By Jessica Lancaster
The Parke County Commissioners met in regular session Monday, March 21. Present were Jim Meece – president and Dan Collom. Bruce Hartman was absent.
The meeting began with regular business including approval of the minutes from February 21 and March 7, and county payroll totaling $184,016; followed by receipt of the Payroll Claims Accounts Payable Report for the amount of $399,393.
In new business, requests for hand-typed checks were submitted and approved as follows: $15 BMV for an ambulance, $581 in AIC dues, and $1 for an ambulance purchased, along with a lease proposal for Industrial Housing Solutions to provide a temporary housing unit brought in for the EMS personnel. The proposal was provided by EMS Director Julie Lanzone along with her departments monthly report. And finally, five potential appointments for the opening on the County Board of Health were presented. Those willing to serve will be taken into consideration and a decision will be made at the next commissioners meeting.
Chief Deputy, Jason Frazier was present on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department to request approval to carry over vacation hours due to be lost for Deputies Shawn Clover and Chris McCann. Both were approved as presented. Frazier also had the USDA grant paperwork, previously approved, onhand for signatures.
County Highway Superintendent, Randy Norman was next to provide a brief update on work being conducted in various parts of the county.
Public Comments brought forth discussion on recent events plaguing county employees. Several folks from the Sheriff’s Department showed up to share their thoughts on payroll issues. It was brought to the attention of county commissioners and council members that county payroll, deductions and policies have severe discrepancies that employees are demanding be addressed immediately before more damage is done.
Meece broke the ice on the ongoing issues by sharing that not only the commissioners but the council as well, have met with State Board of Accounts regarding the errors not once but twice; Citing they are in the process of identifying those that have been overpaid in 2019 and 2020 as the first step. They will then choose a date for those amounts to be withheld from paychecks after receiving State Board of Accounts approval. This could potentially take place the second pay period in July and only impacts the salaried employees. He then addressed the second issue of money being withheld from paychecks to pay for retirement that is either being paid in a random amounts or not all for employees.
For the full article, see this week’s edition of the Parke County Sentinel.