Quorum court votes down new position

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Poinsett County Quorum Court voted 6-5 against making a new position in the road department that would promote an employee, giving him a pay raise, during the court's monthly meeting this past Monday night in Harrisburg.

This proposed new position was discussed by the finance committee at their meeting on May 17. Justice Elizabeth Schwarz, chairperson of the finance committee, said she could not see giving a raise in the middle of the year when they have usually been done at budget time. Justice Gary Anderson said he felt it was no different than an officer being moved up to CID and getting the pay grade for the new position. The finance committee could not make a final decision and said the full court would have to vote on the matter.

At the meeting Monday, the same comments and concerns were talked about for the new bridge maintenance position with some making a case that it was not a pay raise, just a pay increase for a new job title with more responsibilities. The biggest issue was that if this position was made, what happens the next time a department wants to create a new position that pays more and wants to move an existing employee to that position?

"I think we are opening a can of worms that we don't want to open," Schwarz said. The justices discussed the matter for several minutes before the subject was put to a vote. The vote was close, but the new proposed new position was defeated by a 6-5 vote.

In other new news, the court voted to enter into a contract with Hannah Barnett with Crowley's Ridge Development Council to provide grant research and grant writing for the Quorum Court. Barnett had spoken previously with the court about the services she offers. The contract is for a year and can be canceled by either side with a 30 day notice.

The court approved the appointments of Dr. Jeannie Glover of Tyronza and Rhonda Walker of Marked Tree to the Poinsett County Library Board for five year terms.

The court also approved the bid and purchase of the new chiller for the detention center as a cost of $120,238.81. Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder told the court that the chiller is working very well and that the plumbing issue in the new women's detention area has been fixed.

Poinsett County Judge Bob Cantrell asked the court to approve giving the county employees July 3 off, which is the Monday before the 4th, so they may enjoy a long weekend with their families. The court approved this request.

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