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Madison County Teachers Receive Bonuses
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The Madison County Board of Supervisors has agreed to issue two extra paid vacation days to all other county employees after school employees in the county are receiving year-end bonuses. The superintendent of the Madison School District, Matt Eberhardt, said that the board approved a year-end performance incentive. The incentive is for $500 and it will be issued to all of the full-time employees. Eberhardt said that there are close to 280 full-time employees in the system and the federal grant, which is for one time, is for $150,000. He did not disclose information as to where the remaining $10,000 will go after the bonuses are handed out to employees.

Eberhardt, according to the Madison Eagle, said, “This is the first time the federal government has ever awarded money that has to be targeted toward personnel. This is one-time federal money that if not used, we have to turn back to the federal government. There was a good amount of joy and happiness when people received my e-mail (announcing the $500 bonuses).”

  
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Eberhardt added, “I think it’s important that we all come together as a community. I think it is important to recognize folks’ efforts in a really bad economy. There were no local dollars attached to this.”

Dave Allen, supervisor, said that to do the same thing for the remaining county employees it will take close to $75,000.

“I don’t think we’ve got the money to do it. I think it’s unfortunate,” Allen said at the Dec. 20 supervisors workshop. “That being said, if I was Dr. Eberhardt (school superintendent) I’d have done the same thing he did. We need to look at something to do to recognize our appreciation for the county employees dedication to this county.”

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Pete Elliott, another supervisor, voted no for giving employees a day off on Friday December 30, 2011 and no for another day off to be taken by the employee at his or her leisure within the year.

“I think we need to do something for county employees, but there are an awful lot of people out there that is going to have nothing for Christmas. I got to vote nay,” Elliott said.



The employee can take two days off within the year if he or she has to work on December 30. Lewis Jenkins, the EMS Coordinator, said he was in favor of the vacation days but wanted to make sure the board knew that it would not be free.

“Just to make sure you understand that is not free in my department. We still have to cover those hours. So what you are essentially doing is increasing 16 hours times five people in my budget in either overtime or part-time to cover those hours. Remember that when I come back in June and say I am out of money,” Jenkins said.

Eddie Dean, another supervisor, had the following to say before voting yes:

“I have a real problem the school system has put us into this bind. The money that was spent did not have to be spent until September 2012. Why we find out last Monday of some type of decision like this is hard to understand? We operate basically out of the same pool of money and I hope the board that is seated in January will remember this situation. There is no reason to think you can have a good working relationship when you do not share information. It is hard for me to say yes. It is hard for me not to say yes,” Dean said.



 

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