County Board Settles w/Re-Employed Correctional Officers; Make Changes to Membership of Health Board

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Published on September 16 2013 10:42 pm
Last Updated on September 16 2013 10:56 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

(EFFINGHAM COUNTY BOARD CHAIRMAN JIM NIEMANN IS SEATED TO SIGN A PROCLAMATION ESTABLISHING RED RIBBON WEEK IN THE COUNTY FOR 2013.  GATHERED BEHIND HIM ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT: EFFINGHAM COUNTY SNOWBALL MEMBER KAITLYN KNIERIM, EFFINGHAM COUNTY DRUG ALERT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN KATIE KROEGER, SNOWBALL MEMBERS LUCIAN KINNEY AND KRISSA KINNEY, AND DRUG ALERT COUNCIL BOARD MEMBER MIKE VARADY)

The Effingham County Board Monday approved a settlement with two county jail correctional officers who had been dismissed and then were re-employed, but wanted back pay for the time they were not employed.

The Board approved the settlement with Correctional Officers Justin Finfrock and Jeremy Kyle, agreeing to pay each of them $7,712 before deductions.  The two were not employed from June 23 to September 1.

County Board Chairman Jim Niemann said they reached agreement to to re-employ the two as "part of a compromise we reached."

The Board also voted to make four appointments to the County Health Board.  Niemann had said previously that the Board wanted to consider people other than those proposed by Health Department Administrator Kim Esker, citing fiscal concerns.

Prior to the votes, the Board agreed to separate the Health Board candidates so each would be voted on individually, but voted down a motion to send the matter back to committee.

The Board voted unanimously to appoint Heartland Human Services Executive Director Jeff Bloemker to the Health Board for a two-year term, voted 5-4 to appoint Dr. Henry Poterucha for a one-year term with Doug McCain, Rob Arnold, Niemann, Karen Luchtefeld and Jeff Simpson voting Yes and Joe Thoele, Lloyd Foster, Dave Campbell and Mike Depoister voting No, appointed Eric Petty on a voice vote with the Ayes having it by a comfortable margin, and appointed Dr. Alison Conant on a voice vote with one Nay vote heard.

Dr. Conant and Petty replace Lola White and Dr. Charles Horin on the Health Board.

Luchtefeld asked to take the matter back to committee after each board member received a phone call over the weekend to retain one of the displaced members.

The appointments are retroactive to September 1.

The other appointments were routine, with Larry Taylor for a four-year term, Jane Reinheimer and Ed Hoopingarner for two-year terms, and Todd Hull for a one-year term on the Economic Development Advisory Board, and Johnathan Paholke of the Shumway Fire Protection District to a two-year term on the Ambulance Oversight Committee.

The Board created new line items for the county rural transportation system now in operation to account for grant funds being received; proclaimed a week in October as Red Ribbon Week to support efforts to make Effingham County drug-free; agreed to serve as a pass-thru agency for a grant being sought by TREC for Phase 3 of the trail network; approved a five-year agreement for software maintenance and support; and finalized the County holiday schedule for 2014.

Board members approved replacement of a box culvert in West Township on 50th Avenue, two miles west of the Altamont Blacktop for $3,000 with the county and township splitting the cost; set a 30MPH speed limit on Snake Trail; and set a 40MPH speed limit on the new portion of West Evergreen Avenue once it's opened within the next month.

County Clerk and Chief Election Authority Kerry Hirtzel reminded that petitions can now be circulated for offices to appear on the November 2014 primary election ballot.