County offices close to public
Pulaski County Commissioners and council members approved to close the county offices and facilities because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The two groups held an emergency meeting on March 18, to discuss whether the county offices should be closed to the public and how a workforce reduction period could happen. The meeting was led by county attorney Kevin Tankersley who drafted an executive order regarding the closing of the buildings and policy regarding the temporary reduction.
Tankersley explained that the executive order would close the county facilities to the public only to prevent them from physically accessing the offices and coming into contact with the county employees. The order states that the offices and facilities will be temporarily closed until further notice. The executive order also states that county employees are banned from nonessential work-related travel outside the county.
The public is asked to call or email the county office that they may have to conduct business with instead of entering the buildings. If a meeting is necessary, the county official can schedule one.
The executive order began on March 23 and will remain in effect until April 6 when the situation will be re-evaluated.
Tankersley then discussed the temporary workforce reduction policy. He said he doesn’t expect the policy to be implemented anytime soon but it addresses what will happen if the county staff has to be sent home or quarantined and what the staff can expect in regards to pay and benefits.
The policy allows for the commissioner president to reduce the workforce to only essential employees if it becomes a recommendation by the health department. The policy indicates that the essential employees are the sheriff’s deputies, 911 communication officers, jailers, jail kitchen staff, EMS, emergency management agency and the health department staff.
The policy also states that part-time employees will be paid based on their average pay for the last four pay periods.