Zoning issues to be discussed next week
After passing a motion last week to move county employees to a bi-weekly payroll schedule, the Okmulgee County Board of Commissioners received a petition from Shelly Turner and other frustrated county courthouse employees requesting more time to prepare for the upcoming changes.
“Most of the employees have been here for five plus years, so we’ve only ever been on monthly payroll,” Turner said. “So everything that we have is set up to come out and be paid at that time.”
She added that many employees have bills and other charges set to be paid at a certain time each month and that the plan to switch in February may be disruptive.
Commissioner David Walk- er asked if they had an another time frame in mind and Turner suggested the beginning of the fiscal year in July.
Commissioner Erik Zoellner then asked how the change would negatively effect Turner and other employee’s ability to pay their bills on time if the payout is the same, just split in two, and she replied that his assessment would be correct in a hypothetical scenario but not for the realities of employees living paycheck to paycheck.
In addition to this, and concerns about how splitting the payments in two would affect tax deductions, Turner also said many courthouse employees have felt underrepresented in the decision making process, asking, “Why do you need to change a system that we’re all ok with it?”
The board plans to meet again to discuss these pending payroll changes further, but have not announced when that meeting will take place.
Next, Mayor Mickey Baldwin informed the commissioner’s about a number of potholes on a stretch of road south of 270 that some constituents brought to his attention.
The board approved the following blanket purchase orders, all for District Two: Cintas for $700, RPO for $1,000, AutoZone for $250, and O’Reilly’s for $250.
— Also approved at the meeting:
• 324A claims for the Bristlecone Road project • A submitted utility report from Valor Telecommunications for District Three
• Dates of regular scheduled meetings for the 2024 calendar year
• A resolution for a Fair Board election (County Clerk Tonya Day said that the filing period for that election would be Jan 8-12)
• An invitation to bid for a 2000 or newer bulldozer for Twin Hills Fire Department
• Lease/Purchase on a motor grader for District Three – total lease price for $435,519.90
• The financing purchase of a used patrol vehicle for the Sheriff ’s Office – Lastly, the commissioners were notified by Okmulgee County Assessor Ed Johnson about an out of county developer who has allegedly been parceling out land without filing plats or necessary documentation with the county.
Johnson said that the developer has also failed to consult with the flood control board before doing work that could be hazardous to the surrounding landowners.
The commissioners plan to discuss the zoning issue next week.
ADA Carman Rainbolt then took time to commend Milissia Smith for continuing to go above and beyond in her work at the courthouse. Specifically, she took time to clean up after the construction crews that are working around the building.