The Wayne County Board of Supervisors met for the second day in a row to hold the first meeting of the new fiscal year on July 1. Kicking off the meeting, Supervisor Don Seams made the motion to retain Dave Dotts who is the current chair.

“I don’t have a problem with that, I know Dave has done it for about four years now and I am willing to take it, but it doesn’t matter to me,” said Supervisor Tom Swearingin. “I don’t know how it is supposed to rotate.”

“I would be willing too,” said Seams.

“I will second the motion unless there is some reason we are supposed to rotate,” stated Swearingin.

“I don’t know of any reason why you would have to rotate,” said Auditor Michelle Dooley.

With that discussion, the motion was seconded and Dotts will remain as the Board of Supervisors Chairperson through the 2021 fiscal year.

Sheriff Keith Davis was present to discuss the addition of a new position within the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

“Normally when I have someone move to a fulltime position I just do that as we have positions available, but I am wanting to do something a little different,’ said Davis. “Part of it has to do with some state auditor recommendations. I have Chase Clark who has been a longtime part-time employee, and he has asked if he could move to fulltime. I checked yesterday and we paid $17,000 this past year as a part-time employee and if I move him to a fulltime employee he can take up some more slack with some of the other part-time work that is being done.”

“He is also so valuable with I.T. to do computer stuff and we have more things to be done in records such as submitting to the F.B.I. and we need to be sure those are all done correct and kept current and also Sheryl [Dotts] is going to be retiring in a couple years and we need somebody trained to replace her,” Davis continued. “I think Chase would be an excellent person to take that accounting position as well. I’m willing to loan him out to Bill Byrns and I would also be willing to loan him out if you guys have problems over here.”

“So you would be looking at $30 to $35,000 with benefits?” asked Swearingin.

“It probably would be a little bit more than that, because you would also be talking about Medicare, Social Security and IPERS,” Dooley stated. “It would be somewhere between $35 and $40,000.”

The board made the motion to approve the change from part-time to fulltime with Clark’s salary being increased approximately $20,000 per year with the addition of benefits.

The board approved resolutions for the new fiscal year county employee salaries, the sheriff’s office mileage fees, noxious weeds, county enforcement surcharges, bid processes for dealing with County Elected Officials, Department Heads and staff. Additional resolutions for the transfer from General Basic and Rural Service to Secondary Roads Fund, GASB 54 Fund Balance Policy and depositories for local banks.

The Veteran’s Affairs Commissioners for the new fiscal year include Joella Perry as the Director, Luann Argetsiner, Terry Snow and Hubert Staggs.

The board tabled the resolution pertaining to physicals for employees noting the wording had not been changed for several years and the current resolution had not been followed. The board agreed to send the current resolution to County Attorney Alan Wilson for his input.

Before the meeting came to a close Rhonda Bennett asked if the board had put together a schedule to be printed in the Times-Republican of their office hours for the public to refer to should they have questions or items for discussion.

“You had passed one other time when I was here about publishing the days you would be in here and the times and I hadn’t gotten anything yet and I’m not going to charge you for that,” stated Bennett.

“Well I have some thoughts on that,” said Seams. “I sometimes have meetings and I would rather have my name and telephone number as it’s easier for me.”

“You did vote on it and it’s to the public’s good that they know for instance if they don’t want to talk to Tom but they want to talk to you,” Bennett said.

“I think it’s just easier if they call,” Seams said. “I think it’s better then if I say I will be here at a certain time, but then I am not.”

“You can put my phone number too as I think practically everybody has mine already,” said Dotts. “I usually like to drop in during the afternoon.”

“So maybe what you should do is at your next meeting if you aren’t going to do what you say you are going to do then maybe rescind it,” said Dooley. “If you rescind it, then we can state Tom is here Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and that David and Don are here periodically, but appointments are always welcome. Then you won’t continually be having this discussion.”

“When I first got elected I did that where I tried to come in every day and I got sick of sitting here because nobody ever come in,” said Dotts.

“I’ve found that to be true,” Seams agreed.

Dotts asked Swearingin if he had found the same to be true in his days he is in the courthouse.

“Pretty much I have somebody in here all the time,” said Swearingin. “I’m usually busy every morning I am in here wouldn’t you say Michelle?”

“It is not my place to tell you how to run your office, but I know you are more likely to build a relationship with the public or with the staff of Wayne County if you are available,” said Dooley. “Even if it’s about fishing or grandkids or whatever. Sometimes those relationships is what builds you to the next level. So even if there are those days where you feel like you are twiddling your thumbs, it is just engaging.”

“If you come into the courthouse and the lights are off in here, you get the feeling you don’t want to talk to anybody and I’m not saying you don’t but that’s the vibe you get that it is a closed door thing,” Bennett added. “It’s a public perception.”

Dooley noted she would add this item of business to the next board meeting agenda.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Monday, July 13 at 9 a.m.

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