Still no resolution on recycling center position

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By William Carroll

The Spencer County Fiscal Court took up two matters of ongoing concern for the magistrates including how to handle the change in the administrative code regarding the recycling supervisor position and the 911 contract bid process.
For the last few meetings County Judge Executive Bill Karrer and Magistrate Jerry Davis have offered competing views regarding the status of the recycling center supervisor position. Karrer said that when magistrates amended the administrative code to change the position they effectively created a new department head position and that he would not be appointing current recycling center supervisor Karen Spencer to the new department head position. Davis’ position is that the magistrates did not create a new position but merely amended Spencer’s current position. Davis asked that Spencer’s increased pay be recognized and paid to her. Karrer said that the position is a department head position because the position now answers only to Karrer. Prior to the change the position answered to the Building and Grounds Department supervisor. Davis suggested making Spencer answer to Solid Waste Coordinator Curtis Ochs. Karrer said that Ochs did not want to take over the supervisory role. Several times Karrer made it clear that he “would not fill the position.”
“If the magistrates wish to give Karen Spencer a pay raise you have every right to do that but I am not filling the position for department head,” Karrer said.
Karrer admitted that Spencer is the recycling center supervisor but that the position is a department head to be appointed by Karrer. Davis said that nowhere in the administrative code is the position listed as a department head.
“We are at an impasse, I am not filling it… I am not authorizing the pay raise, because I am not filling the position,” Karrer said. “Other than that I guess you can sue me, take me across the street.”
Magistrate David Goodlett made a motion to table the matter to the next administration. The motion failed for lack of a second. Later Magistrate Hobert Judd made a motion to table the matter until the next meeting to give magistrates more time to analyze the administrative code to determine who is correct.
During further discussion on the issue, Karrer said that the term “department head” is technically nowhere to be found in the administrative code. After further discussion, magistrates voted to table the issue by a vote of 4-2 with Magistrates Mike Moody and Davis voting against tabling the matter. After the completion of the vote Davis abruptly left the meeting room and did not return for the duration of the meeting.
During an interview after the meeting Davis said that he left because, “I felt like if they weren’t going to do anything, there wasn’t any point to being at the meeting.”
Davis said he did not see the point in tabling an issue which had been passed over several times previously. Davis said that next time he would simply make a motion to approve Karen Spencer in the position at the rate of pay previously approved by the magistrates.
On the 911 issue, Karrer said that the county only received one formal bid from the Kentucky State Police in the original contract amount of $89,500. During the meeting Karrer said that Nelson County had decided not to present a bid based upon a number of factors they were dealing with on their end.
According to the letter, a copy of which was given to the Spencer Magnet by Karrer, Nelson County Dispatch Director Debbie Carter outlines the reasons Nelson county chose not to make a bid.
“The Board and I have discussed Spencer County’s decision to seek bids for their public safety dispatching services of which we expressed interest in performing these services a couple of years ago,” the letter states. “Nelson County Dispatch is in the middle of implementing a new 911 phone system in October, readdressing streets, updating mapping for our CMRS Phase II wireless re-audit, and hoping to replace our current CAD system in January. I have struggled with this decision and looked at different ways to make it work, however my first responsibility is to Nelson County Dispatch and I have accepted that now is not the time for Nelson County Dispatch to begin any additional projects.”
The letter goes on to state, “the earliest Nelson County Dispatch could begin preparations to assume the Spencer County duties would be July 1, 2015.”
The letter goes on to list seven questions Nelson would like answered prior to being able to bid the contract. These include primarily questions regarding the request for proposal itself, and what the terms of the contract would be between the parties.
As a contract had already been entered into with KSP, no action was necessary by the court.
In other matters before the court:
• After executive session, magistrates approved terminating Nicholas Hicks by a 4-0 with Mike Moody abstaining. Karrer said that Hicks had previously been disciplined for two different accidents. Karrer said Hicks has had two more incidents at the nursing home regarding unprofessional care.
• Karrer referenced recent storm damage, first to a window over the judge’s office and secondly to the county’s radio tower. According to Karrer, the radio tower was struck by lightning again recently which will require the replacement of a board on top of the tower. The estimate provided by Antennas Unlimited, Inc., placed the cost to replace the board at $1,340.80. For an additional $1,525 Karrer said a static eliminator could be installed to help with lightning strike issues. Magistrates unanimously approved the recommendation.
• Magistrates approved seeking another location for the storage facility originally planned to house the Parks and Recreation Department equipment. Judd said that the proposed location at Ray Jewell Park would not work due to floodplain issues.