The German Village Society announced last week it has formed a committee to review its future staffing concerns and hired its former historic preservation officer on a part-time basis.

The German Village Society announced last week it has formed a committee to review its future staffing concerns and hired its former historic preservation officer on a part-time basis.

In addition, the press release said the society planned to balance its 2009 budget but did not provide details.

Board member Jim Nichols is chairing the five-member committee tasked with finalizing staffing plans for 2010 and beyond.

"What we are doing is compiling all the services provided by the societyand then trying to put that into a priority list for the board," Nichols said. "Then, of course, they can make adjustments if they wish and hopefully that will lead us to how we will deal with personnel issues."

The formation of the committee comes after the departure of two key staff members, executive director Erin O'Donnell and historic preservation director Jody Graichen.

Nichols said three years ago, the society had five full-time staff members and that this year, three staff members were approved in the budget.

He said the committee's report would likely affect society services.

"Whatever level is determined, we are probably not going to be able to deliver all the services we did in the past," Nichols said. Some services will likely either be reduced or eliminated, he said.

He said over the years society has expanded its services to include things such as walking tours and a visitors center, as well as historic preservation staff.

"I think our sole focus will be on how we will best deliver services," he said.

Nichols said he planned to update the society's board at its upcoming meeting, set for 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

In related staffing news, the society has contracted with Graichen, the previous director of historic preservation, for part-time work. Graichen left the GVS earlier this month to move to Athens, Ga.

Graichen said she has contracted with the society for 10 hours a week, and will primarily handle questions related to the area's architecture commission.

Details surrounding Graichen's return are still being worked out.

Graichen said she expected to work in the evenings and be available by phone and e-mail.

Brigid Butler, the society president, said the nonprofit would utilize Graichen until the end of the year, at which time a staffing plan should be complete.

"Historic preservation is our mission and we wanted to respond to those needs moving forward," Butler said. "I think it's a wonderful way to provide the service in the interim."