Auditor Robert Wichlinski will have to try at least one more time before the
County Council gives approval to his new staff plan.
eliminated five positions in his office in February, which was applauded by
some County officials and criticized by others.
The Council voted
5-2 previously in April against Wichlinski when he asked for changing of job
titles with equalized pay for deputy auditors, which would mean salary
increases for a few of his employees.
Wichlinski retried the request, this time maintaining the original pay
structure and returning $102,653 to the general fund from the unspent
salaries of the lowest positions. The 14 remaining personnel are to be
shuffled around into the positions that have not been done away with.
accepted part of the request 6-0, reducing Wichlinski’s budget, but they put
the brakes on approving the Job Descriptions forms because of potential
Dan Whitten, D-at large, said from his knowledge the pink-slipped employees
were told by Wichlinski that they were losing the jobs because the positions
were being eliminated and not based on performance. But in the request for
the Form 144 changes, the positions are still there and would be filled by
“You want to be
careful,” Whitten said. “I’d be giving my apparent stamp of approval by
voting for it and I see some issues.”
But Wichlinski said
that the people in those roles now have different responsibilities and
therefore the jobs are not the same. Staff have been cross-trained to
provide services more efficiently, he said.
Council member Jim
Biggs, R-1st, who had been in the minority of Council members who supported
Wichlinski’s previous restructuring requests, said he would be uncomfortable
approving the one before him now since he believes is does not reflect what
Wichlinski has done with his office. He asked that the job descriptions be
revised to reflect those changes.
Council member Bob
Poparad, D-at large, asked Wichlinski to provide him with a chart with a
list of employee’s names, corresponding job titles and pay, including those
who were let go, and compare it with another list of who is doing what now.
Wichlinski said the
terminations were not firings and that he has wanted to make these
alterations from “day 1” of his term as auditor. “We fully restructured.
This is not a shell game,” he said.
He agreed to
provide Poparad and the rest of the Council with the information they
requested in time for their next meeting.
With that, Council
Vice-President Karen Conover, R-3rd, went ahead and made the motion for the
budget reduction so the $102,653 would be moved back into the general fund.
The six Council members present gave their approval. Absent from the vote
was Council member Jim Polarek, R-4th.
In other business,
the Council voted 6-0 to allocate $750,000 of the County’s Major Moves
allocation from the state’s long term lease of the Toll Road for the County
Highway Department. This will be the single largest allocation of Major
Moves money the County has done, Hoagland said.
From that amount,
Hoagland $500,000 would be used to purchase asphalt for road projects this
year which was supposed to be allocated during last year’s Council budget
The other $250,000
will be used to build a concrete structure at the department’s Hebron
station. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has mandated
counties cover their road salt, Hoagland said.
gave Hoagland their fond farewells at the news of his retirement effective
“It’s time to let
someone else have some fun,” Hoagland said.
The Council decided
6-0 on an additional of $2,500 to salaries for the Expo Center to reflect
corrections for not having been properly advertised in the last budget
session. The money comes from revenues the center generates and not general
fund property taxes.