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Fiscal court postpones vote on policy amendment

County officials postponed the second reading of a policy amendment, where the county would pay employees for unused vacation, sick and compensation time at the end of the year instead of letting it accumulate.

The Clark County Fiscal Court was scheduled to vote on the second reading Wednesday, but the court voted unanimously to continue the matter to allow employees more time to discuss and understand the changes.

Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace said the amendment was comprehensive for all county employees, but there were some specific changes needed for the county firefighters. The model ordinance, Pace said, is geared toward employees who work an eight-hour shift. Firefighters typically work for 24 hours with the following 48 hours off.

“It will play into vacation time, compensation time, overtime and sick time,” Pace said. “Hopefully some of the changes will allow us to keep higher staffing.”

The advantage to the county, he said, is it would keep people working.

The proposed changes also included some changes to pay in hopes of attracting new firefighters, he said.

Several county firefighters attended Wednesday’s meeting. Capt. Steve Asbury was prepared to speak on the issue earlier in the meeting, but asked the court to delay its vote so the employees could discuss it further. Pace said he intended to ask the court to postpone discussion, which the members did unanimously later in the meeting.

The court also noted an executive order from Pace removing restrictions on firefighters having personal firearms while on duty and in the county fire stations. The previous standard operating procedure, approved in 2017, required firefighters to notify their supervisor, required the weapon to be registered and permitted, and be secured, among other steps.

Pace said a private resident notified him of the situation, which he equated with restricting a person’s Second Amendment rights, especially since firefighters live at the stations.

“Once I spoke with the (fire) chief about it, he said he had considered bringing it to me in the past,” Pace said.

“I didn’t think it’s within the purview of county government to restrict Second Amendment rights.”

In other action Wednesday, the court:

— heard a presentation from Winchester Municipal Utilities General Manager Duke Dryden about infrastructure projects along U.S. 60.

— noted a reimbursement of $5,082 for rent for the child support office.

— noted the indigent burial of Peggy Stephens.

— rescheduled the Nov. 28 meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

— approved a claim from County Clerk Michelle Turner of $2,565.15 for preparing county property tax bills.

— approved orders to sell surplus property from the Clark County Detention Center and the Clark County Road Department.

— voted to hire Albert Faulkner as a volunteer firefighter with the Clark County Fire Department.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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