Resolution #2013-44, Official's Salaries for the next four years was once again one of the main agenda items for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 17th.
Dawson County Attorney Liz Waterman addressed the board to answer any questions that they might have concerning the "novel" she sent them recently with recommendations for the position's salary to keep it competitive in the event she doesn't get elected in the future or retires.
At the present time, county officials base salaries are $52,610, with the county sheriff to receive 1.25% of base pay and the county attorney 1.50% additional of base pay.
Waterman noted that the Dawson County workload isn't similar to comparable counties and that they align more with larger counties such as Adams, Madison, Lincoln and Buffalo counties where they have a $64,000 base salary which would make the county attorney position $96,000 to be in line with NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) recommendations.
Commissioner Chairman PJ Jacobson concurred that it would be great if Dawson County could offer such a salary, but that they also have to look at the county's valuation base which is not as high as the four counties mentioned by Waterman.
After much positive dialogue, it was decided that the entire board would hold a workshop on Thursday evening (tonight), December 19th to study what other counties have done and to make recommendations for what should be done in Dawson County. Deadline for salary setting for the next four years is January 15th.
In other board business:
Daren Chrisinger, Darrick Arndt and Dreu Young representing Cozad Telephone Company asked the board for feedback on the recent installation of the new telephone system and also explained the availability of additional software to track which phone lines are busy and headsets.
The board will find out which departments are wanting the tracking system and headsets and report back at the next meeting.
The Building and Grounds Committee reported that the CED building will be closing on December 31st and then belong to the county.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the November crime report with calls being down slightly. 360 calls for service were made during the month and 460 other services requested for a total of 820.
154 new inmates were booked into the Dawson County Jail and LEC Dispatch Calls for Service totaled 1,329 for the month.
Roads Superintendent Jon Mooberry's annual Re-Certification as County Highway Superintendent was passed unanimously by the board.
Deb Jensen, representing Dawson Area Development requested one last contract extension date for the Dawson County Historical Museum until January 31st, 2014. This request was granted and she reported that they had received grant money from the Nebraska Crime Center to renovate probation office space.
It was reported that $95,680 is needed to pay off the grant with the USDA.
Dan Schwartzkopf, representing the Krull Agency discussed the Affordable Health Care Act and its implications for county employees.
Mark Gengenbach, CSTG addressed the board to see if they had any questions regarding what is provided by their network contract.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber and County Treasurer Sharon Wood reported that their departments had experienced difficulties with the network and had been dissatisfied with the service on more than one occasion.
Reiber particularly was concerned about his department not being 8 - 5 but rather 168 hours/week and noted that the VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday) needs to be working at all times. Reiber and Wood were advised by Chairman Jacobson to speak with Gengenbach in private in a attempt to resolve issues and then report back to the board.
Jay Edwards, Edwards Business Solutions addressed the commissioners on his research for the Dawson County PTO program, which was instituted in July of 2012.
He has conversed with a number of elected and appointed officials regarding the PTO program, administrative issues and how it is being applied to various departments and different situations.
Based on these conversations, Edwards felt that it would serve all county employees best if these issues are clarified, with several elected appointed officials having requested a PTO training session.
Issues included: (1) How is PTO accrued and what date is used to determine when a new cycle is started (2) How is PTO tracked? (3) When can PTO be rolled to 'Catastrophic'? (4) Can PTO be used prior to being accrued? (5) Can 'Catastrophic Time' be used for partial day absences? (6) Clarification on how PTO is or is not intended to be used for things like funeral leave. (7) Policy Roll-Out.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the board is on Tuesday, December 31st.