Jackson County Commission held their work session on Tuesday of last week.

Commissioners discussed two DHR Board appointments. Commission Chairman Tim Guffey stated that two had applied for the positions.
Guffey spoke to commissioners about Jackson County voting precincts. Guffey explained that the information he was submitting to commissioners wasn’t something he expected to be settled within a week. However, several precincts are within a few miles of one another and a lot of money is being paid to open them for 10-11 votes. Commissioner Jason Venable stated that at a recent election there were four poll workers who only had three people to vote. Guffey further stated that when these polls were set up it was back in the horse and carriage era when it was harder to get to the polls. Guffey called off some of the polls where, 37 people, 15 people, 72 people, 64 people, 51 people voted in. He stated nine polls voted under 80 people. Guffey stated that there are also issues with getting enough poll workers.
 “Young people don’t want to do poll work. There were four poll workers aged 18-24; 12 poll workers aged  26-40; and 73 poll workers aged 71 and older. Each poll costs between $600-$800 for each election,” stated Guffey.
Commissioner Mike Sisk stated, “That goes over in where I’m at too. I think you have seven right there. Putman Mountain I think had three out there. It goes back to years ago when there was no transportation and there was a lot more population in the area. No one wants to see them closed down. We are in a position where we have to do what’s best for the county and the money situation.”
Guffey stated that Hollytree, Bishop and Princeton are all within 3.2 miles of one another. Guffey stated it’s something he wants the commission to look at and think about.
The Auburn University Personnel project was discussed. Commissioner Jason Venable explained that the commission previously asked Michelle Willis, HR director to contact Auburn University to study the job positions in Jackson County, including the pay scale of those county workers. If approved Auburn would do a study and make recommendations on the pay scale and job descriptions. Auburn was also contacted to write a new employee handbook. The handbook has not been updated since 2005. Willis explained that there are 105 different job titles for county employees currently. Auburn will spend one hour with the workers, evaluate the job and make sure that Jackson County salaries are competitive with other local counties. Willis stated that she feels it’s needed. County Engineer Jonathan Campbell explained that so many positions are similar throughout the county but in different departments, when an employee who does a similar job to one that’s being posted as open in another department and sees that the pay is $1-$2 higher, it’s an issue. Guffey stated that they’re losing good employees because they aren’t competitive.
Campbell made recommendations for two temporary laborer positions and one HMT1 position.

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