Jobs open in finance department as resolution comes back for another try

Friday, March 30, 2012
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Marshall County Education Association President Patty Hill teaches a science class at Lewisburg Middle School. She will be one of the school employees receiving a bonus if the resolutions pass Monday night.

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

Marshall County officials have another chance next week to pass the resolutions allowing school personnel to receive their long-awaited bonuses.

The meeting schedule for Monday evening duplicates this week's, with the school board convening at 5 p.m., followed by the county commission at 6 p.m.

If approved, the intention now is for teachers and support personnel to get a separate check, paying the bonus, by April 5, in time for spring break.

Director of schools Jackie Abernathy is convinced the resolution members of the school board will be asked to approve is right this time.

"I've been through every employee, every line, this time," she said during a telephone interview Thursday. "It has been an ordeal."

Abernathy explained in a letter to county commissioners how the resolution came to be pulled at the last minute. She says she received the corrected resolution just 20 minutes before the school board meeting, and immediately faxed it to County Budget Director Freda Terry.

Terry looked it over and called Abernathy back just five minutes after the school board's meeting adjourned to say the totals were wrong. Terry said she could correct the totals, but then it wouldn't be what board members had voted on, so Abernathy asked her to pull the resolution off the commission agenda.

"I was as embarrassed as I've ever been," Abernathy exclaimed. "I promise you it won't happen again.

"Monday was Day 12 for me," she said, referring to the short time she has been in office as director of schools. "I've been trying very hard. We need to make this work."

In her letter to the commissioners, Abernathy states, "It appears the numbers have not been correct since the beginning" and, now that they have been corrected, the total increased by about $18,000.

She was relying on employees in the Central Office's Department of Budget and Finance, and stated, "I had confidence in those who were doing it."

Now there are two jobs open in that department.

An advertisement is running in the Tribune today for the accounts payable job formerly filled by Judy Roberts.

As for the schools budget director position previously held by Sheila Cook-Jones, Abernathy said she planned to use a "contract person" until the end of the school year, and then seek a new budget director during the summer.