[AUG. 23, 2005] Year after year governing agencies across the
state pass resolutions to adhere to a standard known as the
Prevailing Wage Act with little or no question. Basically it is
understood that they agree to pay nonunion workers the going wage
for the type of work being performed. The primary motivator the
municipalities, counties, schools and agencies have in doing so is
that they must do it to continue receiving state or federal grant
In July the Logan County Board postponed passing the annual
resolution when board members Dick Logan and John Stewart questioned
if it really had to be passed. They would like to assess if this is
really what is best for our county.
Stewart, who is new on the
buildings and grounds committee, would like to do some comparisons
on the cost difference of paying less than prevailing and what grant
funds come in. Often downstate wages are far less than in more
affluent communities such as you find around big cities like
Chicago. "But is it really worthwhile for us?" he questioned.
The board agreed to hold off until a list of those wages was
available for all board members to review and consider the contract
work that is done in the departments that they oversee.
They also want know what would happen it they don't pass it. It
was determined to seek an interpretation and the application of the
act from Logan County State's Attorney Tim Huyett.
Neither the wage lists nor the opinion of the state's attorney
was available for the August meeting. The matter was tabled for
further discussion on Sept. 15 and a decision at the Sept. 20 board
* * *
The county continues to be frustrated by the new computer system.
The clerk and treasurer's offices were still having the most
difficulties remaining at the start of August. County clerk Sally
Litterly said that they cleared up the biggest problems in her
office on about the 10th, but there are still problems that need to
be resolved in the treasurer's office, headed by Mary Ellen Bruns.
The company supporting the computer system and new Microsoft
software program, Techtura, has begun charging for phone support,
and it is quite costly at $75 per call. They made a recommendation
that the county begin the $8,800 "Red Carpet" support contract. They
said they show a $9,000 balance that can be applied to cover that
Litterly said, "We need to be demanding right now and tell them
to come in here and fix this. Mary Ellen has been struggling with
this for eight months and it isn't working yet. I've seen Mary Ellen
work for 30 years and she's done a wonderful job. She should not
have to struggle."
There is big trouble coming in that office with the end-of-year
W-2s and when the audit comes, Litterly added.
At her recommendation and a suggestion by Mark Hilliard, the
finance committee agreed to contact Techtura and tell them we accept
for the Red Carpet plan but that it be at no cost until everything
is made right with the system first.
Dick Logan added that a letter of dissatisfaction should also be
drafted by the state's attorney to send with it.
Department reports remain difficult to interpret with the new
* * *
The county has formed a safety committee that will review all the
county departments. They will look for ways to keep county workers
healthier and safer. Chairman Bob Farmer appointed the following
people to serve on the committee: Gloria Luster, Dennis Reeves, Mark
Hilliard, Kim Escobedo, Bret Aukamp, Dan Fulscher, John Stewart and
* * *
Contract negotiations begin with Logan County Health Department
American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees in