News and Tribune

Clark County

January 16, 2008

Ex-councilman Perkins lands Jeffersonville sewer audit job

Former Jeffersonville Councilman John Perkins has been hired by the city to conduct an audit of sewer customers.

With the new job, Perkins will be checking to make sure everyone who is hooked into the sewer system is being sent a sewer bill. He was hired by Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan on Friday. Galligan took office Jan. 1, the same time Perkins left his city council post after losing in last year’s election.

Perkins is making $11 per hour — a city laborer’s wage, Galligan said. He’ll be eligible for health and other benefits immediately because of the way his position is classified under the city’s salary ordinance. He’d have to work for the city for at least 10 years in order to draw from the state’s public employee retirement fund.

With recent expansions to the sewer system, the city needs to take an inventory to make sure everyone is receiving a bill, Galligan said. The city has about 12,100 sewer customers. He’s not sure how long the study will take, but expects it to be a temporary position.

There is suspicion among officials that some people are not connected directly to the sewer system, but connected to a neighbor’s line. If Perkins finds that a house is receiving sewer service without getting a bill, he and a sewer inspector will investigate further.

Perkins — often an outspoken public official during his city council tenure — has no background in sewer systems, Galligan admits. Asked why he decided to hire him for the job, the mayor responded: “Why not Perkins — he’s available.”

He called the former councilman a well-educated person who has the best interest of the city in mind.

“Everybody’s got an opinion; I’m just trying to get a job done,” Galligan said.

Perkins was reached for comment but declined to make a statement, referring questions to city Communications Director Larry Thomas.

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