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BE IT REMEMBERED that a regular meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building at Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on June 17, 2013 for the purpose of discussing the additional appropriations and other business that might come before the membership.

Council President Dennis Carter called the Council meeting to order in joint session with the Commissioners. The following members were present:

 

Dennis E Carter Kevin L Crabb Art A Anderson

Bruce D Clear Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

James B Davis

For content of joint session, see Commissioners’ minutes.

 

MINUTES

Councilor Anderson made a motion to accept the May 20, 2013 minutes. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

LEVY EXCESS FUND

Auditor Rogers explained there were two Levy Excess Funds when there should only be one. She thinks one was accidently created because it appeared that none existed when searching for the fund under “Levy Excess.” It wouldn’t pop up in the computer searching for it by that name because it was listed as “White County Levy Excess Fund.” So the half million dollars has been transferred into the General Fund (where it should be) and the extra Levy Excess Fund has been inactivated. Ms. Rogers said she also cleaned up the Fund report by inactivating funds that have a penny or negative amount per Council request. She did not delete any fund that has any kind of history. President Carter gave her permission to do the same to funds that had not been brought up during Council meetings.

Council President Carter said he was at the Exit meeting with the State Board of Accounts, the White County Auditor, and Commissioner Heimlich. Ms. Rogers said the Federal Government came down on the State Government, and the State Government is coming down on County Government in regard to Grants. This year there was a glitch with the Innkeepers tax fund, but it worked out fine. In the past, the State would overlook discrepancies, unless they could pinpoint fraud or theft, because it’s typically just reported incorrectly. Now they are holding elected officials responsible.

 

EMERGENCY 911 COMMUNICATIONS SALARY

Council President Carter said the E911 Director Terri Brooks has $18,000 in the budget for overtime. Her overtime is paid out of that, and he has never heard complaints from anyone about her receiving overtime. He said she does not allow anyone in her department to go over 100 hours overtime/compensation time. President Carter asked if she would prefer to continue being paid overtime or to have her salary increased to compensate for no overtime. She said either way is fine so long as long as she is compensated the same amount.

Council President Carter said the Affordable Healthcare Act is causing employers to restrict hours for part-time employees to prevent them from qualifying for health insurance under the new law. Some schools are hiring more people for fewer hours rather than hiring full-time people and paying benefits. Auditor Rogers said that’s been the law for thirty years. The difference is the imposing of penalties. She said any employee working 30 - 35 hours a week on average must be offered health insurance. (Councilor Anderson said it’s been the option to go down to 30 hours.)

Council President said Director Brooks told him the biggest reason for turnover in her department is the stress. Often after all the time invested in training, when new employees are put into a live situation, it is too much for them. They tell her they take it home with them and can’t let go of it. Councilor Annis thinks this could be an opportunity for Ivy Tech to have classes that prepare students for this type of job so the training period wouldn’t be as long on site. Councilor Davis said that would be especially helpful as Director Brooks mentioned in a prior meeting the trainees are part-time, so what used to take two months of training now takes five to six months. All of the employees in the E911 department make $29,000 each, which is comparable with similar sized counties.

Councilor Crabb said there is no compensation time. There are salaried or hourly employees. If they are hourly, they can be paid overtime. If they are salary, there is no overtime. The Council can’t let people bank comp time. Councilor Anderson said we need to look at the labor laws. Councilor Crabb suggested talking with the Commissioners and County Attorney Loy to come up with an ordinance. Auditor Rogers said she would like to update the handbook, and then an ordinance would not be required. The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) put a limit of 240 hours of comp time for a year, but she would rather it be a 35- or 40-hour limit. Only one person had accumulated over 40 hours, and Ms. Rogers brought it to the Commissioners’ attention. That employee was paid out for the thousand hours and informed, along with her Department Head, not to allow this kind of comp time in the future. She thinks it should be a use it or lose it policy. Council Secretary Nydegger said she believes the Council has voted in the past to not carry over more than 100 hours of comp time. Any more than that was to be paid out at the end of the year. She said it was supposed to be monitored by the Department Head to keep those hours down, however. Secretary Nydegger also said it may have been a new Department Head who was unaware of the policy, especially if it is not in the handbook.

Councilor Annis said the E911 Director’s salary is the same as the other directors and Department Heads: $39,758 plus longevity. Councilor Kramer thinks she may be considered the same as the Sheriff’s Department where they also get paid overtime. Councilor Davis said the terminology used for her position of “public safety” could be the determining factor for overtime. Auditor Rogers said the Sheriff does not get overtime as the Department Head. Councilor Clear pointed out that the Sheriff is elected. She said they could be opening a can of worms because there are times the IT person is called to help with public safety computer systems in the middle of the night. Council President Carter said there are multiple jobs that are unique and most are paid considerably more. Her department is a 24/7 job as well. Councilor Clear said he is not in favor of raising her salary, because he would like to see more part-time help in that department. Councilor Anderson would like to see more full-time help. Councilor Davis believes the nature of her job justifies the overtime pay which is already covered in her budget. Council President Carter said it’s been working, she does a good job, she loves her job and working with the employees there, and it would be very difficult to replace her. Councilor Kramer mentioned that she has worked her way up to serving on the State Board, where she helps set State policies.

After some discussion on salary vs. hourly understanding and how it pertains to White County, Councilor Crabb summed it up best: the term salary is used at budget time because the Council views everyone’s wages, and the amount they see is the lump sum for the year. That makes it appear to be a salary, but in actuality Department Heads/Elected Officials are salary without comp time/overtime, and everyone else is hourly with comp time/overtime. Auditor Rogers said her concern is whether it is legal to pay a salaried employee overtime. Councilor Crabb asked Ms. Rogers to check with the State Board of Accounts about this issue. Councilor Anderson suggested that Director Brooks ask the State Board she is on about this issue as well. Councilor Clear assumed that none of the Department Heads were getting overtime, although there may be exceptions due to public safety.

Councilor Annis asked to have a notation on the matrix next to the salaried employees who are treated hourly. Auditor Rogers said anyone on the matrix that has a level rating is hourly and the ones who don’t have a level rating are salaried. She said she could add a column that displays the actual hourly rate.

 

ADULT PROBATION

Auditor Rogers said Adult Probation used to be self-funded but has not been for a few years. Chief Probation Officer Gina Goodman couldn’t pinpoint why. Officer Goodman is of the understanding that the County is supposed to fund it. It is negative $25,000. Auditor Rogers said the budget is fine. It’s the fund itself that is negative. A negative fund could result in the Auditor being charged with a misdemeanor offense. Councilor Clear said she should talk with the Judges to find out what is happening. Ms. Rogers said they could transfer money from the General Fund or Rainy Day Fund to Adult Probation.

 

MASS EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION

Councilor Kramer made a motion to advertise funding for the mass emergency communication system that was discussed during the Joint meeting with the Commissioners in the amount of $7,500 to come from the General Fund. Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Annis made a motion to adjourn. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS E CARTER, PRESIDENT JAMES ANNIS ART A ANDERSON

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

JAMES B DAVIS KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

___________________________ Attest: ___________________________

BRUCE D CLEAR GAYLE E ROGERS, AUDITOR