Salary ordinances OK’d for county, town employees

The Brown County Council voted 5 to 1 to approve a salary ordinance for 2018, including new rules for part-time employees.

Council member Darren Byrd was the one member to vote against it. In an email exchange Dec. 27, he said it was because it included a 3-percent raise for all jobs with a pay grade, public defenders, the chief deputy and deputy coroners, and county commissioners and county council members.

He said he wasn’t opposed to them getting a raise; he was opposed to the amount.

In 2015, there was no salary increase, he said. In 2016, the council approved a 2-percent increase, then a 3-percent increase in 2017.

“I voted against the 3-percent increase because we were waiting on the salary study results, which has since confirmed that we are at a high level of local government compensation as compared to like counties,” Byrd said. “That was even before the 2018 increase.”

Byrd said he wasn’t taking a stance against the county’s employees because “they do a fantastic job and deserve compensation for it.”

“I’m simply trying to be mindful of the taxpayer, whose income is mostly not keeping up with the overall increase of the cost of government that they are funding,” Byrd said. “Once the cost of government goes up, it is very difficult to bring it back down until a financial disaster forces it. I don’t want to see us in that position.”

Under the ordinance language, part-time employees who have not been classified into a pay grade will receive $9 an hour.

The exceptions are for general maintenance employees who will receive $10 an hour at parks and recreation. A supervisory maintenance worker at that department will receive $13 an hour. A program assistant at parks and recreation will earn $11.55 an hour. A part-time jail transporter/dispatcher will receive $14.62 under the new language.

In November, council Vice President Keith Baker said the reason for the pay increase for part-time maintenance employees at parks and recreation is to keep people coming back season after season.

The salary ordinance also defines “emergency situations” for call-out pay. Those involve the county highway superintendent, assistant highway superintendent and other highway department staff, the director of emergency management, and the county maintenance department.

The highway superintendent, assistant highway superintendent and director of emergency management will receive $100 for the first two hours of an emergency call-out. Then they will earn $200 for over two and up to five hours. For working over five hours, they would earn $300.

Call-out pay for any day cannot exceed $300, according to the ordinance.

Immediate emergency situations for the highway department include any roadway obstruction that restricts vehicle traffic that requires county personnel to remove, road conditions that create a public safety hazard, and when matters arise in law enforcement or emergency management that require highway department assistance.

For emergency management, immediate emergency situations are a public emergency or disaster as defined by the county EMA ordinance, and when law enforcement requests EMA assistance.

Highway department and county maintenance employees will receive a $25 bonus when called to respond outside normal work hours, along with one-and-a-half times the normal pay rate for each hour worked. At minimum, they’ll be paid for two hours.

Auditor Beth Mulry also reported that the salary ordinance defines the expected work hours for public defenders. They are expected to put in 30 hours a week. The public defenders who are county employees will be required to keep a time sheet.

Previously, the auditor’s office was not receiving time sheets for the public defenders who were on the county’s payroll, which was not compliant with the personnel policy or state law, Mulry said.

Town council approves raises for 2018

Most Town of Nashville employees will be getting a 2 percent raise in 2018.

The town council passed the salary ordinance 4-0 on Dec. 21 with Arthur Omberg absent.

The only employees who will not get raises are the chief and assistant chief of police, and town council members. The police leaders received a bump in pay last year and their budget would not allow another one; council members chose not to receive a pay increase.

One contractor will get a 3 percent raise: the attendant who takes care of town-owned restrooms. Parking and Public Facilities Commission President Lamond Martin said that increase would be $1,327. With that amount being 3 percent, her salary works out to $44,233.

Martin said the contractor needed to find extra help to take care of the Village Green restrooms, and paying for that help likely would come out of her pocket. This increase is “fair” to help cover it, he said.