A committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Tuesday will consider a proposed ordinance to set a compensation rate for members of the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners who perform work outside a regular meeting.
Justice of the Peace Dr. Conley Byrd is sponsoring the proposed ordinance, which follows more than a year of back and forth wrangling between Commission Chairman Mike Adam and Commission Secretary Stuart Soffer on one side and former Jefferson County judges Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV and Booker Clemons on the other.
Adams and, particularly, Soffer, contended that they were required to perform tasks that election coordinators hired by both Wilkins and Clemons were not trained to do, or were not certified to do, and they sought compensation for performing those tasks, which was denied, resulting in the matter being referred to small claims court.
The proposed ordinance cites an opinion by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, which says that there is no prohibition in law on counties paying reasonable compensation to election commissioners if they perform work outside regular meetings that cannot be accomplished in the regular meeting.
A rate of $35 per hour was deemed “reasonable compensation” by the ordinance, which requires that a certification from the approving county official that there was “no available and/or qualified county employee/contractor to perform the task” be provided.
In other business, the county’s legislative body will consider the adoption of a shared leave policy for county employees.
According to the proposal, county employees may donate sick/personal time from their unused balance to their coworkers. It also sets a limit of 720 hours of time employees may receive from donations.
Also on the agenda is an appropriation ordinance that details the distribution of salaries within the 2019 budget of the Jefferson County judge, with a breakdown for each of the positions authorized.
According to the breakdown, the county judge is paid $75,555 annually. The administrative assistant is paid $55,000 annually, followed by the legislative assistant, who receives $51,500. The executive secretary is paid $38,500, while the accounts manager/utility secretary is paid $35,000 annually.
A number of other appropriation ordinances are on the agenda for the committees, which meet at 5:30 p..m in the Quorum Courtroom.