The Lucas County Board of Elections voted Monday to award one-time payments of $1,000 to its employees, using money authorized as part of a wage settlement with county employee unions by the county commissioners.
The vote was 3-1 with Republican board member Jon Stainbrook casting the “no” vote. He said after the meeting that he supports the board’s employees but believes the spending is not financially prudent.
The lump-sum payments, which board officials referred to as bonuses, will be paid to 18 regular employees and three additional employees who still need to complete the requirement of having one year of service. The four board members are not eligible for the payments because their salaries are set by state law.
The Lucas County commissioners voted in January to fund one-time payments as a substitute for raises for all its employees and to fund other county agencies, provided they approve the payments. The last raise county employees received was 2 percent in June, 2008.
The one-time payments were approved as part of scheduled wage reopeners with the county’s bargaining units, according to Lucas County Administrator Laura Lloyd-Jenkins. She said bargaining units in the offices of the county coroner, clerk of courts, recorder, and lawyers in the Child Support Enforcement Agency have voted approval so far.
About 500 union employees and 120 nonunion employees were to get the $1,000 lump-sum payments in an upcoming paycheck once their bargaining units voted approval. The cost to the county will amount to more than $600,000, which will come from a combination of general fund dollars and money from outside the general fund.
Voting yes were the board’s two Democrats, Ron Rothenbuhler and John Irish, and Republican member Anthony DeGidio.
Mr. Stainbrook said he doesn’t believe the county can afford the extra payments.
“I support all the employees. I’m glad they’ve got jobs,” he said.
In other action, the board accepted requests to put on the May 7 special election ballot two school district levies and a proposed rezoning in Waterville.
The Oregon Board of Education is seeking voter approval to renew a 2-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy to buy technology for classrooms, maintain and repair buildings, buy and maintain buses, and make textbook purchases.
The Swanton school board is seeking approval of a 4.4-mill continuing levy for a bond issue to make permanent improvements, including a new prekindergarten-through-grade-six school building. The levy would raise about $780,000 per year to pay for debt service on a bond issue and maintenance.
The Waterville issue would rezone 8375 Waterville-Monclova Rd. from R-3 multifamily residential to R-1 single-family residential.
Contact Tom Troy at: email@example.com or 419-724-6058.