Commissioners mull overdue comp time

To pay or not to pay’that was the question Monday morning when the McCulloch County Commissioners met in regular session to discuss a county employee’s overdue comp time. According to McCulloch County Attorney Ginger Treadwell, her secretary, Camille Marsden, acquired 290 hours of comp time while still employed under previous county attorney Steve Wadsworth. Mrs. Marsden had gained a sizable amount of comp time over the one-year-and-one-half time period that she was secretary for Wadsworth. Pages of documented hours were authorized and signed by Wads-worth’pages that listed hours worked after 5 p.m. in the courthouse and hours worked out of Marsden’s home. According to the county attorney, Mrs. Marsden was ordered to keep track of all hours worked after 5 p.m. Based on Mrs. Marsden’s hourly wage and the amount of hours and pay owed to her, the county could be looking at owing $3,514.80 plus retirement and Social Security benefits (roughly $5,000) for overdue comp time. Mrs. Treadwell informed the Commissioners that federal law states that a county employee cannot have more than 240 hours of comp time on record. ‘I’m trying to make sure that we’re doing the right thing by federal law and by the county policy,’ said Mrs. Treadwell. ‘The problem is the record is there, and she’s entitled to that money.’ Mrs. Treadwell went on to add that comp time is not handled in the same manner as it once was under the direction of the previous county attorney, and that since she’s taken over the office, the continued accumulation of comp hours has ceased. The Commissioners mulled over their options and suggested that Mrs. Treadwell investigate the county’s options and liabilities before they proceed with the issue. It was unanimously agreed upon that from this point on, any and all comp time (aside from comp time earned through the Sheriff’s Department) must be approved by the County Commissioners. The item will be officially addressed and up for approval in the next Commissioners meeting, Monday, Aug. 27. In other business, the Commissioners approved the submission for a county redistricting plan which will result in the redistricting of one census block in Precinct 1. The Commissioners proposed moving that one block (consisting of eight individuals) from Precinct 3 to Precinct 1. ‘Precinct 3 has too many people in it and Precinct 1 has too few,’ said McCulloch County Judge Randy Young. ‘This will help with distribution.’ The Commissioners also approved Mrs. Treadwell to submit an application to the G. Rollie White Trust for continued funds for the Batterer’s Intervention Program. A program headed by the county attorney’s office, the Batterer’s Intervention Program has been a joint effort evenly funded by the county and G. Rollie White Trust. In years past, the G. Rollie White Trust has matched the amount budgeted by the county. ‘We’ve proven that it’s not as expensive to operate as it was in the past,’ said Mrs. Treadwell. ‘Last year we did the program for $2,500 and that’s what I’ve asked the Commissioners to budget this year.’ Approved by the Commissioners, Mrs. Treadwell will forward a letter to the G. Rollie White Trust asking that they assist in funding the program up to $2,500. In a similar item discussed in a previous Brady City Council meeting, the Commissioners discussed their options for adopting an On-Site Sewage Facility plan. For several years, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) has conducted inspections for on-site sewage systems (septic systems) but has since decided to discontinue the service. Previously, TNRCC charged individuals $275 to inspect their septic systems. Since TNRCC has decided to abort the service, the county will be responsible for hiring someone to complete the inspections, or in turn pay TNRCC $375 to continue services. McCulloch County Judge Randy Young suggested that the Commissioners consider joining forces with Coleman, Ballinger and Concho Counties to hire one individual from Brownwood to complete all future inspections. ‘We expect that it will cost the county $2,500 per year for the program, but this way, this individual will be responsible for dealing with TNRCC and inspection requests,’ said Judge Young. Approved by the Commissioners, the On-Site Sewage Facility plan will be added as a line item in the upcoming county budget. Also, the Commissioners approved McCulloch County Constable William (Bill) Shepherd as a licensed peace officer. Shepherd is eligible to be licensed under Sections 415.058 and 415.059 of the Government Code. Insurance representative Debbie Duncan presented renewals and a proposed insurance plan to the Commissioners on Monday. The current insurance plan is still in effect and not up for renewal at this time; however, it is a formality to review the county’s insurance options before the policy expires. The Commissioners agreed to renew the interlocal agreement with Kerr County for performing certain court hearings. According to Judge Young, Kerr County offers these types of hearings to McCulloch County at approximately $234 each. ‘It’s cheaper for us to continue using the agreement,’ said Judge Young. ‘It would cost us more to go out and get these individuals, hold a court hearing and then send them back.’ In another item, the Commissioners approved consolidating county election precincts for the November constitutional amendment election. For the upcoming election, Melvin voters will be moved to the Church of Christ in Brady (voting box 103 moves to 101); Voca voters will be moved to F.M. Richards Memorial Library (voting box 202 moves to 201); Lohn voters will be moved to the Boy Scout Lodge (voting box 302 moves to 301) and Rochelle and Mercury voters will both vote in Rochelle (voting box 403 moves to 402). ‘This might draw some complaints but it will save the county a considerable amount of money,’ said Tina Smith, county clerk. ‘However, we don’t suggest moving the voting places for major elections.’ The item on the agenda for consideration and/or adoption of the County Employee Longevity Plan was tabled until the next Commissioners meeting.

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