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Just a Thought - County wastes $50K on policy
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

I almost gave Warren County Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin a standing ovation during this month’s session of the County Commission. 

“The nation has paid too many people not to work,” said Bouldin. “As an employer, I’m tired of it. As a taxpayer, I’m tired of it.”

It appears Bouldin has reached his tolerance limit with this whole situation. Me too, Carl. Me too. 

I’ve got an idea for Warren County government, but hold on just a minute while I lay the groundwork for it.

County government spent almost $50,000 in taxpayer money to construct a Human Resource Policy for all county employees, a plan that all department directors can now opt out of and construct their own. At least two departments are doing just that. It remains to be seen just how many more will follow suit. 

At the behest of County Executive Jimmy Haley, who repeatedly expressed the need to update a county’s Human Resource Policy and requested $50,000 in order to do it, commissioners allocated $50,000 for it. 

As one would guess, the endeavor cost just shy of that $50,000 mark – no big shocker there. Government projects either cost what was estimated and allocated or they cost more than what was estimated and allocation. Rarely is there a cost savings worth noting. If it’s there, it gets spent. Boggles the mind, does it not? 

Here we are a year later and commissioners have approved that $50,000 Human Resource Policy, only to be told that they have absolutely no control over how elected officials run their departments. Any of those individuals can opt out of the policy by constructing their own Human Resource Policy, paying an attorney to review it (even more taxpayer dollars spent) and present it to the commission. 

While I’m not willing to say that the money was 100% wasted, a definite cost savings could have been obtained by instructing department directors to create their own policies, present them to the attorney for review to make sure they adhered to the law and have those presented to the County Commission. 

Haley, again, has requested an additional $50,000 in the 2021-22 fiscal year budget because he said the Human Resource Policy needs to be updated annually so the county does not find itself with an outdated policy. His request was again approved. So, $50,000 to update it and $50,000 to keep it updated? Ridiculous. 

Suggestion: Before the money starts being siphoned away, and it definitely will, pull $45,000. It should not cost more than $5,000 to have someone update the employee policy. Then, determine how best to divide that money among county employees who worked through the pandemic – their department never closed and they received no benefit from the additional 80 hours in paid leave provided by the county. They deserve a bonus.

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.