations.
Mokrohisky said Blosser had emergency management training and would be working with public safety agencies on emergency situations.
He said the position was funded through reorganizations of county functions, and did not add a new cost.
Expenses were reduced by reclassifying a current vacant position and reducing the pay range, saving approximately $15,000 per year, Mokrohisky said.