County to look at staffing, other decisions at Tuesday session

Published 10:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2017

LaGRANGE – The Troup County Board of Commissioners met for its regular work session on Thursday, and discussed several employee and financial decisions at that time.

The board of elections and registration put forth a request during the meeting to increase the salary that board members receive for their work.

“I’ve been approached several times with regards to payment for each meeting, individual meetings rather than at this moment the committee is paid per election,” said William Tatum, the chairman of the Board of Elections and Registration. “They have a set $100 fee for elections, so this year, there is one election in Troup County, so they’ll attend as many meetings as possible, but they’ll only be paid for that one election when it occurs.”

According to Tatum, other counties in the region pay board of election members on a per meeting basis, and he requested $45 to $50 per meeting attended for each board member on behalf of the board. The seven-member board meets 12 times a year so the change could potentially cost the county $210,000 a year instead of the current rate of $700 each election.

Troup County only has one other paid board.

Probate requests to promote employee

The probate court went before the commission on Thursday to request to be able to promote an employee who has been with the county for 22 years to be an associate judge, which would allow her to cover the probate court if the probate judge were unavailable for any reason.

“There is no extra money involved,” said Judge Donald Boyd. “There will be no pay increase. It would just be a title as associate judge, and she (Clerk Debra Wade) would be able to do whatever I could do while I’m there. If for some reason I’m out sick, if I’m on vacation or God forbid I die in office, it will save the county money in that we won’t have to pay another judge to fill in. We won’t have to have a special election.”

The title the promotion would grant would allow Wade to perform the same duties that Boyd currently provides, and while she is not yet certified to be a probate judge, according to Boyd she has already received some of the required training on top of her years of service to the county. The immediate need of some decisions by the probate court was also taken into account during the discussion.

“I would urge the commissioners to do it because many times in the community we have parents who come to us, and their children need medical or mental detention, and we send them to the probate office,” said Sheriff James Woodruff. “If they go up there and the judge happens to be out of town on training or on vacation, there is nobody there to do that order. The only other alternative at that point is to convince that person that is mentally ill to go to the emergency room and get evaluated.”

Woodruff pointed out the high number of orders that go through the probate office daily as a good reason to consider voting in favor of the promotion, and Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said that the employee sounded qualified and the position sounded like it would be beneficial to the county.

Solicitor’s office requests new employee

During that work session, the solicitor’s office requested to be able to hire a full-time and a part-time victim advocate. Both positions are funded through the victims of crime assistance act.

Waste management

The commissioners considered a request to allow more funds for the county’s waste management program, which would be offset by funds that the department brings into the county.

“We are requesting a budget increase for the waste management fund of $85,000,” said Finance Officer Buddy Cashwell. “They are running short on what they’ve budgeted for grinding materials and some equipment maintenance. This would be offset – their tipping fees, their revenue has been more then we budgeted for also, so these expenses would be offset by the revenue.”

The change would not result in any additional expense for the county.

The commission plans to vote on these issues and others during its meeting on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave. This week’s meeting time was moved to an earlier time because of scheduling conflicts.