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Along with routine budget amendments and approval of notaries, commissioners discussed the county’s Audit Committee and personnel policy.
Polk County’s commission met last Thursday in regular session. Along with routine budget amendments and approval of notaries, commissioners discussed the county’s Audit Committee and personnel policy. The county’s Occupational Safety Plan was approved, with the only change being appointing Steve Lofty to replace Tony Reynolds as director.
An Audit Committee to review findings by the State Comptroller’s Office was initially set up in May. The board voted to appoint three members of the community and two commissioners to the committee, but questions were later raised by First District Commissioner James Woody about whether or not members of the budget committee could also serve on the audit committee. Community members Joe Waters, Kenneth Cloud, and Greg Barker were appointed in August.
First District Commissioner John Pippenger told the board Thursday he had spoken to the comptroller’s office and they had no issue with budget committee members being on the Audit Committee. He said the comptroller’s office had nothing to do with the committee. He said the Three-Star representative also had no issue with it, and felt it could only cause issues if the commission passed resolution stating the budget committee was the audit committee.
Pippenger requested Commission Chairman Wendall (Buster) Lewis appoint the two commission members to the committee. Second District Commissioner Mike Curbow and Pippenger were appointed. Pippenger initially said he did not think it would be appropriate for him to serve on the committee because he served as Chairman of the Budget Committee, but agreed to take the position because no one else wanted it.
County Executive Hoyt Firestone told the board it had been brought to his attention by the auditor that the county’s personnel policy needed some clarification about the accrual of vacation days. The policy says 15 days can be accumulated, but does not say what happens if an employee has more than 15 days. Firestone said they had run into issues in the past where an employee left and wanted to be paid for all their accumulated days. He said there were a couple of current employees who had as many as 40 days built up.
Second District Commissioner Isaac (Buster) Bramblett said the policy says there is a maximum of 15 days. Firestone said it does not specify the other days would be forfeited. Third District Commissioner Daren Waters asked about employees who already had 30 days before the 15-day policy went into affect.
Firestone suggested commissioners change the policy to state employees had until June 30th to get down to 15 days or the extra days would be forfeited. County Attorney Jimmy Logan said he could draw up a resolution that would explain the process. Firestone said a resolution would be fine, but something needed to be in the policy that employees saw and signed when they were hired. He said they would not go back to look at resolutions.
Third District Commissioner Sheena Gaddis suggested something needed to be sent to all employees to ensure they understood the policy. Bramblett said he would update the policy and bring it to the December meeting to be voted on. Board members agreed the updated policy should be given to every employee. Pippenger suggested a letter be included to point out the change.
At the end of the meeting, Firestone told commissioners the School Board wanted to meet with the county’s Building Committee to discuss the roofing needs of the schools. He said they’d hired a consultant and wanted to go over the findings.



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