Clerk, sheriff make requests

Beth Rumsey

Staff Writer

How some of the clerk’s money would be spent and how the sheriff would be paid were items the Ripley County Council dealt with at their November meeting that lasted nearly two hours.

A request at the beginning of the meeting from Mary Ann McCoy, clerk, prompted a half hour discussion, a vote, a motion to rescind a previous motion and finally with a four to three vote, the clerk’s request was granted.

McCoy asked to appropriate $3,000 from Clerical to the Perpetuation fund; and $611 from Social Security to the Perpetuation fund.

The monies would be used from the Perpetuation fund to pay the salary for someone to file and scan in the clerk’s office until the end of the year.

Much discussion ensued as McCoy explained why she needed the help and Council member Ed Armbrecht questioned what she would do next year when the money was gone.

The first vote was three for the appropriation request and four against - Bill Dramann, Ed Armbrecht, Dave Simon and Donald Dunbar.

“That will not work,” McCoy told the council as she asked them to please reconsider their votes.
Employees from McCoy’s office were present to explain how the process works and give reasons why they need the additional help. Kelly Vollet, technology director for the county, cited the Madison courthouse fire and said scanning was not just a convenience, but a digital back up that is kept in three separate locations.

Armbrecht told McCoy “You are an elected’s your job to get it done.” He told her if it took her 12 hours a day, she would be responsible to get the work done in the office she was elected to.
In the end, Dunbar reconsidered his vote with the notation, this was only until the end of the year.
Recently, re-elected Sheriff Tom Grills came before the council with two items.

First, he explained that the Friendship State Bank no longer had a trust department and the sheriff’s office retirement fund would need to be changed. He said Morgan Stanley had over 60% of the sheriff’s offices in the state. The council voted unanimously to go with this company.

Then the sheriff asked that his salary be paid under the 2.8 law, which he described as state minimum. He said, “I think I’m deserving of the 2.8", which would bring his salary to $75,388 plus 10% of the tax warrants collected.

Again there was considerable discussion about the amount he was requesting, considering previous sheriff’s salaries. Armbrecht noted Grills received a 36% increase when he took office.
Four years ago Grills agreed to only draw his salary and not the tax warrant money. Now he wants both. He said the dangers of his job and considering his now four-years experience as sheriff, he believes he should have the request granted.

The council opted to further research their options and have an executive meeting one hour before their regular meeting on December 13. (Note: this is a change from the regular meeting of the third Monday of the month for December).

The salary ordinance for all county employees with the exception of the sheriff’s salary, was approved unanimously.