Salary increases for shelter approved

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Clark County Fiscal Court voted 6-1 to increase the starting salaries for workers at the Clark County Animal Shelter to help fill vacant positions.

Monday’s special meeting came on the heels of the court voting the measure down last week and the shelter’s decision to suspend open adoption hours.

Shelter Director Adreanna Wills said the shelter has been functioning for the last six months with two full-time and one part-time employee; three full-time positions including animal control officer are vacant and have been for months.

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After an hour of discussion and presentation Monday, the court initially voted 5-2 in favor of increasing the starting salaries for animal control officer, assistant director and kennel attendant positions.

After Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos changed his vote, Magistrate Pam Blackburn was the only dissenting vote.

Wills said recruiting and retaining employees has been a consistent problem. When people are hired, many don’t show up for work or leave after a few days.

Most employees who left did so for financial reasons, she said.

The changes will increase the animal control officer salary from $12.56 an hour to $14.54, assistant director from $13.19 to $15.26, kennel attendant II from $9.87 to $10.33 and kennel attendant I from $9.37 to $9.87.

Monday’s vote approved the first reading of the ordinance. The second reading will be during the court’s regular meeting May 9.

During the discussion Monday, Wills said the shelter may not have had to cease open adoption hours had the decision been made last week.

“If we had gotten the answer last time, there would have been light at the end of the tunnel … and maybe we could have pushed through,” Wills said in response to a question from Konstantopoulos.

“I hope the increases to these positions … actually fixes the problem,” Konstantopoulos said. “I don’t know if it will. I don’t know if anyone wants to do the work.”

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said Wills had convinced him the increases will help but bristled at Magistrate Robert Blanton’s request to add in the motion the increases were because the positions were vacant. That language, Branham said, would open situations with other departments.

“I can’t let you put me in a position that affects other departments,” Branham said.

County attorney Brian Thomas said that language has never been put in an ordinance or an order, but it could be noted in the minutes as Blanton’s request.

“It needs to be we accept it or we don’t,” Thomas said.

A motion to add Blanton’s language to the motion failed 4-3 with Blanton, Konstantopoulos and Magistrate Joe Graham voting yes.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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