County Commission Executes

20160111_104758You can take that headline anyway you want. That’s cuz a big chunk of this morning’s  Grays Harbor Board of County Commissioners meeting was gobbled up by executive sessions. And “doughnuts.” Followed by “apple fritters.” Also computer purchases, a hiring request,  vacation rollovers, and a discussion with reps from Promoto Promotions LLC regarding the ORV Park contract.

And lemme tell ya, it was all tons of fun.

Anywho – since you asked (and even if you didn’t) – the first of two executive sessions focused on “potential litigation.” The second had to do with “real estate acquisition.” That’s all I can tell you right now.

Prior to that barn burner, the discussion included vacation leave balance rollovers for two Public Health and Services employees. One for 390 hours (150 over max allowed) and another for 413 hours (173 over max allowed.) Also a Public Services employee with 513 hours (33 hours over max allowed.)  All are exempt employees.

The PH&S employees’ rollovers were due to “extenuating circumstances” like illness. Commissioner Wes Cormier said he had “mixed feelings” about approving the rollovers for all three at once. He said, “If we approve one, we should approve them all.” Cormier indicated that the commission needs to “uphold our policy this year, and not let them roll over into 2017.” Commissioner Vickie Raines agreed. She said her concern is that “people will use it (vacation leave balance rollovers ) as a bank.”

Commissioner Frank Gordon said…. something similar. I didn’t quite catch it. I was distracted by an (imaginary) apple fritter. Sorry.

Anyway, Cormier also noted that the Board will have opportunities to make changes when contracts expire this year. Raines concurred saying, “This will come to an end as new contracts are negotiated.” The balance rollovers were eventually approved unanimously.

The purchase of 20 desktop computers for $25K for Central Services was also approved this morning. They will replace the oldest General Fund ‘puters, per the 2016 budget. Cormier noted that the purchase amount was cut in half. It’s normally $50K.

Several reps from Promoto Promotions  LLC were on hand to discuss changes in the contract related to running the ORV park. These consist mostly of changes in use of premises and an option to close the park for four months during the winter when business is slow, as a cost savings measure. Watch for a revisit.

A hiring request for a Utility Technician in the Solid Waste/Utility Department was approved. Per the hire request, Cormier queried Public Services Director Kevin Varness, “No general fund money?” Varness affirmed, saying that the position will be paid for out of utility funds. It got a green light.

During the afternoon media session the commissioners expressed “disappointment” and a wee bit of frustration with a recent news story that appeared in The Daily World and The Vidette, Auditor’s Office Closures Frustrate Commissioners. More on that later. After I return from Doughnut Patrol.

Oh, yeah. There’s no meeting on the 18th. The Commissioner’s Office  will be closed on that date. In case you’re wondering again.

Also nice to see Keith Olson at this morning’s meeting. He’s looking pretty dapper.

Now, then. I’d offer you an “executive” fritter at this point, but I’m fresh out. Catch ya next time?