White County Human Resources Manager Leah Hull will be taking a new position, Jan. 6, 2023 and has given notice. She will be staying on to train her replacement Leigh Ann Ezra in the process. Because of her experience, Ezra has been Hull’s assistant for the last six years, Hull was asking for a higher than base rate salary for her. Hull’s salary is $55,560 and she asked that Ezra start at $52,000 initially.
“Every part of this job Leigh Ann knows, except ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Leigh Ann has helped me prepare all reports and can already do much of this job,” Hull said. She added that she has written all of the Human Resources policy that exists.
The conversation moved through concerns about budget and setting precedents by offering this increase contrary to the existing step matrix for seniority.
“I’m asking you to consider the experience that she already has by being my assistant,” Hull stated at one point.
Councilman Casey Crabb told the board that from a business perspective we need to keep HR and IT people happy, leaning towards agreeing to Hull’s request. Councilwoman Janet Faker suggested a lower salary, raising Ezra’s salary to $47,760 until the end of 2022, then raising to $51,000 in the new year. This became a formal motion seconded by councilman Art Anderson.
By one of the narrowest votes, four in favor, three against, it was passed to pay Ezra $51,000 beginning 2023.
The council began the end of year review as the election brought changes. Councilman Dennis Carter chose to not run again, and Steve Christopher will be joining the council taking Carter’s position.
Council President Butch Kramer suggested they wait on some of the council committee appointments so Christopher can have a voice on which ones he wants to participate on.
Community Foundation of White County Director Lucy Dold presented an explanation of the current giving campaign celebrating the 25th year of the foundation, Dold is hoping to generate knowledge and enthusiasm for the 25 by 25 Challenge. She explained that for every donation received, up to $25,000 will be matched, doubling the giving impact during the anniversary year.
“In May 2023, we’ll announce a new grant to celebrate the good in our community,” she added.
Council president Kramer challenged his colleagues to participate, announcing he had made a $500 donation while Dold was speaking.
Keira Lewellen, the new director of the United Way’s Opiod Education and Prevention Council, shared that her office is hosting a Parent’s Night Out on Dec. 3, with vetted babysitters to watch the kids.
“We’re really excited and this is the first time we’ve hosted this activity,” she told the board.
Next conversation was County Assessor Gayle Rogers sharing that clothing purchases for departments valuing $100 per item will become taxable income in the future. The exact way to track this will be coming in the future.
Rogers also stated that she has spoken to the treasurer about the processing of tax payments. She said it’s currently cumbersome to handle cash payments and as Treasurer Nydegger said a couple months ago the credit card system is also awkward. Rogers recommended purchasing cash counting machines for the treasurer’s office and there was a possibility of a second machine elsewhere in the courthouse.