• Last modified 969 days ago (Jan. 25, 2018)


Commissioner returns bonus

Staff writer

One county commissioner, taken aback that commissioners were included among full-time employees who got holiday bonuses, returned the check.

Bonus checks are ordinarily handed out at a Christmas luncheon, which last month was held Dec. 29. Commission chairman Dianne Novak wasn’t at the luncheon, so her check was mailed to her.

“I returned it because at the time I voted to give the employees a bonus, I intended it to be a bonus for the employees, not myself,” Novak said. “I consider myself an elected official, not an ‘employee.’ I was shocked when I opened the mail and it was a check.”

Novak returned the check to county clerk Tina Spencer at the following commission meeting Jan. 8.

“She seemed surprised. She opened the envelope, looked at it and said, ‘OK,’” Novak said.

“The bonuses were given to all full-time employees and part- time, non-seasonal employees working at least 500 hours and still employed,” Spencer said. “Commissioners are elected officials, but for pay purposes are considered full time employees. They are eligible for all benefits.”

Spencer said elected department heads are also included in holiday bonuses.

Commissioner Kent Becker said so far he’s done nothing with his bonus, and he also was surprised to find out commissioners were included as “employees” when bonuses were handed out.

“I did not know that included us, to tell you the truth,” Becker said. “I don’t know that we need to be included in that. I know that’s one area we’ll be looking at this year. To be specific, I wouldn’t go any farther.”

Commissioner Randy Dallke said his bonus is in his savings account.

“That decision was made a long time ago that we’re full-time employees just like anybody else,” Dallke said. “We’re all working for the county to do the best we possibly can and do right for people. The bottom line is, our employees are not paid the top rates and anything we can do at that time of the year to help them out, we want to do that.”

Last modified Jan. 25, 2018