By Valerie Werkmeister.
The Posey County Commissioners are mulling over new policy decisions in regards to their nepotism policy. County attorney, Trent Van Haaften, informed the commissioners about a new state nepotism law that goes into effect July 1. It mandates how counties deal with nepotism and states that individuals will not be able to hire a relative that will be in their direct line of supervision. Current employees are grandfathered into the law, and will not be affected.
The law also outlines the procedure for contract considerations with relatives of the county commissioners and council who have an interest within that company. Prior to the contract’s acceptance, board members must sign a disclosure statement that has been presented and approved in a public meeting. Those disclosures must be certified and sent to the state.
Van Haaften stated that the commissioners would also need to consider a policy regarding employees who have relatives that become elected officials. Under the new mandate, the employee would be allowed to remain, but the county does have the power to change this if they so choose.
This type of policy is nothing new to the commissioners. They have had a policy in place and listed in the county employee handbook since 2005. The state will penalize any county that does not adopt the newly mandated law by not approving their budget.
The commissioners agreed to review the suggested policy language presented by Van Haaften and adopt it at their next meeting on June 19.
Emergency Management Agency Director, Larry Robb, explained that Posey County has received its certification that it is accredited by the National Weather Service. This rates the county’s preparedness in regards to emergency situations. Robb stated that having programs in place such as the Code Red emergency alert system, having the dispatch center, presenting a storm spotter class and Robb’s attendance in public meetings helped meet the criteria. Posey County is one of 36 counties that has qualified.
Commissioner president, Jim Alsop, read a report on the number of ambulance runs that were dispatched from specific sites. Alsop stated that from January 1 – June 5, there have been a total of 841 ambulance runs. There were 445 dispatched from Mt. Vernon; 146 from New Harmony; 106 from Poseyville and 144 from St. Philip.
In other business:
•the commissioners approved a grant submitted by EMA Director, Larry Robb, for $15,000. This reimburses the county for half of Robb’s annual salary.
•The commissioners signed paperwork to move forward with a grant application for the Wadesville-Center Township Fire Department expansion project.
•Building Commissioner, Ed Battieger, gave an update on a nuisance complaint at Douglas Buttrum’s property at 9039 Highway 66. The property has been cleaned up since the last meeting. The commissioners gave their approval to half the property removed from their list.
•Chuck Mobley’s animal control report include 47 complaints during the month of May, eight animals were picked up and no animals had to euthanized.
•The highway department was given approval to seek bids to construct a salt building.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 19, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House in Mount Vernon.
By Valerie Werkmeister.
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