First two-day budget proposals on the books | The star


AUBURN – The formation of the 2022 county budget began after an eight-hour day of hearing proposals from county department heads and elected officials.

This discussion continues today with another eight hour session and 13 presentations by heads of department and elected officials.

Board chairman Rick Ring began Tuesday’s session by advising the board that the main goal would be to align salaries.

“We have a little more money this year than we thought just because the growth quotient is higher at 4.2%,” Ring said. “I would like to say that we would be able to take care of everyone. I’m sure not everyone will be where they want to be, but we’ll do our best.

Tuesday’s discussion revolved around salaries as each department head or elected official made their way to the podium. Before leaving the podium, Ring made sure to ask if employee reviews were being submitted and if employees were participating in the IT department’s Know Before program.

The day began with presentations from the three county judges.

Superior Court Judge 2 Monte Brown spoke on behalf of the group, saying he believed the salaries paid to court staff were unfair and unjustified.

“Our staff are the lifeblood of the third floor of this courthouse,” said Brown. “Staff are important in the management of our courts, they are accountable to us and the Indiana Supreme Court.”

Brown said the recommendations made in budgets are lower than what the average paralegal does.

“Our staff need to be paid fairly, our budget figures that we have presented are going in the right direction,” he said.

All three judges said they constantly train their staff and all court reporters are certified as paralegals.

Circuit court judge Kurt Grimm said his staff could sit at a hearing, take notes and create the documents needed for a hearing.

“The ability to do this allows for efficient handling of cases,” said Grimm. “It’s a skill set that is learned over a long period of time. “

The day’s presentations were completed by Sheriff David Cserep II and Sheila Stonebraker, Evaluator.

The sheriff’s budget of nearly $ 5 million is the county’s largest proposal. Its budget, like others, included at least a 2.5% increase in employee salaries. It also includes several larger capital expenditures.

These capital expenditures included repairing the elevator at DeKalb County Jail, which is priced at $ 112,450. There is also a need for 55 new portable radios for staff, as well as HVAC repairs and five new vehicles.

The sheriff explained that his department uses a five-year rotation on all of their cars. This allows the department to get the most money for the vehicles at auction, as the vehicles will always have less than 100,000 miles on them.

While discussing his budget, Sheriff Cserep raved about the quality of his staff, as have all elected officials and department heads.

“These people are dedicated and do a great job, which is why we look good,” he said. “I want to keep these people. We have a great team and they work hard.

Council Chairman Ring echoed those sentiments.

“I am very grateful for the people we have,” Ring said.

Other presentations on Tuesday included Jason Meek, Homeland Security; Sandi Wilcox, Treasurer; Nellie Heffley, land and water; Holly Albright, City Clerk; Leta Hullinger, recorder; Jack Smith, IT; Becky Calhoun, Drug Free DeKalb; Kellie Knauer, Community Corrections; Chris Gaumer, development department; Brian Humbarger, E-911 and Doty Miller, human resources.

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