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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY COMMISSION August 18, 2022 Chairman Arthaud called the special meeting of the Stark County Board of Commissioners to order at 9:02 AM. Commissioners Present: Dean Franchuk, Carla Arthaud, Bernie Marsh, and Neal Messer. Commissioner Ken Zander was absent. Department Heads Present: Auditor Karen Richard, Sheriff Corey Lee, Road Superintendent Al Heiser, Park Director Lisa Heiser, Tax Director Natalie Wandler, Veterans Service Officer Jessica Clifton, Human Resources Joetta Pearcy, Recorder Kim Kasian, Weed Control Travis Jepson, and County Agent Kurt Froelich. APPROVAL OF 2023 PRELIMINARY BUDGET Richard presented the preliminary budget and advised she used 5% for salaries and switched department heads to salary. Richard states at the 8-4-22 meeting the commission voted to move all department heads to exempt, except Davenport who would remain non-exempt. Messer states the conversation was to make all department heads exempt and how we get to that point, to use flex time more than over time. Arthaud asks if Davenport has an emergency and is over 40 hours and can’t flex that week, can she flex next week? Pearcy responds when you are exempt you are paid to do a job, not paid to keep hours. It would be best to flex in the same week, but we could look at the same period. The exempt employee is paid to do a job, you work until the job is done. Richard states Davenport did visit with her and presented some options of what she would be looking at if she went to exempt. Davenport states she deducted $2000 from overtime and put it on her salary for Emergency services and deducted $1000 in overtime and put it on her salary for E911 for a total of $3000. Richard clarifies that with a 5% raise and the $3000 she would be at $82,000. Arthaud feels that Davenport stepped up and took on the IT and that at least $3000 needs to be added for doing IT. Marsh agrees that she has put a lot of time into IT. Marsh suggests $350 per month. MOTION BY: Commissioner Marsh SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer To pay Davenport $3,500 per budget year as a line item under IT. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Marsh - aye, Messer - aye, Franchuk - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Franchuk To move that the E911 and Emergency Coordinator positions be an exempt position. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Messer - aye, Franchuk - aye, Marsh - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Richard asks if the commission wants to include in the general fund budget a transfer line to victim witness, funding that position until the grant comes in or if there is a deficit. She would like that budget included in the transfer out in case we do not get the grant. After discussion, it was stated that we need to pay for this line item regardless of if it is put in the budget or a year-end transfer. And we will budget the expense, but not budget the revenue part of it. Richard addressed the salary of Dschaak, as he will be going to exempt status and has used overtime in the past, do you want to increase his salary? Messer believes this position is underfunded and needs to be increased by more than 5%. MOTION BY: Commissioner Franchuk SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer To increase Mike Dschaak’s salary to $75,000.00 for 2023. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Franchuk - aye, Messer - aye, Marsh - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Richard states we have to estimate revenue for the budget, currently, she thinks the commission needs to sit down with her and do a 5-year plan of projects we think are coming, if we leave things to sit as they are she believes we will have another finding in our audit. Messer would like to talk about the other department heads before having this discussion. Richard asks if we going to combine the Tax Director salary line along with the GIS line. Messer states we should combine those two lines, as they fall under the same job description. MOTION BY: Commissioner Franchuk SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer To move the GIS mapping salary line into the salary line of the tax director. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Franchuk - aye, Marsh - aye, Messer - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Richard asks about Kasian’s Recorder salary, as she has also gone exempt and will not be using over time. Kasian addressed the overtime line for her department and stated decreasing it to $1000 will be sufficient. Richard asked about any adjustment to Kasian’s salary and asked Pearcy if she falls within the threshold of the salary survey and Pearcy stated she is. Arthaud addressed the State’s Attorney department salaries. She states a few years ago Engelstad took quite a raise as she was going to work in the department with herself and 2 other attorneys and she said if that would change adjustments could be made. One new attorney was hired in 2022 and that attorney is a big bump over the budgeted amount, along with the 2nd assistant attorney. She is questioning their raises for 2023 after the big bumps they just got. Messer states this is a very competitive environment and the 3rd assistant was tough to fill; the caseload has increased along with the survey Pearcy put together putting these numbers in line and right in the middle of the county survey. Franchuk states we need to retain these attorneys as they can get good salaries in the