MERCER COUNTY Commissioners declare position in layoff status
Commissioners have repeatedly announced their intention to save money by reducing staff through attrition.
BY MARY GRZEBIENIAK
MERCER -- Mercer County commissioners agreed Thursday to reduce the county maintenance crew from six to five by declaring one position on layoff status, at least temporarily.
Commissioner Olivia Lazor abstained from voting, asking, "Do we have enough staff to do what needs to be done here?"
No one will actually be laid off. The worker who held the position has resigned and will not be replaced.
Commissioner Brian Shipley said his understanding is that Bill Boyle, director of administrative services apprised union officials of the move.
Commissioner Gene Brenneman said the position had to be placed on layoff status to comply with the union contract. Leaving the position vacant is not necessarily a permanent move.
Attrition: Commissioners have repeatedly announced their intention to save money by reducing staff through attrition.
They approved an agreement which, for the second year, puts Mercer into a consortium with eight other counties to provide health assessments to mentally retarded clients of the Behavioral Health Commission who move from an institution back into the community.
Michelle McCracken, a program analyst, said the consortium will allow clients to receive more appropriate health care. The state department of welfare has provided Mercer County with $5,000 to cover the cost for one year.
Water testing: Commissioners also approved an agreement with Microbac Laboratories Inc. for bacterial water testing in foster homes for one year at $18.50 per sample.
Brenneman said the tests are necessary because a family can build immunity to contamination in well water, but someone who moves into such a home could get sick.