Marion County has four elected officials who previously served as County employees. As employees, they were allowed to “bank” their sick leave to receive payment upon retirement. However, when they were elected to their respective offices, they lost the ability to “bank” the time off.

As employees, Auditor Jake Grandia, Recorder Karen Schwanebeck, Treasurer Denise Emal and Sheriff Ron Goemaat had banked sick leave hours totaling 2,271.25 among them. If they retire under the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), they will receive payment for half of the hours they had banked. The hourly rate will be returned to what they were last making as employees, not elected officials.

Supervisors Jim Kingery and Sam Nichols voted in favor of this action, but Board Chairman Howard Pothoven voted against it. Pothoven said he believes County fringe benefits are rich compared to the private sector. His objection to this proposal is that he did not want to increase spending. According to Grandia, every County employee is able to bank sick leave time for payment. If the employee retires under IPERS before age 65, the money can only be used to help pay health insurance costs. If the employee retires under IPERS after age 65, he or she can receive the money as a cash payment. The cost for the four elected officials, following the IPERS formula stated in the resolution, will be $22,986.79.

In other action, the supervisors were updated on activities at the Marion County Care Facility by Barb Adam. Adam, the MCCF administrator, works for the nonprofit group Community Care, Inc. CCI has run the day-to-day operations at the facility for over a year.

Adam told the board the facility has 35 residents now, with nine counties represented. Of the 23 Marion County residents living there, seven are private pay. The facility has a maximum occupancy of 44.

The facility is getting a lot of referrals, but many are also being rejected due to behavioral concerns. Physical beds at the facility are running low as well.

Maintaining the facility will likely be addressed in a special meeting with the board and CCI. The facility needs a new stove and it is unclear who is going to pay for it. Adam said CCI has paid for several minor repairs. This week, carpets at the facility were cleaned and some landscaping is going to be done. Dignitaries, including the supervisors, were invited to a family barbecue at the facility on May 23.

Other school board notes:

-Following a public hearing, approval was given for the 2008-09 budget amendment. The amendment increased Total Other Expenditures from $3,745,790 to $8,020,192. Business Manager Jon Miller told the board there was $3 million in bonds refunded which were not in the budget and progress on the high school has moved faster than anticipated. Taxes are not expected to increase due to the change.

-Reimbursed the general fund for a bus purchase. Due to state funding cuts, the board moved approximately $158,000 from the sales tax fund to the general fund to cover this expense. The state cut is likely permanent and this may be an annual transfer to compensate for that.

-Approved contracts for Amy Wilson, part time ECSE instructor and part time special education associate and Jill Roberts, half-time high school teacher librarian. The board also accepted the resignation of Amy Lyons, special education associate at Jefferson.

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