Darren Doyle, story:
The discussion from the previous Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting continued in today's meeting regarding a proposed pay raise by Judge Executive Wil Cannon for Parks and Rec Program Administrator John Kiernan.
A vote was postponed during the last meeting after a lengthy discussion where two magistrates, Joe Durbin and Mark Woosley, questioned the pay raise, with Magistrate Durbin opposing it.
Kiernan was unable to attend today's meeting due to his full-time job; however, he prepared a statement that was read by Judge Executive Wil Cannon.
The Edmonson Voice obtained the prepared statement from Mr. Kiernan, which is published in its entirety below:
I’d like to make a statement as part of the discussion that occurred at the last fiscal court meeting regarding the proposed raise for my position. I’d also like to respond to comments that were made on social media that were misleading to the public.
Magistrate Mark Woosley took issue with some of the comments and responded: first to the references made to Woosley's comments on social media, which were part of the comment thread on the Edmonson Voice Facebook page.
"As far as the comments go on social media, I just put out there the information I had been given," Woosley said. "So I don't appreciate it being...that I was being disparaging. And I said, I made the comment, that evidently I'd been misinformed. That being said, parks and rec is for our children, not for the people running parks and rec."
Woosley went on to say that the each league is run by a board and that those boards are the ones responsible for the operation of each of their respective leagues, not the program director. He also noted that if the county is spending over $50K in Parks and Rec salaries (which include Kiernan's and Park Director A.B. Webb's), then the $118K total parks budget is already in a bind.
"Mr. Kiernan is doing his job, and I think he's doing a good job at it," said Woosley. "But he may be taking on more, or doing more than he's supposed to be doing-- getting paid for."
Magistrate Durbin spoke regarding Kiernan's job description. Durbin said that Kiernan is apparently spending lots of his time on the phone with parents when the boards are supposed to be doing that.
"Again, where do we draw the line?" Durbin asked. "He's saying he didn't ask for the phone, he didn't ask for the truck, so where did that come from?"
Cannon said that recommendation for the phone came from the Judge Executive's office, when it was determined that the Parks and Rec landline was not being used, but cost the county $130 per month.
Durbin then questioned Kiernan's overall numbers for the events in the prepared statement.
"Donald Trump said he got the largest inaugural gathering that ever was, nobody knows if that's so or not," said Durbin. "There's a lot of controversy over that. These attendants of these things (parks and rec events) maybe they're that big, maybe they're not, I don't know."
Durbin said he thought the county was simply overspending, based on the total budget amount.
Cannon pointed out that both the truck and phone allowance were voted on during the same meeting in July, and both passed unanimously.
After clarifying the raise request in today's meeting, Judge Cannon asked for a motion to increase Kiernan's pay from $12.24/hr for 1199 hours per year to a salaried position in the amount of $15,888. Cannon said the number was roughly based on a dollar per hour raise.
Magistrate Clark Wood suggested that the court wait until February, where Kiernan will have been an employee for one year, but Cannon disagreed because he said other similar situations called for a raise at the six-month mark. After County Attorney Greg Vincent asked for clarification of the motion, it was made by Magistrate Edd Rich, seconded by Johnny Brooks to increase Kiernan's pay to $15,888 per year. The roll call vote resulted as follows: Magistrates Johnny Brooks and Edd Rich both voted YES. Magistrates Buck Simmons, Clark Wood, Joe Durbin, and Mark Woosley voted NO. The motion did not pass.
Judge Cannon then asked for another motion; this time that the raise be in a lesser amount of $15,288, and Magistrates Rich and Brooks made the motion. During another roll call vote, Magistrates Simmons, Rich, Brooks, and Durbin voted YES, and Magistrates Clark and Woosley voted NO. The motion passed, and now Kiernan will be considered a salaried employee that is retirement-exempt.
The pay increase is $612.24 per year, or roughly $51 additional per month.