Some employees express concern the county is “going backwards.”
The Pickens County Board of Commissioners Rob Jones and Jerry Barnes, voted to cancel all county credit cards immediately and move to a purchase order/reimbursement system. Commissioner Becky Denney was absent.
Faye Harvey, finance director, asked for the change at Thursday’s called meeting. The move would mean employees making purchases would use their personal debit or credit cards, then submit paperwork through their department to get reimbursed.
It was met with concern from several employees from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department.
“So, if we have to pay for something like a new blue light, we’d have to wait weeks to be reimbursed?” asked Lt. Mitch Yeargin with the Sheriff’s Department. “It seems like we are going backwards.”
Harvey defended the change saying that the Pickens County Board of Education and school system does not have any credit cards and that the move would put the responsibility on employees.
Lt. June Blackwell expressed concern saying the move came after an employee abused the privilege and was terminated.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said after the meeting.
Sgt. Jody Weaver also expressed concern saying that many county employees work for $13 per hour and can’t afford to wait on reimbursement which could take weeks. “They can’t afford to finance the county,” he said.
“If it takes weeks, you need to contact me,” Harvey assured them. “It shouldn’t take that long at all.”
She said the county would keep credit cards for Home Depot, gas cards and have accounts will local merchants which would cover most expenses.
“If it goes on the county credit card, the county is liable for that charge, even if it isn’t authorized,” she said as the reason for the change.
Board Chairman Rob Jones agreed. “If I were you, I’d cancel the cards after the meeting.”
Harvey said she would wait until Friday to cancel the cards and the county would honor the debts.
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Most of the board’s agenda dealt with minor business that accumulated during the shut-down. In other board news, the board:
Recognized employees Robert Olsen and Jackie Hendrix, both with the sheriff’s department for 10 years of service.
Recognized Becky Hammontree with 20 years service to the county.
Approved purchasing a used surplus bus from North Georgia Community Action for $5,500. The bus has a working wheelchair ramp and the purchase is contingent on inspection and good working order.