Later start time for county commission

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners will still meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month, but a change in the longstanding 5 p.m. start time was made this week.
For a trial period of six months, commission meetings will be called to order at 6 p.m. The move by one hour was proposed Tuesday by commissioner Kathy Pangle. She said the 5 p.m. start time is too early for people who work a traditional 9-to-5 job.
Chairman Allen Balog said he appreciated Pangle’s input. Balog, however, noted that a 5 p.m. start benefits staff members and other courthouse employees – elected or not – who attend the twice-a-month meetings because of an agenda item that requires their presence.
As it stands, the commission’s Jan. 17 meeting will begin at 6 p.m. but the issue is likely to be revisited next week in light of concerns Sheriff Brad Balk expressed after the meeting.
Balk noted that a 6 p.m. start would add up to about two additional hours of overtime for each deputy every meeting. That amounts to at least 48 hours in an overtime rate for the year.
As a result, county administrator Pat Yoder between now and Wednesday’s 8 a.m. executive committee meeting will tally the approximate costs the county can expect to incur based on a 6 p.m. call to order.

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