BUD­GET

The Covington News - - The second front -

“ Peo­ple would rather vary their job du­ties than lose jobs,” she said. “ All depart­ment heads are try­ing very hard not to cut jobs. There are no fief­doms any­more, no pride.”

For ex­am­ple, pub­lic works em­ploy­ees will take on ex­tra mow­ing for other fa­cil­i­ties, while ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials will han­dle file man­age­ment for plan­ning and zon­ing.

Mor­gan said the county doesn’t have even $ 1,000 of unas­signed money in this year’s bud­get, as de­part­ments are do­ing away with any con­tin­gen­cies in an ef­fort to keep em­ploy­ees.

“ The $ 10 ( mar­gin) here, the $ 100 there, is all gone,” she said. “ If noth­ing un­fore­seen hap­pens, we’ll sur­vive. But it will take longer to meet cit­i­zen’s needs.”

Once a list of em­ploy­ees that must be cut is cre­ated, it will be sent to the county at­tor­ney’s of­fice to make sure it does not vi­o­late the Fair La­bor Stan­dards Act.

Some depart­ment heads have ex­pressed concern that com­mis­sion­ers may try to in­ter­fere in cuts, choos­ing one em­ployee over an­other, but Mor­gan said the cuts will be made by her, Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer John Mid­dle­ton and the depart­ment heads.

“ If a job does not specif­i­cally give a per­son hu­man re­sources re­spon­si­bil­ity, then they can be held per­son­ally li­able if they get in­volved,” Mor­gan said.

If an em­ployee does not agree that he should be cut, he can ap­peal to Mor­gan. If he re­mains dis­sat­is­fied, su­ing the county is the fi­nal op­tion. Be­cause that li­a­bil­ity can be huge, Mor­gan said it’s im­por­tant to have trained pro­fes­sion­als mak­ing the de­ci­sions.

The board of com­mis­sion­ers, how­ever, will have to ap­prove the fi­nal list and a board mem­ber does have the right to ob­ject to a cut. She added that no cuts are be­ing con­sid­ered be­cause of poor job per­for­mance, only be­cause of fi­nan­cial con­straints. The of­fi­cial fis­cal year 2012 bud­get will be ap­proved at the board’s July 19 meet­ing.

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