Pocahontas County Commission Nixes Budget Revision For Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Marlinton, WV – Prosecuting Attorney Donna Meadows-Price is searching for a way to compensate her employees for working overtime in the last year, but without an overtime budget, that’s not easy. She spoke with the Pocahontas County Commission on Tuesday about her dilemma and a proposal to solve it.
“My proposition was to amend my budget one time from June 15th to June 30th to give an increase in their salary onetime” she says, “because I have no overtime line item to drop it out of to drop down to pay.”
Price says she’s not proposing to make this a permanent change for next years’ budget, and is only asking for $1500.00. She also notes that she will be returning close to $30,000.00 in unused funding from this years’ budget to the county. She says this came about because her office has been chronically understaffed for most of the past year.
Commissioner Martin Saffer says he’s leery of the precedent this might set, noting that when salaried employees of other elected officials work overtime, those officials don’t come to the Commission asking to amend their budgets. But Price also notes that some of the other offices do have a line item for overtime built into their budget, whereas she does not. After further discussion, Commission President David Fleming agreed with Saffer’s reluctance to grant Price’s request.
“I don’t think we’re comfortable giving that $1500.00” says Fleming. “I certainly understand your desire to compensate based on the work done, and I want to do that too. I just don’t think that any fiscal maneuver we make at this point is going to look good.”
In the end, the Commission asked Price to find another way to compensate her employees, perhaps with paid time off. They also asked her to consider adding a line item for overtime to her budget for the next fiscal year.
In other business, the Commissioners discussed the Durbin Magistrate office rental agreement. Magistrate Janet Kershner-Vanover told the Commissioners the office is often used as public relations in that it’s a source of information for county residents about getting county and local government services, especially for those who may not have access to a computer.
She says they currently use the Durbin site only for civil cases, but there is a possibility of adding criminal cases in the future. Based on her recommendation, the Commissioners agreed to renew the rental agreement for the next fiscal year.
The Commission also reviewed an updated job description for the 9-1-1 Directors position. Commissioner Fleming says he took the description recently submitted by current director Bill McLaughlin and a much earlier description put together by the 9-1-1 Advisory Board, and merged the two into one comprehensive description. After a little wordsmithing, the Commissioners approved placing an advertisement in local and regional news papers. The deadline to apply for the position will be July 18th.
The Commission also gave contractor Keith Beverage verbal permission to order a heating system for the front steps at the courthouse. The new system will eliminate the need to put salt on steps in the wintertime. The $8800.00 cost for the system is in addition to the $8500.00 the Commission already approved to replace the front steps.