County seeks equality in annual onetime checks
♦ Commissioners approve $500 for full time, $250 for part timers for 2018
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.
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.
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.