The Gila County Board of Supervisors delayed a decision on adding a stipend incentive on top of overtime pay for employees who are called in during emergencies.
Roundup file photo
Weekend winter storms mean calling in county staff to man the snowplows.
But sometimes, the county simply doesn’t have enough people to respond, Steve Stratton, director of the Public Works Division told the Gila County Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 18 meeting.
“We can’t force them, so we want to try to give an incentive and be competitive with the state,” said Danny Savage, who is also with public works.
The incentive would include a stipend for those who come back in after they have worked their regular hours to help with an emergency like the weekend storm, as well as fires and floods.
But Supervisor Mike Pastor expressed doubts about the proposal submitted. The combination of overtime and the stipend could cost the county up to $35 an hour. He expressed concerns about basing county policy on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s policy in 2005, instead of the state’s updated policy. He noted that the supervisors have already once rejected a proposed stipend policy.
“This is not a very good policy. I would like to sit down (with public works) and discuss it and come up with something else. I don’t think it’s advisable to add this policy. There are a lot of questions,” Pastor said.
Supervisor Shirley Dawson agreed the proposed policy still needed work and suggested tabling the item.
“I don’t think $35 an hour is outrageous for evacuations across the river in Tonto Basin,” she said.
Supervisor Tommie Martin also wanted to delay a decision.
“We need another conversation about it, but we need to decide soon,” she said.
Action by the board was tabled to the first meeting in February 2013.