The process for disciplining village employees is being restructured in Genoa.
At Monday night’s meeting, council passed an ordinance, with an emergency clause, that puts disciplining workers in the hands of the village administrator.
The previous steps called for the village administrator to take the cases to village council for review and then have the administrator carry out council’s decision, Village Administrator Kevin Gladden explained. If employees objected, they filed an appeal with their immediate supervisor and then it went back to the administrator.
Based on a recommendation from the personnel committee, the village is opting to now let the administrator discipline employees for infractions on his own. If the worker objects to determinations such as days off, docked pay or termination, then he or she can appeal to the council, Gladden said. Council then conducts a grievance hearing.
“It was kind of backwards before,” with the council heading up the initial decision, he said.
Part of the problem also included timing. Village council meets twice a month, on the first and third Mondays.
In the event of a discipline issue, the case would have to wait until the next meeting or council would have to call a special meeting. It could sometimes take up to three weeks or longer for discipline to be carried out.
Gladden said the change in personnel policy was discussed long ago but never instituted under the previous administration.
“That’s something that’s been kind of talked about for a couple of years,” he said.
The village employs 18 workers as well as seasonal workers.
Village Council renewed a two-year contract for its village solicitor this week.
Attorney Brian Ballenger’s current contract expired Tuesday. On Monday, council approved the new contract, with a 3 percent raise, amounting to additional $5 an hour, according to Gladden said. The new contract runs June 4, 2012 to June 4, 2014.
Ballenger, a Northwood attorney, was initially hired at a $130 an hour rate, with hours determined on an as needed basis, according to fiscal officer Charles Brinkman at the time of Ballenger’s hiring.
Ballenger has been an attorney for 27 years. He operates a private practice and also does work for the Village of Walbridge and City of Northwood.
He took over the solicitor’s job following the March 2010 resignation of longtime solicitor Cindy Smith. She cited personal reasons for the departure after holding the position for two decades.