The public hearing on LaGrange County’s proposed 2019 budget resumed Monday morning with personnel requests taking center stage.
Councilman Mike Strawser said he has a hard time adding $500-thousand dollars in new employees requested and wondered, "I'd like to bring up the subject of moving the work week from 35 hours a week to 40 hours a week in various departments. Would that help eliminate some of the needs for additional staffing?"
One of the first new positions questioned was for the Information and Technology Department. I-T Director Bob Murphy defended the requested position.
"It's absolutely ludicrous to me, the way this keeps expanding, as far as personnel, and equipment and everything else. If you look at it historically over the past ten years and you expect us to support that on a 40 hour work week."
County Commissioner Terry Martin supported Murphy’s request – saying that using outside contract help will cost the county more than the new position. He also thought it was important to keep a skilled staff person.
Afterwards the council voted to keep the new position in the budget and reduce the professional services line item.
Council also voted to include three of the four positions requested by the sheriff’s department and an additional maintenance position for the parks department.