Fiscal court affirms Curtis as road supervisor, sets salaries for several positions

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The first regularly scheduled meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court lasted nearly two and a half hours on Wednesday morning, and in the end, it voted to confirm salaries for several positions in the county government.

Alan Curtis was reaffirmed as Clark County Road Supervisor after some controversy regarding another being appointed to the position.

An order for setting the salary of the Clark County Road Supervisor, Jim Tipton, was also brought up during the meeting.

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However, the appointment itself was denied.

Members of the fiscal court mentioned concerns with the terms of the appointment, feeling it might have violated a statute.

Presently, Clark County Road Supervisor Alan Curtis’ term lasts until 2025.

“When you violate a well-established rule like a statute, you give up your qualified immunity as a government official,” said Clark County Attorney William Elkins. “You don’t just expose the county to litigation, you expose your personal assets to litigation.”

The motion to deny the appointment passed by a 5-1 vote.

Judge-Executive Yates was the dissenting vote, with Magistrate Blanton abstaining since he and Tipton are related.

No reason for Tipton’s potential appointment was given during the meeting. The Sun hopes to have more information about it in a future issue.

Later, a motion was made by Konstantopoulos to reaffirm the appointment of Clark County Road Supervisor Allan Curtis until 2025 and order that he return to his duties.

Curtis had received and complied with a letter stating that he was no longer the Clark County Road Supervisor.

The order was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Yates being the dissenting vote.

The court also approved orders setting the salaries for the deputy judge, and director of finance.

Perri Wilson – the current CSEPP Director – was recommended for the deputy judge position.

To open the conversation, Magistrate Chris Davis motioned for the Fiscal Court to approve an order setting a salary of $35,600 contingent on her resignation from the CSEPP position.

Though smaller than previous salaries for such positions, Davis explained that the role and responsibilities of the Deputy Judge have changed.

“I think currently the budget may reflect the old amount that was paid to the judge when that person was doing…additional HR roles and operations,” he said. “I don’t think that’s really accurate.”

Magistrate Davis was joined by Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos, who seconded the motion.

However, not all were in agreement.

Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates raised some concerns.

“I personally think the deputy judge position is a very highly visible position,” he said. “I think this person would represent the county, and I don’t think we can go down the road of offering unreasonable salaries and expecting to hire competent people.”

Wilson herself spoke to explain her qualifications and experience, while Magistrate Mark Miller sought clarification on the Deputy Judge’s roles for himself and fellow constituents.

In a close, 4-3 vote, the salary of $35,600 contingent on resignation from the CSEPP position passed.

Magistrates Davis, Konstantopoulos, Steve Craycraft, and Ernest Pasley voted in favor.

Magistrates Miller, Robert Blanton, and Judge-Executive Yates opposed.

For the same amount of $35,600, an order setting the salary of Director of Finance Officer Fran Howard was approved.

“In that position, that person works kind of hand-in-hand with your treasurer,” Yates said. “There were several situations that did happen [when]…bills were paid late, bills were lost, and even a couple county departments had received a power cut-off notice…those things should never happen.”

Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos made the initial motion.

“That’s what we’ve hired the last two finance officers [for]…that prepare the bills and then send those to the treasurer,” he said. “There was additional funds given to them, because they had additional responsibilities.”

After some conversation, the court voted 6-1 to approve the order, though Magistrates Blanton and Miller each noted some concerns.

“I would agree that we need to stay within those budget means, but I’m not sure that we can hire a qualified person for that amount,” said Blanton.