Update: Mount Pleasant Engineering Told to Cut Temporary Employee Hours
The engineering department in Mount Pleasant has been told to cut its temporary employee to 21 hours a week. What some village trustees called a communication breakdown led to a temporary employee working more than authorized in the engineering department
**Updated June 24
Interim Administrator Ron Meyer last week told the village engineering department their temporary employee is only authorized for 21 hours a week for the rest of the year.
The directive comes after some Mount Pleasant village trustees alleged a "disgusting" lack of communication between village departments because a temporary employee in the engineering department was working 40 hours a week when only 28 were authorized.
"Engineering is three or four weeks ahead of the budget and more than $13,000 over budget if this continues," he said.
The temp was supposed to work in the engineering department for 28 hours per week, working the other 12 hours in finance. After officials learned the temp was working 40 hours for engineering, some trustees brought up issues of communication and efficiency in village government.
“The one thing that’s missing in this village more and more and more is communication,” trustee Sonny Havn said during the June 13 finance committee meeting. Havn is not a member of the committee, but to pursue this issue, he said he will propose a closed session of the personnel committee, on which he sits. “There is virtually no communication. And it’s disgusting to me, very disgusting,” he said.
Lead Accountant Vickie Matter said she needs the extra temp support in the finance department, but Matter said this temporary employee does not have the skills needed there. In that case, Director of Engineering Bill Sasse said, he did not see why he couldn't utilize all 40 hours.
“We have been keeping her busy for 40 hours a week,” Sasse said. “She’s a valuable asset to what our department is needing to have in the way of support service.”
Sasse framed the issue as a simple accounting matter, given that the temporary worker is paid as a vendor, and not through a payroll account, and he asked the committee to authorize 40 hours for his department. Trustees disagreed, and the committee voted to keep the temp authorized to work 28 hours in engineering.
“People are ignoring policies and procedures here. It was stated … in the personnel committee that it was 28 hours. That has not been the case,” Trustee Gary Feest said. (Feest is also not a member of the committee). “To me, that’s a breach of the policy. I’m not going to say ‘fault’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘illegal’ or any of those other words, but when it was decided 28, and we find out later it’s 40, I have a problem with that.”
In a statement after the finance meeting, interim Village Administrator Ron Meyer said communication is not the issue here, and anyone who attended the January personnel meeting should have understood where and how much the temp was authorized to work.
"There should be absolutely no lack of communication," Meyer said, adding that he would take "corrective action" on the matter, which is what his direction seems to be.