Common Pleas Court Judge Fred W. Crow III, Probate/Juvenile Judge L. Scott Powell, Recorder Kay Hill, Clerk of Courts Diane Lynch and Treasurer Peggy Yost issued a signed press release, saying bonuses are awarded “to help assist our employees with cost of living increases and health insurance expenses.”
Those officials cite their “fiscal responsibility” and “thrifty management” in managing their 2009 budgets.
Crow granted each of three clerical employees bonuses of $1,500, and hourly payraises of as much as $2. Powell awarded bonuses of $600 to each of nine staff. Lynch awarded four bonuses of $718 and another $289 to a new employee. Hill granted bonuses of $548 to two staff members, and Yost $1,000 each to two full-time staff members and $500 to a part-time staff member.
Those bonuses were paid from a variety of sources, depending on the office budget from which they were issued. They were reported in light of county commissioners’ discussions of a projected budget crunch as the county enters the new year.
Their statement reads:
“Brian Reed chose not to interview any of the officials who gave bonuses to their courthouse employees. The complete facts are some of the monies used by the elected officials for bonuses were previously appropriated by county commissioners for employee salaries to be used this fiscal year.
“The other funds used came from other office revenue and federal funding sources that could not be returned to the general fund. It is important to note that each and every one of our offices stayed within our 2009 budgets appropriated to us by commissioners.
“Prior to this year, salary budgets for most of our employees had been frozen for over five years. With cost of living increases and health insurance expenses of our employees growing every year, bonuses were given to help assist our employees with those costs and to supplement the many years without raises.
“General fund monies allocated to us for other county expenses were not used by any of our offices for these year-end supplemental salaries. As another fact, through thrifty management of our budgets, many of our offices are returning money back to the Meigs County general fund for use this coming 2010 fiscal year that were unused by us in the 2009 fiscal year.
“We often read and hear about other Ohio counties and local offices that spend outside their budgets, lay off workers or have to ask their strapped counties for more money. Rest assured none of us have done that. (We) have used fiscal responsibility to continuously and creatively operate within our given budgets. It is for that reason we have been able to provide for our hard-working county employees under tough financial restraints and are able to provide our offices’ continued dedication and service to the citizens of Meigs County.”