White County Board of Commissioners recently passed an attendance policy that could result in a decrease in salary for commissioners who habitually miss meetings.
With five commissioners absent from the July meeting, three of whom have not attended a meeting since fall of 2021, the need to adopt a new attendance policy became evident.
“This has been talked about for months, and here are the same three that have not attended for two years,” Derrick Hutchings, a citizen who is currently running for a seat in the upcoming election, told the board. “We’re talking $18 to $20,000 of county money that they get paid to sit at home.”
Under the current policy, county commissioners receive $250 per month whether they attend any meetings at all, including steering meetings, committee meetings, full court, and/or special-called meetings.
Resolution 41-07-2022 Establishing an Attendance Policy for County Commissioners called for salary to be reduced by a specific dollar amount when commissioners missed meetings in two consecutive months. However, Commissioner Roger Mason presented an amendment to the board that would reduce pay by percentages rather than a specified amount.
“That way in the future, eight years from now, if somebody decides to adjust commissioner pay, this resolution will still be valid because it is based on percentages of whatever the county commissioner pay is,” Mason explained his reasoning for the amendment.
The amended resolution, which passed the commission’s vote, will set the pay for commissioners based on what meetings that they attend. Beginning Sept. 1, 2022, commissioners will receive 12.5 percent of the commissioner’s salary in base payment. They will receive another 43.75 percent for attending committee meetings and the remaining 43.75 percent for attending the full court meeting each month.
During the July 18 meeting, the county commission also passed the following resolutions:
As another usual item of business, the board reviewed applications for notaries and approved an application for Stephani Beasley and a renewal application for George Elrod.
The next regular meeting for White County Board of Commissioners will be 6 p.m., Aug. 15, 2022, in the third-floor courtroom, at the courthouse.
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