County Council Meeting Notes, Nov 28, 2022.
County Council Agenda November 28, 2022
Final Budget for 2023. Council will need another meeting to approve final changes.
ARPA – Employee Bonuses. The Commissioners (Biddle) provided 700K of ARPA funds to increase the pay of “essential employees” – those that worked with the public during Covid. No analysis on the effects of such a policy were discussed but problems became apparent during the development of the 2023 budget.
The Biddle plan was to increase the hourly pay by $2.00 an hour over a three-year period providing employees with about 12K. During the budget hearings, those receiving the extra pay were not going to get the 3% cost of living increase which had adverse impacts on the salary ordinance (pay system). Also, the cost of employment taxes and benefits not covered by ARPA would have increased costs to the taxpayers. The council developed a plan to provide bonuses in 2022. The changes by the Feds on ARPA funds allows for the change. In summary: 7K for essential employees, 2K for everyone else, different process for the 5 employees at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) due to different pay-related processes Commissioners to review/approve the changes at their Dec 7 ,2022 meeting.
Over Budget. The prosecutor asked for an additionlal 8K to cover court related costs (expert witness – forensic pathologist) and the election board asked for an additional 8,610.03/ This included $7,100 to cover legal expenses associated with a request to retain voting records. The judge dismissed the case on a technical issue. (BC DEMOCRAT).
Budget Processes. Once the county budget is approved by the state, changes such as requests for additional money and transfers between accounts have to be advertised in the paper in support of “transparency.” The council is required to review and approve the change (s). This “can be” a simple process that requires the identification of the need, specific accounts and changes.