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Kenyon tells board his department’s underpaid

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:32 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:37 a.m. CDT

People think we’re crying wolf, and we’re not.”

That was the comment made by Tim Kenyon, county attorney, Monday regarding the workload his office endures each year. Kenyon presented documents generated by Union County Clerk of Court Allison Danilovich, which compares his workload to surrounding counties.

Kenyon told the board of supervisors felony charges and juvenile cases are generally the most time-consuming cases for county attorneys. Danilovich’s report showed Union County had 87 reported felony cases last year — that’s more than any surrounding county. Clarke County had second most with 60, Madison, 47 and Adams, 39.

Meanwhile, Union County had 41 reported child in need of care (CINA) cases last year — again, more than any other county. Kenyon said CINA cases can include “child abuse, neglect and any time a child is put at risk of injury because of a parents lack of supervision.”

Kenyon also cited a steady workload of juvenile delinquency cases and told the board in the past six months there have been 250 reported child abuse cases in Union County.

All that information led to Kenyon asking the supervisors to allow him to hire a part-time employee in fiscal budget 2013-14 to assist him with juvenile cases. Kenyon would like to budget $12,000 for the part-time employee. As well, Kenyon asked the board to approve a 4 percent raise for his secretary and 4.5 percent raise for himself this coming fiscal year.

“We are underpaid and understaffed compared to the state average and surrounding counties,” Kenyon said. “I ask, almost beg, you to accept the compensation board’s recommendation of a 4.5 percent wage increase. I mean no disrespect to other county offices, but we need to make this a priority for the welfare of our kids and community, because, honestly, I’m getting to the point where I can’t get everything done.”

Kenyon stated other county attorneys do have part-time assistants like Madison and Guthrie counties. And, several other surrounding county attorneys have larger salaries than his — despite his 25 years of experience.

If Kenyon receives a 4.5 percent raise, his annually salary will bump to $80,806.


Other county news from Monday’s meeting:

• Union County Conservation Director Doug Jones made his budget requests Monday morning. In the past, Jones has received the same raise the courthouse employee department heads receive. Jones asked it remain that way this fiscal year.

The compensation board recommended a 3.5 percent raise for courthouse employee department heads.

As well, Jones told the board his park rangers currently get 75 percent of his salary. Jones requested that percentage be raised to 80 percent of his salary, stating first deputies in other departments like secondary roads, sheriff’s and treasurer in Union County receive 80 percent of their department head’s salary. Jones stated he has two good park rangers in Michael Hilger and Joe Mayhew and would like to keep them.

Jones later supplied the supervisors with a sheet showing revenues coming from the conservation department. Last year, conservation revenues from cabins, camping and lodging was $167,293 and revenues this year are on pace to have a similar total.

Jones told the board revenues have increased dramatically over the past five years. Those totals include: 2008 ($111,442), 2009 ($144,540), 2010 ($152,145), 2011 ($160,589) and 2012 ($167,293).

• Union County Board of Supervisors accepted a diesel and gasoline contract for secondary roads Monday afternoon. The county purchased 12,500 gallons of gasoline locked in at $3.02 per gallon. The county also purchased 75,000 gallons of diesel at $3.33 per gallon.

Union County Engineer Steve Akes said, historically, these fuel contracts have been a cost saver for the county.

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