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East Spencer aldermen approve incentive policy

By Scott Jenkins

Salisbury Post

EAST SPENCER — Four employees in the town’s Public Works department are now eligible for monthly bonuses after the Board of Aldermen approved an incentive policy Monday night.

According to the policy, each member of a two-man crew can receive $100 apiece for completing 90 percent of assigned work during a month. And, once they’ve completed their assignments for a given day, the two men who make up a crew can leave work early.

“It’s a carrot, and, more than likely, you won’t see it happen for a while,” Adrian Smith, the town’s director of operations, told the board at its monthly meeting.

The text of the new policy says that each crew is expected to complete at least 70 percent of its assigned work, but often “raising this standard of service is of very little consequence when there is no tangible incentive to work more effectively and efficiently.”

Smith said the crews perform work including town right of way maintenance, grass cutting, maintenance of town property and sign repair. Making the incentives contingent on a crew completing its assignments compels each member to work together and show measurable results, the policy says.

On the other hand, if a crew leaves work for the day without completing its assignments, each member will only be paid up until the time they left, the policy says.

Money for the bonuses would come out of the Public Works Department’s salary line item in the town budget and must be approved by the crew supervisor, who is not eligible for the incentives, and the director.

Alderman John Rustin expressed concern that the town was awarding bonuses but not providing benefits to some of the Public Works employees.

“Money is money,” he said. “I go for the incentives, but I go for the benefits more.”

Smith explained after the meeting that only one of the four Public Works crew members is a full-time town employee, and he receives benefits. The other three were hired as temporary employees and work only 30 hours a week.

The board unanimously approved the policy.

In other business, the board received the town’s Fiscal Year 2006 financial audit from Ty Cox of Durham accounting firm Ty Cox and Co. Cox said his firm rendered an “unqualified opinion,” meaning that all its financial statements were accurate for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2006.

That means that if the town were getting a grade based on its financial reporting, it would have received and “A,” Cox said.

Contact Scott Jenkins at 704-797-4248 or sjenkins@salisburypost.com.

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