The livelihood of Warren County government employees has been secured during the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have several employees who have been extremely worried about whether the state is going to shut us down and how that’s going to affect their paychecks and some of these people live from paycheck to paycheck,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley. “With people hoarding food and emergency situations all across the state, this will give them a little sign of relief.”
That statement was made immediately following unanimous approval by Warren County commissioners on Monday night for the payment of wages to all county employees at 100 percent, if the government services are subject to shutdowns, quarantines or furloughs as a result of COVID-19.
Voting in favor were Commissioners Michael Bell, Carl D. Bouldin, Carl E. Bouldin, Carlene Brown, Randy England, Steve Glenn, Richard Grissom, Steven Helton, Robert Hennessee, Lori Judkins, Ron Lee, Gary Martin, Daniel Owens, Gary Prater, Christy Ross, Scott Rubley, Tommy Savage, Tyrone Sparkman, Joseph Stotts, Phillip Stout and Blaine Wilcher.
Helton asked if any government shutdowns would be a state decision or be made locally.
“I have the authority, but I will wait to see what the state is doing,” said Haley. “They’ve already sent employees home. Some people are already mobile working.”
County government cannot completely shut down.
“We have a jail to operate. We have garbage to pick up. We have fees to collect and even though the courts have been suspected for live audiences, so to speak, our court activities continue,” said Haley. “A complete shutdown of government is not feasible, even on the state level or federal level. It’s not allowed. We have a lot of services that have to be provided.”
Rubley asked if the resolution would end when the state of emergency does.
“Yes,” said Haley.
Commissioners also approved the suspension of committee meetings not considered necessary to essential county operations and services until further notice, as well as the county executive’s authority to expend emergency funds.
Commissioners Cole Taylor, Deborah Evans and David Dunlap were absent.