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Dawson County employees will get these perks at their work anniversary dates
Dawson County logo file photo
File photo.

Local government employees will now see more kinds of compensation sooner after Dawson County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a trio of measures on Feb. 2.

This story continues below.

Now, employees will see their job evaluations and chances for merit and paid-time-off increases coincide with their work anniversaries. 

During the board’s work session, Chief Financial Officer and Interim County Manager Vickie Neikirk reiterated that payouts of employee increases had been approved contingent on 2022 job evaluations.

Those merit increases were dispersed on Jan. 7, 2023, Neikirk said. 

Neikirk asked the board how they would like to time merit or longevity increases, employee evaluations and any PTO awards in 2023, since in 2024, those items would be moved to workers’ anniversary dates with the county. 

Human Resources Director Kristi Finley explained that Dawson County’s handbook only requires either PTO or merit increases for employees, not necessarily both, which Neikirk said was also her understanding when the board voted on the merit measure. 

Both District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines and BOC Chairman Billy Thurmond voiced their support of having employees’ PTO awards fall on their anniversary dates this year and having both evaluations and any PTO or merit awards coincide with their hire dates in 2024. 

The board also discussed whether employees who hadn’t gotten the January 2023 increases would be eligible for evaluations and merit bumps when they hit their 12-month anniversaries. 

Finley pointed out that about 74 employees would mark their one-year anniversaries with the county during 2023. 

Thurmond said employees who reach their year hire anniversaries in 2023 should go ahead and get their evaluations, PTO and merit opportunities since they didn’t get the January pay raise. 

“I think we should start that for the people in the 12-month category,” Thurmond said. “That tells you how young we are if we’ve got 74 people that are going to fall into that category this year.”

District 4 Commissioner Emory Dooley explained he did not consider at least a 1% raise and PTO equivalent. 

“I don’t know why anybody would pick the two hours of PTO,” Dooley said. “I’m fine with it being both [opportunities].”

With the board members all eventually voicing that preference, Neikirk said PTO balances would need to be adjusted for everyone. 

On a related topic, Dooley pointed out that first responders don’t have the same type of jobs as other departments, and their difference in duties should be reflected on the evaluations. 

“I would like to see us get a type of evaluation for each department,” he said. “It gives us a better picture of the employee, so it’s specific to their job.”

Thurmond added that they “don’t have to reinvent the wheel” with those types of evaluations, saying that ones could be found for those public safety jobs.  

Finley also shared that her department has access to good intercounty resources in that respect and already has evaluations for supervisory and non-supervisory roles. 

In other news, Dawson County is looking for its next county manager, according to a posting on the county’s job openings webpage. 

After the regular meetings, the board went into executive session and returned to vote on an amendment to the employee handbook for the county manager position. 

Now, the job won’t be assigned to a grade, Finley said to DCN, and the BOC can set the position’s salary at their discretion. 

DCN will continue to follow the county’s search for a permanent county manager.