Does the new community service position show nepotism?
During last week's board of commissioners' meeting, citizen Joene DePlancke said she was shocked when she heard the board of commissioners had recently hired Larry Buttram, husband of Current County Clerk Diana Buttram, as the new Community Service Supervisor. When most county positions pay an average of $11 an hour , the community service supervisor will be paid $14 an hour with full benefits. The county also purchased a van for the supervisor to use for the job. When the board approved the position three months ago, the details, such as salary, were not defined.
DePlancke asked the commissioners if the job had been publicly advertised. Commission Chairman JC Sanford said no it had not been advertised and that he (alone) had made the decision.
“This is not a department head,"
"This is like any employee of the county. It’s just a position that we fill whenever we have a need.”
Undeterred, DePlancke said she did not understand why the position pays more than that of a Gilmer County Sheriff’s Deputy and asked Sanford to describe the position. She went on to say it's unfair not to advertise the position when so many people are currently out of work. Several months ago, Sanford himself said that county employees have not received a raise in five years, which brings up the issue of funding the position.
FYN asked Sheriff Nicholson what the average salary of a Gilmer County jailer is, a seemingly appropriate candidate for the supervisor position. Nicholson said jailers are paid $11 an hour.
Responding to DePlancke, Sanford said the job may become “extremely complicated” and the position requires a lot of “organizational skills."
“People who do community service have been allowed over the years from my indication to not perform the work they have been assigned. This person will make them responsible and hold them accountable,”
Sanford explained. Sanford added that he thought the position might save the county money by cutting down the cost of crime. Additionally, Sanford has the support of Judge Brenda Weaver for improving the community service program.
Another citizen at the meeting said he thought the current community service program was just fine, implying the new position was not necessary.
The question of nepotism, however, still lingers.
Watch Citizen Joene DePlancke question the board of commissioners about the community service superivisor position.