June 23, 2010
Marshall County will continue to reduce staff by “attrition” if the Marshall County Commissioners have their say.
On Monday Marshall County Clerk Julie Fox came before the Commissioners to seek replacement of Mary Northam, Small Claims deputy, who will be retiring at the end of July. What she was told was to adjust duties in her office to assign them to her current staff. The recommendation that the Commissioners voted to pass on to the County Council was to not refill the position.
Fox outlined Northam’s duties for the commissioners saying that she had processed all small claims in the clerk’s office… more than 1,800 in 2009 and nearly 1,000 already in 2010. She was also responsible for bringing in $40,000 in court costs in the past year and in collecting judgments of around $365,000 in the past year.
Saying that Northam “…had her hands full…” Fox asked to be able to hire a replacement to train the week before her retirement.
Re-stating their recommendation of a week ago to the County Council, the Commissioners told Fox that they felt there should be no replacement of employees by the county who retire or resign.
Fox stated that she “…couldn’t handle the loss of this employee…,” that had handled more than a quarter million dollars coming into the county in the past year and commented further that her records department was already overworked after having been “…punished…” with the loss of employees several years ago.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said that he understood her plight but remained firm on rehiring of employees, pointing out that the Auditor’s office had gone through the same situation with retiring employees and that the County Highway Department had also not rehired employees that had retired or resigned.
“We have to live within our means and to say we’re punishing you — I take offense at that,” said Overmyer.
Commissioners Chamberlin and Roose backed Overmyer with Roose stating, “Taxpayers are working harder to get less and we have to get a little leaner…We are going to have to trim government down a little and I don’t think we can leave anybody out of the mix.”
The commissioners were unanimous in their recommendation that the position not be replaced at this time. The County Council will have the final say on the matter.
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