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Board of Supervisors questions payroll overtime

Lincoln County supervisors want to stop what they consider the overuse of overtime before it gets further out of hand.

For several months, the board has been meeting twice a month — a few days before payroll is processed — to go over the report line by line with payroll clerk Lisa Britt. There was a bit of concern Friday that some departments requested overtime pay without a reason for the extra hours.

“If there’s overtime, there needs to be a reason, on paper,” said District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson.

District 4 Supervisor Doug Falvey suggested Britt should call a department head who turns in a report without an explanation for overtime listed on the report.

“Tell them when they give us an explanation we’ll pay them. I just think that needs to be on there,” he said.

Britt said she’ll talk to the various department heads to make sure they write the cause for the overtime.

Williamson said overtime use is too frequently used by employees.

“Most of them are making within $400 or $500 of me a month,” Williamson said. “I’m out all the time. They’ve got it made.”

District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown suggested Williamson should accept it.

“I don’t think we ought to get over it. I think the pay should be kept down,” Falvey said.

“I’d give up $400 or $500 if I didn’t have to go out at night,” Williamson said.

“Get after your legislators. You knew the law when you took the office,” Brown said. “I know you’re sitting here grumbling. But you know the law when you took the office.”

District 1 Supervisor and Board President Jerry Wilson complained that part-time workers should be able to take up the slack to avoid overtime by full-time employees.

“We’re just handing out overtime with no accountability is what it boils down to and I think it’s wrong,” Falvey said. “I could work my people overtime every week, but I don’t. It’s what we get in the mindset of doing.”

“I know I could work mine,” Wilson said. “I need stuff done now. What’s the use of having the extra help?”

Falvey suggested workers at Lincoln Civic Center readjust their schedules to avoid overtime.

“I know they work on Saturday with ballgames and all, but there’s not anything going on out there during the week,” he said. “Why don’t they take off four hours on Monday and work four hours on Saturday? To me that’s just business. I don’t think it’s so busy all the time that you can’t take off that time and work on Saturday. But if we keep paying overtime, they’ll keep charging us.”

Wilson reminded Britt to make sure department heads explain the need for overtime.

“Will you let them know that we need to know a reason why? If not, they’re not going to get paid. I’m not going to support it,” Wilson said. “That’s anybody that works overtime. We need to know why they’re working overtime.”