COUNTY NEWS: Council reining in comp time use

A county employee is getting paid for the 415.75 hours of “comp time” he has accrued over the past two years or so. But the county council is putting procedures into place to try to reduce the number of hours employees build up in the future.

“Comp time” is paid time off given to an hourly employee instead of overtime pay.

Tom Reoch, who manages the county’s Geographic Information System map, will receive $7,939.17 from the county for the comp time he built up.

Reoch is an employee of the surveyor’s office. He maintains the GIS map of the county, showing elevation, property lines, floodplain, the locations of cemeteries and other pieces of information. He also combines it with other data, such as from the U.S. Census, to show “data stories” such as demographic makeup, likely locations of future mudslides and flooding and other topics — which is not in his job description and has resulted in the overage hours.

Commissioner Diana Biddle said the overtime is due to Reoch producing data and analysis for different local groups, such as the redevelopment commission and broadband task force.

The commissioners have also received a request from the U.S. Census Bureau for data analysis relating to the 2020 Census, which would take 47 hours to compile, Biddle said.

The council approved a compensatory time buyout process, which involves filling out a form, designating how it’s going to be paid for and explaining why the extra time was needed.

Council member Keith Baker encouraged department heads to come before the council when employees get into overtime situations like Reoch’s. Department heads also need to prioritize projects, he said.

“Right now nobody is in charge. Nobody knows what his overtime is,” Baker said.

Biddle said the commissioners might hire someone else to do basic plat mapping next year, which would free up Reoch to do larger projects and allow another person to learn the basics of his job.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.