County news # 2Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer commented during Monday’s meeting on the engineering position for the County Highway Department. He said, “We as a board need to make a decision moving forward with the Highway Department.” He said the assistant clerk position has been in the department for many years and named at least five different employees who have “sat in that chair.”

Overmyer commented, “It has never been stated that when we hired Laurie we did not have to replace that position.”  He went on to say he spoke with former commission Deb Griewank on Friday and she said the question of not filling the assistant clerk’s position came from a council member and the commissioners never responded to the question.

Commissioner Overmyer said he believes it is time to fill the assistant clerk’s position since Denise Campbell, the Highway Clerk already has 75 hours of comp time booked up trying to her own work and that of the two positions that have not been filled.

Overmyer said with two additional bridge projects getting approval from INDOT, moving into pot hole season and a couple of major reports that must be completed in the next month, “I think it’s time to move on, one way or the other in the next few months to get this worked out.”  He suggested looking at the financial administrator like the Highway Department had before since there have been no additional applicants for the engineering position during the last 3 months.  He also said the financial administrator would be over the two other office staff and allow Jason Peters to continue in his role as superintendent of highway personnel.

Commissioner Overmyer said again, “I’m still not in favor of the engineer because of our revenue.”  At that point he suggested looking at an engineer for the County as a whole.  He said the engineer could help with Surveyor’s Officer, Maintenance Department and even the Drainage Board and he would be supportive of that.

Overmyer closed his comments by saying, “I also believe that Jason should be compensated for the work he has done.  Either his salary be adjusted or move him to hourly.”  He continued, “We need to continue improving not only the highway but the county.  The county engineer could act in the way that the building inspector has for the other towns.  It might give them an avenue them to have technical support for other projects.”

Commissioner Delp under stood that Jason Peters could have built up 80 hours of overtime but questioned the number of hours the Clerk has booked saying it would be 12 hours a week for the first 6 weeks of 2018.  He thought she was putting in 2 to 3 hours a week of comp time.

Judy Stone, President of the County Council also asked the commissioners what their plan is for the Highway Department.  She said, “Are you going to continue to pursue and engineer?” She continued saying, “We need to get another person in there to handle the financial end of this.  We’ve work long and hard to continue to improve our highway department.  They’ve done a great job and I’d like to stay on that same track.  The longer this goes on I don’t see it as being a helpful.  Maybe push is coming to shove and maybe we need to take some action.”

Stone closed her comments by saying, “So I’m asking the commissioners to please come up with a solid plan for our highway department to get some help in there.”