Johnson City Record Courier
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Commissioners Lift Burn Ban, Vote to Adopt Changes in Personnel Policy
Thursday, January 10, 2013 • Posted January 11, 2013

Blanco County Commissioners conducted a regular meeting on January 8, 2013. All four commissioners were present. After approving the minutes of the last meeting, commissioners agreed to take no further action regarding the burn ban that had been lifted as of 9:00 am, January 8.

County Judge Bill Guthrie asked the commissioners to consider approval of the bonds for elected officials. The secretary to the Blanco County judge presented a list of the elected officials to the Court, and, according to Judge Guthrie, “all that is needed is approval for me to sign these bonds.” Blanco County Commissioner John Wood presented a motion for approval of bonding of public officials, Commissioner Paul Granberg seconded this motion, and the motion passed.

Judge Guthrie asked the Court to consider reappointment of individuals to the North Blanco County Emergency Services District Board for a two-year term. These individuals were David O’Bannon, Kay Odiorne, and Eugene Yentzen. Commissioner Chris Liesmann made a motion to approve the appointment of these individuals, Commissioner James Sultemeier seconded, and the action was approved.

The next order of business was to consider discussion of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the courthouse and annex. Commissioner Granberg and Judge Guthrie provided a brief history of an earlier unit that had been donated by the District Attorney’s office. According to Judge Guthrie, the previous defibrillator was placed in the great room but was recalled after only a few months. The defective defibrillator was not replaced.

Elaine Cross made a brief presentation to the Court. According to Ms. Cross, AEDs are necessary to diagnose a stricken individual’s condition and determine if an attempt should be made to restart the heart. Ms. Cross had researched the fees and the cost of maintenance of the units, and she made recommendations on the two most user-friendly models. Ms. Cross said these models “are recommended for community use, are simple to use, voice activated, and equipped with pictures.” She recommended purchasing a defibrillator that could be updated. Ms. Cross provided cost estimates for two AEDs, cabinets that would be needed for installation, and programs to keep the equipment operational, assist with paperwork, and provide compliance with the law.

According to Ms. Cross, AED equipment “is commonplace in buildings where a lot of people in the community use the facilities, and Texas has AED laws. Senate Bill 580 contains requirements for AED equipment in public facilities. Personnel must be trained, routine checks performed, and activities documented…just basically follow the law for requirements in public facilities.”

Ben Oakley of Emergency Services North also provided information for the Court regarding AED units. Mr. Oakley recommended checking with the manufacturer of the recalled unit for possible credit, and taking bids on state contracts for new equipment purchase to help reduce the cost of purchasing the AED units. Mr. Oakley said the CPR fallback feature “provides real-time feedback and, although the pads needed for this are a bit more expensive, the emergency response time and feedback benefit are amazing.”

Commissioner Liesmann asked how many people would need to be trained on the equipment, and what the liability would be. Mr. Oakley replied, “Thanks to the Good Samaritan Act, there is zero liability…the law makes a conscious effort to include a program that offers CPR and training.” Mr. Oakley also said his site offers two-hour classes at no charge, and these classes “would get regular workers trained.”

Judge Guthrie asked for further questions and Ms. Cross told the Court that pediatric pads suitable for children can also be purchased for the AED units. The judge asked if Mr. Oakley would look into the cost and a recommendation for the pediatric pads and if he would be willing to train employees. Mr. Oakley said he “would have this for the next meeting, and check into possible credit on the recalled equipment.” The Court agreed to wait for more information from Mr. Oakley before taking further action on the AED purchases for the courthouse and annex.

Commissioner Granberg provided a list of 11 surplus property items belonging to Blanco County. The surplus property is located in Precincts 1 and 4 and includes a 1999 Ford F250, cattle guards, a trailer, used skid steer tires and wheels, and culvert pipe. Judge Guthrie asked if the trailer was no longer needed. Commissioner Granberg replied there had not been much use for it and therefore “we are liquidating surplus and sharing existing equipment.” No surplus property was available in Precincts 2 and 3 at the present time. Commissioner Granberg made a motion for liquidating the 11 surplus items on GovDeals, Commissioner Wood seconded, and the action passed.

Judge Guthrie asked the Court to consider recommendations for changes in personnel policy. He said there are “a number of issues concerning overtime (OT) pay, holiday pay, and vacation pay for employees.” The first item for discussion was to apply the definition of overtime to the existing personnel policy. The Court also discussed holiday pay and annual leave (vacation pay) for employees. After addressing these matters, Judge Guthrie indicated it was his recommendation “to change the personnel policy and talk of the changes with the County Auditor.” The County Auditor indicated this was a budget issue and that it was necessary to “take steps to control and get a handle on it.”

Commissioner Sultemeier commented the changes would affect some people, and the Judge reminded the Court “this is a new year, vacation time has just started…it is important to handle this for everyone now.” In accordance with Judge Guthrie’s recommendation to consider changes in personnel policy, Commissioner Sultemeier proposed the following: 1) Add the definition of overtime to personnel policy, 2) Add a holiday designation, and 3) Make the necessary deletion of language pertaining to payment of annual leave. Commissioner Wood seconded the motion, and the motion carried.

Commissioner Liesmann made a motion to approve January payroll in the amount of $256,870.28, Commissioner Granberg seconded the motion, and the January payroll was approved by the Court.

The Court approved the official reports, with Commissioner Wood presenting a motion for approval and Commissioner Sultemeier seconding the motion.

Judge Guthrie asked the Court to consider approval of outstanding bills in the amount of $106,224.92. The motion for approval was provided by Commissioner Wood, Commissioner Granberg seconded, and the motion carried. There was no further business, and the regular meeting adjourned.

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