Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners act on auditor moves to improve efficiency on employee records

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The Porter County Board of Commissioners approved changes to the procedure for reporting status changes for County employees at its meeting Tuesday.

County Auditor Vicki Urbanik noted that under current policy for reporting an employee status change, department heads are required to report status changes “promptly,” which has proven too vague, as her office is often notified of changes too close to the end of a pay cycle. Her suggested changes to the policy were requiring department heads to report changes, such as terminations, resignations, demotions, promotions, and salary changes, to her office within one business day. She also recommended that new employees start work at the beginning of a pay cycle, and returning employees fill out new paperwork.

Urbanik also presented a new status change form. She reported that she studied the way other counties handle status change forms to make Porter County’s version more straightforward and concise. Urbanik noted that the changes would help her office stay organized and would ensure that all County employees get paid on time. “I’d like our payroll weeks to function like a well-oiled machine, and on the non-payroll weeks, we deal with any changes,” she said.

County Attorney Scott McClure voiced approval, noting that Urbanik and others in her office are often left double-checking information at the last minute to make sure everyone gets paid. “Department heads don’t understand how important it is to get the new information to the auditor as soon as possible,” he said. “We can’t have people working without I-9s. We can’t have people working without the proper documentation.”

The Board approved Urbanik’s policy changes and the new form.

Other Approvals

In other business, the Board approved two requests by Facilities Director Matt Stechly to accept quotes for building repairs. They were: roof repairs to the Highway Department office building in Valparaiso, $22,151 from Ross Roofing; and renovations to the Porter County Auditor’s office, $78,250 from Gough Inc.

Expo Center Director Lori Daly presented quotes for fence repair to the Board. After a semi-truck driver damaged part of the Expo Center’s fence along Ind. 49, Daly solicited three quotes for repair. Fence Master’s didn’t turn in a quote, Northern Indiana Fence Company quoted the job at $1,350. The Board voted to go with Wunder Company, out of Lake Station, for the low quote of $975.25. Daly said she is in the process of requesting damages from the trucking company.

Chris Buyer and Dawn Pelc of the Substance Abuse Council also brought the Council’s comprehensive community plan to the Board for approval. Buyer reports that every substance abuse coalition is required to form a comprehensive plan to address risks and form plans to meet the needs of its particular community. The Board approved the plan.

The Board approved a request as well by Clerk Karen Martin to renew a contract with the Caring Place for advocate services. Caring Place Advocates help citizens file protective orders and are paid $40 for each protective order they work on.


Posted 4/20/2018




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