County’s raise procedure to change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2014

At its June meeting, the Covington County Commission will decide how to streamline efforts to give employees raises.

On Tuesday, county commissioners met in a workshop to discuss the issue.

Currently, a department head makes the request for a raise, then it must go to Administrator Brenda Petty, who checks to see if the budget will allow the change, and then it must be approved by the commission’s vice chairman and chairman.

Chairman Bill Godwin said he thought the group should make an amendment for times in which the vice chairman and chairman do not agree.

The two most popular solutions were to allow for approval from Petty, and either the vice chairman or the chairman, or in the event the vice chairman and chairman did not agree, to let the entire commission decide.

Godwin said when a proposed raise comes to his desk, he asks for the employee’s personnel record, and checks commendations, adverse actions, safety records and how long he or she has worked for the county.

Petty said she felt that the department heads know their employees’ work, and said the plan gives too much control to the chairman.

“There have been times where the chairman held up the process,” she said.

Godwin said the commission is ultimately responsible for the budget, and said that sometimes commissioners know things about employees that department heads don’t know.

Commissioner Carl Turman, who serves as vice chairman, said he is not a personnel director.

“When a department head said he or she needs this, and Mrs. Petty said the budget could handle it, I’m ready to sign,” he said.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said he had turned in raise requests 20 days ago for employees who have served his department for 10, 15 and 20 years, but had not heard anything about them.

Petty said she had questions on whether the budget would allow for the raises. Godwin first said he had not seen the request, but later recanted, saying he had visited the department looking for justification for the raises.

“The money should be there shortly,” Meeks said, adding the department will have additional funds when a long-time employee retires.

Meeks was told there was no policy for raises for longevity with the county.

“I can reword it,” Meeks said. “I think longevity is a merit.”

The county will meet June 11, at 8:30 a.m.