Rhea County, Tenn., to pay for uncompensated work

Rhea County, Tenn., to pay for uncompensated work

June 30th, 2013 by Kimberly McMillian in Local Regional News

Commission Chairman Jim Reed

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

DAYTON, Tenn. - Rhea County commissioners on Friday voted unanimously to award nearly $8,000 to ousted former county Elections Administrator Theresa Snyder for uncompensated work.

Commissioners voted at a special called meeting Friday night following a recommendation from the Rhea County Election Commission that Snyder and other employees should be paid for working through lunch or after hours.

"Election commission approved it," County Commission Chairman Jim Reed said about the $7,938 in compensatory pay for Snyder.

Election commissioners ousted Snyder earlier this year. In May, county commissioners voted to pay her nearly $5,100 for unused vacation time, but not for 180 hours in comp time. Commissioners changed their minds after Snyder threatened to sue for the money.

Attorney Carol Ann Barron had a list of other election workers who had "unpaid wages" for lunch time or overtime. Deputy Administrator Felicia Mills garnered the highest payment of $3,962.81 for lunch time not taken.

Commissioners also voted to restrict the time and topics for public comment at meetings. This followed an animated audience reaction to their vote more than a week ago to buy land owned by Dayton's mayor for a new county justice center.

Commissioner Bill Hollin suggested limiting individual comments to three minutes, and Reed added that comments be restricted to items on that meeting's agenda.

The commission is expected to vote July 9 on the 2013-14 budget for the fiscal year that starts Monday. Meanwhile, on Friday they approved a resolution granting about $73,000 in county funds to nonprofit organizations in the coming year.

The grants include $2,500 for the 2014 Remote Area Medical clinic, which offers free health, dental and eye care, and $5,000 toward the Rhea of Sunshine facility for mentally and physically challenged county residents.

Commissioners also agreed to pay $200 and join the newly formed Rhea Alliance, a group to promote tourism. The vote was 8-1, with Grover Parks voting no.

The group board delayed consideration of other agenda items, such as residential and commercial building codes, employee accountability, the County Technical Assistance Service certification program and a $75 fee for temporary occupancy permits.

They will review those items at their workshop July 24 at 5 p.m.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.