private market. The 3rd assistant attorney was brought in at approx. $105,000 and the 2nd was increased to that amount to equalize their salaries and the $110,000 number on the budget reflects the 2023 5% raise. Arthaud asks if the commission would still like them to be involved in the raise. Franchuk states he believes so and Messer says he supports it. Richard asks about the Capital Improvements for levy purposes. She believes we could transfer some of the oil and gas money but asks if there is anything else that needs to come out of capital improvements for 2023. Messer states the Courthouse improvement is the only item he is aware and Richard states she will add that and we are not levying any tax dollars for capital improvements. Richard addressed the Auditor budget and she increased the Deputy Auditor to $70,000 and removed the consulting and a part-time position line. MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Franchuk To move the Deputy Auditor to be compensated at $70,000 for the 2023 year. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Messer - aye, Franchuk - aye, Marsh - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Richard states a 5% increase on her salary would be $89,250 but she would like to be at $92,000 which is what the outgoing Auditor was at. She states that her salary is at the 25-30th percentile on the county salary survey that Pearcy put together. Messer would like to see this position at the 5% bump and that in comparison to others we need to consider years of experience. MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh To compensate for the Auditor position at $89,250 for the calendar year 2023. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Messer - aye, Marsh - aye, Franchuk - nay, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Arthaud thinks the weed board does a good job, but they need more oversight in the off-season, they could be helping the road department out more. It seems the weed board is not running to the full potential it could be. Arthaud would like to see Heiser or one of his supervisors provide more oversight. It was talked about in the past, but it never happened. Jepson addressed the commission and states this is a weed board matter and it needs to go before the weed board. The commission’s job is to do the budget and not make the policies of the weed board. Messer then asks if the weed board has recommended an 8% salary increase for all employees in the weed department and what is the justification for that. Jepson states it was to keep up with inflation. Messer feels that we should keep the compensation in line with the rest of the county at 5%. Arthaud agrees. Jepson states that because he is going exempt the overtime line could be lowered by $3500. MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh To adopt the weed board budget with the 5% salary increase and with the overtime line reduced to $6500. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Messer - aye, Marsh - aye, Franchuk - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Arthaud states that Heiser, as road superintendent, always goes over and beyond and has over 40 hours a week. She asks if they want to leave his salary at the 5% proposed. Heiser states he is OK with the 5% for his department and added a slight hike for one employee who will be doing some safety items. Richard states if we mill at the same mill numbers as last year, we would be at 31.12 for the general and county mill at 60.36. At 31.12 mills the tax revenue is $6,604,638.15. Asking the commission what they would like to mill this year on the estimated tax statements. Messer states we can always go down, we have a variance on the oil and gas distribution, and last year we left the mil higher for estimates and reduced it at the final budget meeting. MOTION BY: Commissioner Marsh SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer To approve the preliminary budget and mill at 31.12 mills for the general. DISCUSSION: Messer asks for any progress or thoughts on compensation. Marsh would like to see 3% raise with a 15% increase in health insurance moving that up to 90% employer paid. Messer says if we go with a percentage plus a cost of living, he would like the percentage maxed out at $1.50 per hour. Arthaud has had a large number of calls since the last meeting and they are concerned with giving away money, as the whole county is struggling with the cost of living going up, a lot of people understood increasing the health care but did not like the giving away money. Franchuk thinks we should be at 5% and $2500 from ARPA funds, as part of the reason that money was given to us was to retain employees. DISPOSITION: Roll call: Commissioners: Messer - aye, Marsh - aye, Franchuk - aye, Chairman Arthaud – aye. Motion Carried. Lisa Heiser addressed the commission regarding the making of employees exempt and she believes it needs to be looked into as this commission is doing things incorrectly in terms of making someone exempt and the rules that apply to that. She states you cannot simply eliminate overtime from people’s salaries by making them exempt, it is illegal. Pearcy responds that she has looked at all of the department head positions and they all qualify. There are 5 different exemptions they can qualify under and they qualify under one of those. Arthaud would like legal to take a look at this also. Commissioner Messer made MOTION to adjourn at 10:35 AM, Commissioner Franchuk SECONDED, Adjourned. Karen Richard, Auditor Carla Arthaud, Chairman (Oct. 5, 2022) 107756