County seeks equal­ity in an­nual one­time checks

♦ Com­mis­sion­ers ap­prove $500 for full time, $250 for part timers for 2018

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

It comes up each year be­fore the Polk County Com­mis­sion, and though it’s no longer called a hol­i­day bonus, it acts as a bit of a thank you to em­ploy­ees within county govern­ment when it comes time for Christ­mas shop­ping.

This year, the now ti­tled one-time salary en­hance­ment will find checks dis­trib­uted evenly for ev­ery­one as full time em­ploy­ees will all get a $500 check for the year, and part timers get $250.

Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved the plan 3-2 in­stead of the pre­vi­ous method of pay­ing out 1.5 per­cent of their an­nual salaries, which will be paid out in Novem­ber ahead of the hol­i­day sea­son.

At first the mo­tion was put be­fore the com­mis­sion by Chuck Thax­ton to ap­prove the an­nual 1.5 per­cent one-time pay­ment of their salaries, which a min­i­mum pay­out of $500 for each em­ployee whether they were full or part time.

It was one of sev­eral plans pre­sented by County Man­ager Matt Den­ton dur­ing their Novem­ber reg­u­lar ses­sion, pre­pared last minute at the re­quest of Com­mis­sion vice chair Hal Floyd.

Floyd claimed him­self as the cul­prit for giv­ing his fel­low board mem­bers sev­eral op­tions for how to pay out county em­ploy­ees an­nual one-time pay­ments when Com­mis­sioner Jose Igle­sias ques­tioned why they didn’t just have one op­tion to choose from.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate Matt (Den­ton), Muriel (Du­laney) and Sheena for do­ing this,” Floyd said. “It was a lot to ask on the spur of the mo­ment, and they did a great job of putting it all to­gether.”

He did add how­ever that his in­ten­tion with the op­tions was to find an eq­ui­table way to split ad­di­tional in­sur­ance pre­mium money found in the FY 2019 bud­get for salary en­hance­ment checks to go out this year, and didn’t want it to where one em­ployee re­ceived more than any other.

Af­ter ad­di­tional dis­cus­sion, Floyd and Com­mis­sion­ers Scotty Tillery and Chuck Thax­ton went along with the plan to give $500 checks to each full time em­ployee, and $250 for part time em­ploy­ees.

The cost to the county for the over­all ad­di­tional spend­ing on em­ployee salaries will to­tal up around $150,000, give or take a few thou­sand ac­cord­ing to Den­ton when fi­nal cal­cu­la­tions are tal­lied when the bud­get year con­cludes. It usu­ally is based on how many em­ploy­ees are fill­ing the 265 full time po­si­tions at any given time, and cur­rently stands at 247 hires through­out all de­part­ments.

County of­fi­cials also dur­ing their Novem­ber ses­sion de­cided they needed to ta­ble and wait on votes on the Air­port Run­way Ex­ten­sion project.

Den­ton said in fol­low-up cor­re­spon­dence that ad­di­tional work needed to be com­pleted on sev­eral con­tracts be­ing fi­nal­ized for the fund­ing from the state, the work to be com­pleted by the con­trac­tor se­lected for the project, and to give ad­di­tional en­gi­neer­ing tasks to Holt Con­sult­ing Com­pany ahead of the forth­com­ing work to ex­tend the air­port’s run­way to 5,000 feet.

The day will have no im­pact on the state’s agree­ment to fund the project past the $1.5 mil­lion guar­an­teed as the county’s share of the cost, Den­ton said. He also added that the county is look­ing at ad­di­tional ways to save funds on the project over­all in con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions to in­clude value en­gi­neer­ing op­tions to bring down the over­all the state’s Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion will have to pay.

Den­ton said he looks to have the mat­ter back be­fore the board dur­ing their forth­com­ing De­cem­ber meet­ings, be­ing held on Dec. 10 and 11 af­ter a move in the cal­en­dar was also ap­proved by the board.

In other pur­chases, Pub­lic Works will be get­ting a new dump truck and will trade in an older model to help save money af­ter Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved a $65,949 bid for an up­grade. The funds will come out of the 2014 Spe­cial Pur­pose, Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax fund.

The board also ap­proved the need for the county to move for­ward with up­dat­ing the job de­scrip­tion for the paving su­per­vi­sor for Polk County Pub­lic Works, and also gave au­thor­ity for Den­ton and oth­ers to make op­er­a­tional de­ci­sions re­gard­ing the forth­com­ing Carl Vin­son In­sti­tute salary study to be con­ducted, and for a res­o­lu­tion up­dat­ing the per­mit al­low­ing for Polk County Po­lice to use radar de­vices on lo­cal roads, and set speed lim­its, both at the re­quest of the state DOT and Polk County Po­lice.

Com­mis­sion­ers wrapped up their meet­ing with no ad­di­tional com­ments on Elec­tion Night, with ex­cep­tion of an up­date on­go­ing law­suit the county filed against Waste In­dus­tries over landfill op­er­a­tions and money, which will be forth­com­ing on­line this week and in the Nov. 21 edi­tion.

/ Con­trib­uted by Randy Cook, Keep Polk Beau­ti­ful

CLEANUP: Keep Polk Beau­ti­ful teamed up with vol­un­teers to pro­vide an up­date to the green space at the Cedar­town Wel­come Cen­ter and De­pot along the Sil­ver Comet Trail in re­cent days, pro­vid­ing flow­ers and some cleanup work around the area.

/ Kevin Myrick

Com­mis­sioner Jose Igle­sias sounded off about the va­ri­ety of op­tions avail­able to his fel­low mem­bers for de­cid­ing how to dis­perse an­nual salary en­hance­ment checks be­fore the hol­i­days to em­ploy­ees. Com­mis­sion­ers Scotty Tillery and Hal Floyd sup­ported a mea­sure to give each full time staffer $500, and part time em­ploy­ees $250.

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