Commission reaches settlement
A 15 month old dispute between the Jefferson Counties clerk office and the Jefferson County Commission which ended up in court has been settled. By a five to nothing vote the Commission approved the settlement this past Thursday, June 10 at the regular scheduled meeting of the County Commission.
Soon after the meeting started the commissioners went into an executive session with attorney Greg Bailey. After the closed door session Commissioner Frances Morgan said "I will move approval of the agreement as submitted," Morgan's motion passed unanimously. Other then the motion made there was no discussion or explanation of what the settlement consisted of. This was because in the settlement document it states that neither party would discuss the issue beyond a news release which was attached to the agreement. In court filings $48,000 dollars that was cut from the budget of the clerk’s office last year was put back and the budget for this fiscal year also added another 48,000 making the budgeted amount 448,188 dollars. Here is a partial copy of the order
“The Jefferson County Commission will make a budget revision to the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget to increase the County Clerk’s 402 budget for line item Salary and Wages from $400,000.00 to 448,188.00. The County Clerk intends to utilize a portion of this increase to make additional wage payments to current employees and shall submit a budget revision to transfer a portion of these funds into the professional services line item for the payment of legal fees incurred in this matter. The Jefferson County Commission shall set the County Clerk’s Salary and Wage line item for Fiscal Year 2011 at $448,188.00. Additionally, the Jefferson County Commission acknowledges that there will be an associated increase in FICA, Medicare, and other related costs and that corresponding line items will be increased appropriately.”
In a published report Tim Boyde the Jefferson County Administrator said that the $48.188 that has been added to the clerk’s budget will come from the counties unencumbered funds which is money left over at the end of each year.
Here is the text of the press release that accompanied the two page settlement agreement. “The Jefferson County Commission and Jefferson County Clerk settled their differences at mediation. The parties agree that they reached a workable solution to their budgetary differences and that they have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit currently pending in the Jefferson County Circuit Court. The parties expect to work collaboratively going forward to serve the citizens of Jefferson County.”