The Clerk was seeking the council’s support in replacing an employee who let her office on April 1st. The deputy clerk is the person who greets the public when they walk into the office and directs them to the correct person or other county office. Other duties include answering the phone, processing court orders, open the certified mail, handle body attachments, are responsible for the certification of the operator and breath testing equipment, schedules passport and marriage appointments and several other items.
An issue arose during the Commissioner’s meeting last week when Fox sought their support in replacing this deputy. The problem was that she had two openings in her department and had already filled one position without their approval. The commissioners did not send a recommendation to the Council on her request.
Monday she told Council members, “It was a misunderstanding. I thought the recommendation ended in 2010 and it had kicked back to the handbook.” She also noted the various ways her office works collecting money for the county presenting several examples.
The Council approved the Clerk’s request with a 5 to 2 vote, Rex Gilliland and John Benedict voted against the request.
Fox will now have to appear before the commissioner and get their favorable recommendation before she can hire another employee.
County Auditor Penny Lukenbill said one way to alleviate some confusion recommending a joint resolution with the Council and Commissioners confirming the requirement to fill any vacancy or hire any new employee.
Councilman Ward Byers said, “The decisions should be based on economics. The position is funded for this year.”
The second issue where Julie Fox was being questioned had to do with an additional appropriation for wages overtime. The clerk is already in the red $1,122.56. She originally requested a $12,000 additional to cover the overtime for the rest of the year but reduced her request to $7,000.
Council members pointed out that if an employee stays past 7 minutes after the hour the timekeeping system bumps it up to 15 minutes. I was suggested she manage her staff better and encourage employees to clock-out on time.
Council members seemed to think a good portion of the overtime could be averted if Fox would adjust her staffing scheduling by having a couple employees come in later in the morning, maybe 8:15 to 8:30 and leaving at 4:15 or 4:30 allowing them to finish up work after the 4 p.m. closing.
The Council did approve an additional appropriation for $4,000 for the County Clerk.