FARMINGTON — Two correctional officers have been promoted to sergeants at the Franklin County Detention Center. Both Michael Pratt and John Coleman have military training, Maj. Doug Blauvelt said, and both passed the sergeant’s exam. Franklin County commissioners approved both promotions at the May 3 meeting.
Additionally, Correctional Officer Stephen Charles II was appointed to a full-time position. Another officer with a similar level of experience and training asked to reduce the hours from full-time to part-time, so the officers essentially swapped positions.
County Treasurer Pam Prodan presented to commissioners her recommendation on an investment account for American Rescue Plan Act funds. His department researched the interest rates on a number of local banks and concluded that the Franklin Savings Bank had the highest interest rates for a sweep-type checking account, and Prodan recommended that the commissioners approve the investment of funds in this bank. Commissioners voted to transfer the funds and accept Franklin Savings Bank over their previous offer to assist in the process.
About a year ago, the county’s technical department feared it had been hacked. According to IT manager Jim Desjardins, the cybersecurity insurance company, a Keyes Insurance underwriter, told them to contact another company to monitor the system and determine if they had been hacked. The end result was a clean bill of health for county cybersecurity, along with a $10,000 utility bill. The insurance company then denied the county’s claim, apparently claiming that the county did not meet the coverage requirements for that bill. Commissioners ask Desjardins to contact Keyes Insurance. They also asked him to check other counties for their cybersecurity insurance options.
Heidi Jordan of the Probate Registry presented the commissioners with her concerns about a 22% pay increase for a trial assistant and office administrator in the district attorney’s office. Jordan said the duties were similar for this position and for the Assistant Register of Estates and the Assistant Register of Deeds. She proposed a similar increase for the Probate Sub-Registrar, which has thirty years of experience compared to the Office Administrator’s sixteen.
The commissioners felt they had to be careful when discussing the matter in a public meeting; however, the previous salary increase was discussed in a public meeting when the commissioners considered their budget.
No follow-up was given to Jordan’s request. Commissioner Terry Brann said he did not want to discuss it further.
Tiffany Baker of Human Resources said commissioners need a uniform pay structure. She had previously complied with something that the commissioners did not adopt. Without a pay structure, commissioners run the risk of unequal pay rates for employees. Unionized employees have a structure and bargaining agreements to set wages, but there is no structure for non-unionized employees.
Baker asked for confirmation that the commissioners would be open to considering a structure, as she put a lot of work into the last proposal she gave them.
County ARPA consultant Sue Pratt said an established compensation structure would help protect commissioners and the county.
Commissioner Lance Harvell thought they needed to address a pay scale structure and wanted to revisit it.
Commissioner Clyde Barker was unable to attend the Commissioners’ meeting again as he was unwell.