What’s in a job title? Does it match the actual work involved? And, importantly, does it pay what it should?
That’s what the Henry County Council hopes to find out this summer.
The council spent much of its April meeting discussing recent updates to county jobs.
The consulting firm Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele & Associates looks over Henry County’s employee roles. The firm also figures out a pay range for each job.
After going over several recent job classification updates, county council members decided to have Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele update all of the county’s jobs before the 2022 budget sessions start this summer.
Council president Susan Huhn said the county’s human resources department will be in charge of the project.
In other business, the council discussed spending overages by the Henry County Commissioners in the Coroner’s office.
In the commissioners’ budget, the extra spending comes from unemployment payments to former county employees.
Huhn said the commissioners had budgeted $2,500 to cover unemployment payments for all of 2021.
As of the April council meeting, the commissioners had already paid out around $14,000 to former employees who have not started working somewhere else. If the trend follows for the rest of the year, Henry County will pay out about $42,000 to former employees.
Huhn said state’s Dept. of Workforce Development has been more lenient in approving unemployment claims this year than in pre-Covid years.
Council member Chad Malicoat explained that where some employers have special unemployment insurance, Henry County is self-insured. This means the county government pays 100 percent of unemployment claims the state approves.
“We are bound by their decision. That’s why we are in such a hole,” Malicoat said.
Huhn said the coroner’s overspending is due to an increase in local autopsies.
“Sadly, deaths are higher this year and not necessarily from Covid,” she said.
More deaths of county residents means County Coroner Stacey Guffey is ordering more autopsies than in previous years.
Huhn said the council will continue to watch the commissioners’ and coroner’s budgets before making any decisions about appropriating more tax dollars to cover the deficits. The council may make a decision in June.
The next regular Henry County Council meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, May 27 in the county courthouse, 101 S. Main St., New Castle.