Rich Mrozinski, President of The LaPorte County Board of Commissioners released details on the Commissioners’ ARP Plan for lump sum Retention Stipends to be paid to employees.
Mrozinski attached copy of a Nov. 5 request of Commissioners for Pandemic Pay, which can be seen in the photo along with this story.
The County Council is holding a special meeting on Tuesday.
A statement from Shaw Friedman, LaPorte County Attorney, which is dated December 16, 2021, was released and states the following:
“I want to emphasize for the record as I did at last night’s County Commission meeting that thanks to Financial Advisor Karl Cender’s calculations – the County Commission six weeks ago requested the County Council award $4,000.00 in lump sum “pandemic pay” or “retention” stipends to “front line” and “field personnel” and $2,000.00 to all other full-time county employees and do so payable in 2021. (see attached.)
Just before Council’s Monday meeting, I provided further guidance from Mr. Cender both to the council attorney and to the council officers on a legal means for the council to do so and comply with State Board of Accounts requirements. (see attached.)
Commission President Mrozinski emphasized last night that none of the county’s financial consultants or advisors including Karl Cender, Baker Tilly or Wagner Irwin Scheele were consulted by the council or recommended stretching out pandemic pay/retention pay over two years in bi-weekly increments. In fact, none of the governmental entities around us that have awarded pandemic pay/retention stipends from ARP funds have done this. They’ve made lump sum payouts to their employees.
Commissioner Sheila Matias offered a motion that passed last evening requesting the Council hold a special meeting before the end of the year to reconsider their vote and instead award lump sum retention pay per Karl Cender’s recommendation. As she made clear last evening, lump sum retention stipends paid out during the holidays help our employees pay bills that may be outstanding and send an important message about the value that elected officials place on our county workforce’s dedication during this pandemic and assist us in retaining our quality workforce.
LaPorte County Attorney”