County to consider requests for new employees

The Bartholomew County Council will be asked to consider adding 13 new employees to the county’s payroll over the coming year-and-a-half. Bartholomew County Auditor Pia O’Connor gave a brief presentation on the requests during Monday evening’s council work session.

County department heads are asking for the following:

IT Dept. – IT Suppert Technician (1)
Parks – Facilities Coordinator/Support (1)
Assessor – Field Technician (1)
Sheriff – Detective (1)
Jail – Addiction Treatment Counselor (1)
E-911 – Dispatchers (6)
Health Dept. – Part-time nurse to full-time
Corrections – Residential Officer/Recovery Specialist (1)

If all of these new positions were filled, total expenses for salaries and benefits are expected to exceed over one-million dollars. Due to grants and partnerships with the city of Columbus, the county’s portion would be just over $660,000 per year.

Council members stressed that the requests for all of these new hires won’t neccessarily be approved. Councilman Mark Gorbett, a former Sheriff, reminded his fellow members about the tight finances faced by the county over the years due to inadequate planning. He was adadmant that money raised to deal with public safety issues be used for that purpose and not for covering shortfalls elsewhere. “In the past, We’ve robbed Peter to pay Paul,” said Gorbett. “We can’t do that again.”

The council will consider adding three of these new employees, an addiction treatment counselor and two new dispatchers, at its regular meeting next week. The remaining requests will be considered later this summer as the council prepares its 2020 budget.

Council meets next on Tuesday, June 11th at 6 p.m. at the County Government Building.