County eyes employee disciplinary policy

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 12, 2013

By David Webb
The Monitor Correspondent

KAUFMAN-The Kaufman County Commissioners Court appointed a committee Monday to study and recommend a personnel policy regarding disciplinary action.
Human Resources director Lorie Floyd told commissioners, that except for the Sheriff’s Department, the county lacks an official policy on employee suspensions. The absence of such a policy resulted in an employee receiving full pay during a three-week suspension from work as a form of discipline, she said.
“There needs to be a guide as to what we can do,” Floyd reiterated.
She proposed the establishment of a county-wide policy that would spell out investigative procedures of complaints against employees and allow for unpaid suspensions, if warranted.
County Judge Bruce Wood said he often gets calls from county supervisors wanting to know what action can be taken when employees violate policies. “We don’t have a consistent policy,” Wood said. “I just think we need to be consistent.”
The committee will consist of Floyd, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tom Manning, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Mary Bardin, Precinct 3 Constable Keith Stephens, Chief Deputy Rudy Evans and Victim Witness Coordinator Shirley Bruner of the District Attorney’s Office.
The court also revised the wording of the employee vacation policy to guarantee that any employees leaving county service receive credit for partial-year service when their employment is terminated before their employment anniversary date.
In other action, commissioners:
• appointed American National Bank vice president Robert Messer of Terrell to represent the county on the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
• set a workshop on requiring all subdivisions located outside of municipalities to provide plats to the county regardless of lot acreages. Lot sizes of 10 acres or more are now exempt from platting. Manning said the plan concerned him because he would not want to do anything to discourage development that appears to be on the upswing now.
• heard an update from Internet technology committee chair George York on the plan to coordinate mapping software between the Kaufman County Appraisal District and other agencies, such as law enforcement, to better identify locations. He also recommended adopting a common-case numbering plan for criminal cases that will utilize the same identification numbers for arrests and prosecutions. Sheriff David Byrnes told the court that confusion about case ID numbers had resulted in prisoners being released in error and others being held longer than they should be. “On the other end of that is a human being we are dealing with,” Byrnes said. “It’s past the time to do this.”
• approved a contract with Gabriel, Roeder, Smith Co. of Irving to analyze the county’s liabilities regarding retirement and health care benefits for GASB45 reporting purposes.
• ratified an agreement between eRecording Partners Network and the Kaufman County Clerk’s Office for electronic recording of real property documents.
• tabled a spending proposal of more than $50,000 at the Texas Department of Transportation’s surplus equipment sale from Road and Bridge funds from precincts 1 and 3.
• agreed to retain Allison, Bass & Associates to assist Kaufman County in the creation and administration of a County Energy Transportation Investment Zone. The entity would allow the county to apply for grants for infrastructure improvements needed as a result of damage caused by new oil and gas activity in any affected areas. A public hearing is set for Monday, Dec. 23, during the regular commissioners court meeting. County residents are encouraged to submit their input.