The Porter County
Park Board discussed offering overtime pay and comp time to two employees at
its meeting last night.
Superintendent Walter Lenckos asked that the Board approve him going before
the County Council later this month to get approval to transfer $8,888 from
salaries to overtime to pay two employees who worked significant overtime to
make up the work of a program coordinator who left in May--while the
planning for Camp Funset and other summer activities was in full swing.
the employees accumulated a combined 445 hours of comp time. Lenckos has
formed a plan to provide the comp time without leaving himself too
short-staffed, but brought up overtime pay because the money is there, in
the form of the funds that were meant for the employee who left.
Craig Kenworthy asked Lenckos if he had run the idea of paying overtime past
any elected officials, County Council members in particular. Lenckos said he
hadn’t contacted the Council, but he did consult County Auditor Vicki
Urbanik and the County’s Human Resources director.
“Are you aware of any other departments paying overtime instead of comp
time? Is this a precedent? Is this something nobody else does?”
that the Park Department is one of the County departments that does pay out
overtime, but they are at the bottom of the list for how much. The Highway
Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Jail are three other county
entities that pay overtime. “I don’t think we’re breaking any ground here,”
Vice-president Rich Hudson asked, “This is a unique situation brought on by
someone leaving?” Lenckos confirmed and said that the question of paying out
comp time or overtime is new this year due to the County’s new timekeeping
and attendance policy for employees. “We had the flexibility previously to
say ‘this is how we’re gonna make up the time later on.’”
Lenckos said the
two employees worked some 70 to 80-hour weeks. Board member David Canright
reminded the Board that the employees weren’t being paid for 70 hours of
work. “They were getting their regular paychecks,” and they worked the extra
time knowing that Board approval would decide how they were compensated for
Armstrong didn’t object to paying overtime. “It’s money being used to pay
for work that was in the budget before.”
Canright noted that
a yay or nay from the Council this month could be beneficial. “If we do it
now and find out we have to give comp time, it might be better to give it
out now while we’re not working on Winter Lights,” Canright said.
“I’d be much more
comfortable with this if you had talked to somebody from the Council,”
request failed in a three to one vote when Kenworthy objected.
decided the matter last night because only four of six board members were
present. State law dictates that four votes are required to pass any
measure, regardless of how many members are in attendance.
representative Annetta Jones was absent, and Chris Richardson, the County
Commissioners’ appointee, was absent--as he has been since February.
Lenckos, Richardson has communicated to the Board that he is no longer
available to fill his designated seat and said he sent a formal resignation
to the Commissioners.
absence reduces the Park Board to a five-member body until his replacement
is appointed. Lenckos said, to his knowledge, the Commissioners have taken
no action to replace Richardson.