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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Lawrence County Commissioners and Council Deviate from Salary Ordinance and Policy

LAWRENCE COUNTY - MARCH 1, 2023 - The Lawrence County Council voted a second time to approve the hiring of Deputy Auditor Marsha Phiefer during their meeting Tuesday night.

Photo: Lawrence County Council left to right: Phil Inman, Julie Blackwell Chase, Janie Craig Chenault, Lawrence County President Jeff Lytton, Rick Butterfield and Amy Redman, not pictured Julie Hewston did not attend Tuesday's meeting

Both the Lawrence County Commissioners and Lawrence County Council went around their salary ordinance and Employee handbook in the hiring former Bedford Clerk/Treasurer Phiefer after she resigned on February 1, 2023, from that position.

Video: Lawrence County Council member Janie "Craig" Chenault questions revote on Deputy Auditor Marsha Phiefer

The Lawrence County Council stated that due to her previous experience in the Auditor's office this hiring at the higher pay scale was the reason for the decision.

The former Lawrence County Council members previously, refused former Sheriff Mike Branham's request to hire a 911 dispatcher at the dispatcher's years' experience, stating that all employees must start all over at the pay scale of a new employee once they quit their positions for the county.

That dispatcher did not stay with the department once the Lawrence County made that decision. The 911 dispatch center have faced hiring issues for several months, and at the time would have helped with the situation.

During the meeting Tuesday night, Sheriff Greg Day reports the 911 Center is about up to full-staffing levels again.

At this time, it is not known whether the Lawrence County Commissioners will now change the Human Resource manual to allow other county employees to come back at their experience level. In addition, the Lawrence County Council will allow the changes to the salary ordinance to make these same changes.

In other business:

  • Approved Lawrence County Judge Bob Cline to hire a court reporter

  • Approved Travis Sander request for Pay Scale changes for both the Recorders and Surveyors offices. Both of those offices were left off the pay scale changes approved during the 2023 budget process

  • Approved Lawrence County Sheriff Day request for the CHIRP funds of $25,852. These funds will be used for overtime pay for Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and Bedford Police Department to patrol the highways. This was formerly known as Operational Pull Over

Photo: Travis Sanders request for Salary changes for both the Recorders and Surveyor's Office

The Lawrence County Council approved the budget for Hoosier Uplands Drug Free Community. The Lawrence County Council is only a conduit for the special funding.

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