• January 20, 2020

Commissioners table OT issue - Odessa American: Ector County

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Commissioners table OT issue

Most county employees get comp time rather than overtime

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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 3:59 pm

Ector County Commissioners discussed moving from comp time to overtime and extending raises to deputies doing courthouse security but delayed taking action. 

The overtime to comp time item was brought forward by Maintenance Director Charles Pierce. Pierce said his department is in charge of all the buildings in the county and is on call 24 hours a day. 

Pierce said he is four employees short and it’s difficult to hire people on the comp time policy. 

He added that his employees spend a lot of time at the Ector County Detention Center and Youth Center. 

Human Resources Director Pat Patton said the comp time policy has been in place since 1984 or 1985. She added that the cemetery staff, for example, is so short right now they can’t let employees take comp time.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons said it would be a deviation from a longstanding policy to start paying overtime. He wanted to carry the item over to the next agenda and table it, which the other commissioners agreed to. 

Simmons said at some point the county may have to move away from the comp time policy. 

“I’m sure it’s been discussed from time to time. It really depends on when the oilfield is booming and we’re in competition with other businesses. It’s harder to hire employees and if they can go and earn and be paid for overtime elsewhere and also at a higher salary. That’s much more attractive,” but Patton said the court has to manage taxpayer dollars. 

“Any employee who starts here signs that they understand that’s the policy,” Patton said. 

Sheriff Mike Griffis said he didn’t recall asking about raises for courthouse security who work under the sheriff’s office. 

Griffis said it covers five people who are all certified peace officers. 

“And again, if we were to get a vacancy there I may have a hard time filling it because those individuals didn’t get that 10 percent raise that all the other individuals in the sheriff’s office got last year,” Griffis said.  

“I’ll take the blame for it. I’m taking the blame that it was my oversight and we just didn’t get it done,” he added. 

On a separate item, commissioners approved the purchase of equipment for the jail expansion project, a budget amendment to the Jail Expansion Fund, departmental furniture and equipment and office supplies for a total of $60,900. 

Lind said this included items such as chairs, tables and breathing apparatus for fire protection.  

Pierce said he is waiting for word from the state jail inspector on when the inspection will be, but expects it to be next week. 

Commissioners also:

>> Heard a presentation from the Public Power Pool.

>> Approved the appointment of Betty Walker, Joan Herd and Celina Brito to the Ector County Child Services Board to serve a two-year term beginning this month. 

>> Approved accepting a donation of $500 from Jesus Vela, doing business as Aloha Therapy, for the Ector County Sheriff’s Office. 

>> Approved 2020 seal coat projects. 

>> Approved bid specifications on liquid asphalt emulsion, asphalt patching material, graded base material, seal coat aggregate, water and pit run caliche. 

>> Approved a required resolution to apply for grant funds with the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission for a regional solid waste grants program. 

>> Approved an agreement for continuing disclosure services by and between Ector County and HTS Continuing Disclosure Services, a division of Hilltop securities Inc., in regard to annual filing of continuing disclosure information.

>> Approved accepting an award for the 2019 SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) grant for $15,513. 

>> Approved a request from the county attorney to hire an attorney at a step 3 due to experience.

>> Approved a request from the District Attorney to hire an attorney at a step 9 due to experience.

>> Approved a repeat for Sierra Rica Springs being a plat of a 6.90 acre tract out of Section 17 and 18, Block 43, T-2-S, T&P RY County Survey. 

>> Approved a request to repeat Alexa Estates the E/2 of lot 1,  Block 8, Pleasant Farms subdivision. 

>> Approved action on a  proposed Ector County MHRC development on 3 Logistics RV Park, 1760 N. Farm to Market Road 866. 

>> Approved a replat of Lot 4, Block 29, Pleasant Farms Subdivision, 3rd filing.

>> Approved a replat of East 348.88 of the west 554.88 feet of the south 632.50 feet of Lot 2, Block 8, Pleasant Farms Subdivision. 

>> Approved a line item transfer to Highways and Streets, equipment rental, for $18,000 from Highways and Streets, Road Maintenance. 

>> Approved a budget amendment to the general fund, county court at law No. 1, departmental furniture and equipment from unreserved fund balance for $2,000. 

>> Approved the accounts payable fund requirements report.

>> There was no executive session. 

Odessa, TX

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