County plans to shed employees

Bartholomew County hopes to shed 10 of its employees next year, by not filling open positions. The County Council will make any department heads who want to replace an open spot, come before the council to justify the need.

Council members said this will not be a hiring freeze, as some essential positions could be filled as needed, but the long-term goal is to reduce the number of county employees.

According to numbers from the auditor’s office, Bartholomew County has 443 employees, including 379 full time and 64 part-time.

The council is trying to figure a way out of the same budget crunch for 2017 that led to a months long stalemate among county officials earlier this year while working on the 2016 budget. They estimate that the county will have to trim about a million dollars out of the budget to make ends meet next year.

The council agreed that positions in public safety would not be affected by the reviews, including jobs at the jail, the sheriff’s department and the emergency operations center.

Council members agreed to the plan Monday night at a council work session. The council also agreed last night not to provide a stipend to part-time workers next year. The council had agreed to pay full-time, health-care eligible employees $750 next year to offset increased insurance costs. But the part-time workers will not see any of that windfall, the council decided.