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Adjustments repealed from Dept. of Labor issue

Adjustments repealed from Dept. of Labor issue
Adjustments repealed from Dept. of Labor issue
Two outgoing councilmen, Richard Gerdon, center, and Jim Heitkemper, right, speak with Councilman Kyle Nix Tuesday during a gathering in their honor after the council meeting last Tuesday night. (Sherry Brown was also honored as an outgoing councilmember.) Photos by Ross Schulz

The Harrison County Council meeting Tuesday night, Dec. 27 ‘ the last one of 2016 ‘ marked the final meeting for three councilmembers and a special couple who had been a part of the meetings for 16 years.
Pete and Joan Schickel have provided the ‘prayer-giver’ to start each council meeting since 2000. The guest, who oftentimes is a local preacher, leads a brief prayer or gives insight to the council before the meeting starts.
The Schickels brought in folks from throughout the county and often asked preachers who were new to the area to lead the prayer.
Pete Schickel said 16 years was a long time to do the task.
‘Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren would like for Joan and I to go to basketball games,’ he said.
Schickel was a councilman himself for 30 years, from 1958 to 1988.
During that time span, he said he only missed one meeting, and that was because of his daughter’s wedding.
Catherine Turcotte, who gave the prayer for last week’s meeting, presented the Schickels with a gift: a Mother Teresa prayer book.
‘You’ll be missed,’ Council chair Gary Davis said before beginning with the main business of the meeting.
The council moved to amend the salary ordinance for four positions that had previously been bumped up to the $47,476 threshold to meet the ‘no overtime requirement’ from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
The law, now in limbo, required that all non-exempt employees receive overtime pay for all time worked over 40 hours in a work week.
On Nov 22, a federal judge put a stay on the changes that were supposed to take effect Dec. 1, 2016, after 22 states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce brought a lawsuit claiming the regulations exceeded the DOL authority.
Now, Davis said, it was the recommendation of their compensation consultant, Waggoner, Irwin and Scheele, to not make changes based on the mandate because it may take a while for the issue to be resolved and the new administration could have a different view of it.
‘At this point in time, we don’t know the ultimate outcome,’ Davis said.
So, instead of getting a salary of $47,476 for 2017 as was approved at budget time, the following positions will now see a reduced figure: plan commission administrator, $47,196; county planner, $42,807; jail head nurse, $44,632; and the jail commander, $40,150.
Two of the four salaries received the ‘across the board’ 1.5-percent raise from 2016. The other two did not for separate reasons: the jail commander, who was bumped up higher (13.5 percent) to avoid a similar salary to lieutenants, and the head nurse stayed the same because it was deemed overpaid by a recent salary study.
After the meeting, cake and refreshments were served in honor of the three outgoing councilmembers, Richard Gerdon, vice chair Sherry Brown and Jim Heitkemper.
Davis thanked the trio for their service.
‘I wish you well in your future endeavors,’ he said.
Heitkemper said it was the ‘best council’ he’s ever served on.
The council’s next meeting, an organizational meeting, will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.