Pratt County Commissioners discussed vacation and sick leave accumulation with Pratt County Road and Bridge Supervisor Randy Phillippi and Emergency Medical Director Mark McManaman at length, during this week's regular session. Accumulated vacation and sick leave makes the county responsible for a considerable amount of pay, which has not been budgeted for at the present time.
Phillippi and McManaman had previously met with all of the other county department heads to discuss the issues involved prior to meeting with the commissioners. The general consensus of the department heads, according to McManaman, was the county policies should be reinstated as they were prior to being rewritten several years ago.
According to McManaman, Phillippi and Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse, the old policies did not create so many problems and allowed supervisors to get their employees' vacations off the books faster.
In McManaman's department, employees work different hours from other county employees, often with 12, 16 and 24-hour shifts. If the county only allowed a 40-hour carryover, as present policies allow, those employees would only be able to take a two- to three-day vacation at any one time, according to McManaman.
Additionally, McManaman has been working his staff extra hours because they are shorthanded and have little to no time to take off for a vacation. Previously McManaman and his assistant both requested they be allowed to accumulate their vacation and sick leave hours since they were having to work so many hours, while the department was shorthanded.
Commissioners agreed to revisit the problem during the budgetary process. Pratt County Counselor Robert Schmisseur said if the commissioners were going to change anything relating to the present policies, it should take effect in January of 2014.
In other matters, commissioners:
• were informed by Jason Winkle that he has not been using Community Service personnel at the landfill to pick up trash, because they did not work unless they had full time supervision, which he could not presently afford to do with his staff. Winkle stated he has been cleaning out the drainage ditches at the landfill while he has use of the rented backhoe.
• signed a Homeland Security Agreement relating to 911 calls.
• accepted the low bid from Quality Tech in the amount of $1,383 for a computer for the Pratt County Health Department. Midwest Computer bid $1,413.
• paid bills for RSVP
• were informed by Robert Torres he has given a copy of the draft, Pratt County Sanitary Code, to County Clerk Sherry Kruse. Torres said weeds were being sprayed throughout the county this week so long as the wind dies down.
• met with Kenny Gates and Deb Scheibler concerning approving the Work Force Investment Act program operating in Pratt County. The county had no choice but to approve the federal program.