2006-01-18 / Front Page

Awwad requests county personnel policy exception

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

A request for an exception to the county’s personnel policy, adopted last April, was received from the highway department at the Monday morning Carroll County Commissioners’ meeting.

Highway supervisor Ramzi Awwad requested an exception to the nepotism policy to allow him to hire a current employee’s brother.

“As long as there is not a supervisor and employee relationship, it doesn’t cause any problem,” Awwad said. “I believe it would be the same as two unrelated individuals under the same supervisor,” he continued.

Awwad said he did not have permission from the county council to replace a departing employee. He expects to receive that at the Jan. 23 meeting. The position must be advertised for two weeks before Awwad can make a job offer to anyone.

Awwad acknowledged the possibility he would receive credentials from a new candidate that might be better suited for the position. He said he would interview anyone with appropriate qualifications.

“We’re a pretty small county,” commissioner George Mears said. “We’re all cousins or related. I think you need to assemble who will do the best job for the county.”

However commissioner Loren Hylton disagreed. “I believe the policy was made for a reason,” he stated. “If we make the exception now, there will be another request and another request. I’m going to stick by the book.”

“Why should we not hire someone just because his brother is an excellent employee?” commissioners’ president Bill Brown asked.

County council member Ann Brown offered, “You made the rule, I think you should stick to it.”

The matter was tabled until the Feb. 6 meeting. Mears asked the public to provide input about the matter.

“I’d rather hear from the constituents before making a decision rather than after making it,” he commented. Other news

In a related matter, E911 coordinator Jay Dee Cree asked commissioners for a personnel policy clarification concerning county employees, who do not work in the courthouse, being paid for days the courthouse is closed due to weather or in observance of a national event, such as the funeral for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

He explained some employees believe that if they work when other employees are excused but paid, they expect an extra day’s pay for their effort.

“My opinion is that’s part of the job,” commissioner Brown said. “There are certain services that work all the time.”

Brown suggested a joint meeting with the council to address the matter.

Awwad requested the appointment of three people to a common construction wage committee. He said the committee is required by the state to meet two weeks prior to the letting of bids that are expected to exceed $150,000 in construction costs. Bridge #75 is expected to fall into this category and bids are scheduled to be let this spring for the work.

Hylton volunteered to serve on the committee and highway superintendent Ron Francis was appointed. The commissioners put out a call for a community member from industry to volunteer for the third position.

Awwad announced a revised plan for the Carrollton Bridge #132 which calls for it to be open during 2006 spring planting season but closed for fall harvest. The commissioners endorsed a Memorandum of Agreement with Federal Highway Administration and the Indiana State Historical Preservation Officer to accept stipulations agreed to at a previous meeting.

Awwad reported footing was poured last week at the Adams Mill Bridge and most of the plates are finished. Brown said some plates have been installed.

Work on the Lancaster Covered Bridge is being done as weather permits, Awwad said. Shipments of materials are being received and there is construction and repair work being accomplished on the lower chord.

The commissioners agreed to contribute $15,000 from the 2006 state recycling grant to Carroll County Recycling Center. The City of Delphi will receive $304 per month to supplement fuel costs.

Delphi Street Department Supervisor Aaron Lyons requested funds on behalf of CCRC.

Commissioners signed a state issued covered bridge certification form. The county receives a $1,500 stipend from the state for each of the two covered bridges when certified, Awwad said.

Two applications and admissions to Carroll Manor were approved.

Flora Cub Scouts will use the 4-H Community Building in Flora on March 11 for their Pinewood Derby Race and Blue and Gold Banquet.

Habitat for Humanity will erect a sign on the courthouse lawn from Jan. 18 to Jan. 28.

Beth Snoeberger was appointed to the CamdenJackson Township Library Board for four years.

Payroll claims for $170,444.14 were approved.

The next meeting will be Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. The next evening meeting will be Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.

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