The Town of Paonia is in the process of revising its personnel manual, and hired human resources consultant Dave Knutson to create a draft manual. Knutson was not available to attend the Nov. 27 meeting.
In question was whether the town will adopt the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefit, at a cost of about $6 per employee or approximately $100 per month. The benefit would allow employees limited access to counseling, free of charge. Council questioned whether the benefit was necessary or would actually be used by employees, and agreed to table the issue until the Dec. 11 meeting when Knutson would be available.
Trustee Brian Ayers also brought up the issue of rolling unused vacation time over to sick time benefits. Employees are currently allowed to sell unused vacation time back to the town at 50 percent of its value. Ayers said he believes that employees should use vacation time and not sell it back to the town.
But, noted town clerk Barb Peterson, there are certain instances, such as police emergencies and staff shortages, where employees are unable to take all of their vacation time within the town's time requirements. Currently, employees can accumulate a maximum of 320 hours (eight weeks) of sick time.
Since this represents a change in policy, said Mayor Neal Schwieterman, the issue should go through the town's personnel committee and employees should be allowed time to comment.
Ayers suggested that the town track the number of days it currently buys back. Schwieterman said that has been done in the past, but didn't know if results could be found.
Mayor Pro Tem Corinne Ferguson questioned whether the change is legal, a question which will also be directed to Knutson at the December meeting.
In his mayor's report, Schwieterman said that unless further changes are needed or any problems arise, the town's 2013 budget is ready to go to a vote. Also up for vote is certification of the mill levy and supplemental budget items. The budget will include the annual "budget message," which provides an explanation of the budget (a state-of-the-town message, if you will). The town hopes to expand on the budget message this year, said Peterson. The items are expected to go to a vote at the December meeting.blog comments powered by Disqus