News and Tribune

July 5, 2013

Floyd County debates HR position

Commissioners table vote, waiting on council plan to fund it

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

The Floyd County Commissioners tabled a request Tuesday to create a new human-resources position.

Floyd County Council President John Schellenberger formed a committee recently to discuss whether to create a position to help deal with Affordable Care Act questions and other human-resources needs. The new health care law takes affect Jan. 1, 2014.

Schellenberger discussed the committee’s findings with the commissioners Tuesday. He said the position would pay a base salary of $35,000 to $40,000 annually, along with benefits. He also said after talking to other county leaders and auditors, the committee decided Floyd County needed to create the position. 

Besides discussing the salary and other details with the commissioners, Schellenberger said the person would likely answer to and work out of the auditor’s office. He was hoping the commissioners would approve the position, which will also be on next Tuesday’s Floyd County Council meeting agenda. Schellenberger said the position would only be created if the council could come up with the funding.

“I would like to see it come back with a plan on how it is going to be paid for,” Commissioner Mark Seabrook said. “I think we should table it until the county council tells us they have the funding. I don’t want to say I am in favor of it if we don’t have the money. That is not a good way to do business.”

The vote to table the measure passed unanimously.

Schellenberger was asking the commissioners to approve the request so if the council finds the funding, a person could be hired soon.

“At least this way we will have it,” he said. “The ACA is the driver behind this. We would have a point of contact for all personnel matters.”

Commissioner Chuck Freiberger, who was on the committee, said he is not in favor of creating a new position.

“We don’t really need an HR position. We have been able to do the job in the auditor’s office for many, many years without one,” he said. “I know the office may get more work to do, but we have been able to handle it in the past. [County Auditor Scott] Clark has stated that we may run in the red in order to make payroll. I don’t see how we can hire a new position. I would rather see some of the part-time people get insurance. This is the job of the auditor’s office.”

Commissioners’ President Steve Bush said Freiberger had some valid points, but also said the ACA will create a huge amount of documentation and extra work.

Seabrook agreed, saying, “No other auditor has had to deal with the ACA in the past.”

However, Freiberger said this is not the time to add to the payroll.

“Now because the auditor’s office can’t get the job done, we should add a new position? If we are in the red it’s not the time ... we don’t have the money.”

Clark said if a person is not hired, the county would likely have to contract outside sources to help his office interpret the ACA so the employee handbook could remain current.

“I am either way [on hiring new position],” he said. “We can continue to manage HR functions.”

 

COMMISSIONERS PASS ACA COMPLIANCE RESOLUTION

Since the ACA mandates employees who work 30 hours per week be provided health insurance, the commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday that states part-time employees shall work no more than 28 hours per week, effective immediately. Employees who average 130 hours of service during a calendar month would equal 30 hours a week.