By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners met at the Courthouse Monday morning to tend to the affairs of the County. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present.
The bulk of the time of the meeting was devoted to two major topics.
Because the end of the calendar year is fast approaching, several department heads met with the Commissioners to discuss personnel evaluations. Because of the private nature of these discussions each of four Department Heads met with the Commissioners in thirty-minute executive sessions devoted to the discussion of non-elected personnel. Tony Perez-Mitchell County Sheriff, Marty Hernandez-Superintendent of Public Works, Becky Snook-Director of Communications, and Melinda Latham-County Appraiser spent time with the Commissioners discussing the performance of the individuals in their separate departments. No action was taken as a result of those closed sessions.
Marty Hernandez also was on hand to open sealed bids he had received for the purchase of a pickup truck. The Beloit Auto Truck Plaza submitted the only bids received. Both bids were for a 2024, four-door, white, Ford F-150 pickup. The vehicles appeared to be equal in most specifications except for one factor - the price. One bid was for $56,006.52 and the other bid in the amount of $51,330.
The Commissioners requested that Hernandez determine why there was a five thousand dollars difference for what appears to be the same vehicle. He agreed to do that research and report back at the next meeting and explain the differences.
County Attorney Mark Noah was on hand to deliver the necessary paperwork for the two lots in Tipton to be sold to Kelli Hake and her husband. Noah was in receipt of a check for the agreed amount of $1,000 and all the signed paperwork. The Commissioners declared the sale to be final.
Emily Benedick appeared to discuss the ROZ (Rural Opportunity Zone) program. This is a program enabling people who move into Mitchell County the ability to have student loan debt absolved. A person may participate in this program for five years with a maximum of $31,000 forgave. There are currently six individuals participating in this program.
The second major area of discussion was the Mitchell County pay schedule. Heather Weston and Lynn Imboden took the lead on the dialog. This topic had many twists and turns as do most discussion that deal with people's paychecks.
Most County employees are paid monthly. Over the course of one year, these employees receive twelve paychecks. By state law, the County law enforcement officials must be paid every four weeks. Because each month contains four weeks and a few days, these extra days mount up month by month. Due to the accumulation of these extra days at the end of each month, the law enforcement employees receive thirteen paychecks over the course of one year.
Another complicating situation is when a new employee is hired in the middle of a month. They must work one complete month before they get their first paycheck. This would mean they must work the first two weeks of their first partial month of employment then another full month before they receive their first paycheck. The net result is that a new employee might have to work 45 to 60 days before getting their first paycheck. This can cause significant stress, working almost two months before getting paid.
With no immediate answers on hand, the Commissioners directed that Weston and Imboden call around to other counties and see if they have the same conflict. If they had such a problem and fixed it, the Commissioners would be interested in what action was taken to remedy the situation.
Having addressed all the topics on the published agenda, the meeting was adjourned.


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Beloit, KS 67420, USA