AUBURN — What commissioners thought would be a quick review and ratification of the personnel policy for Androscoggin County on Wednesday turned into a 2½-hour workshop that ended by tabling the issue for the third consecutive meeting.

Perhaps it wasn’t an albatross around their necks, but many commissioners clearly wanted the issue resolved by now. It was first discussed during a March workshop.

Instead of a brief discussion of the overall policy while receiving clarification on a few details, commissioners sat through an often-tedious session as Commissioner Isaiah Lary of Wales went line-by-line on the latest draft of the 39-page document. He asked questions, sought clarifications and offered changes to the language, such as changing “shall” to “may.”

Lary brought up some valid points, which commissioners and Administrator Larry Post agreed to change.

Commissioner Alfreda Fournier thanked Lary for his insights and opinions after he finished reviewing the document.

Most commissioners were in agreement with Lary when he asked, “What’s the rush? If this is so important, why wasn’t this done last year by the previous commission?”

One area where Lary irked fellow commissioners was his insistence on changing the probationary period of employment to nine months from six months plus an additional three months of probation, if needed.

After other commissioners said they disagreed with his push for nine months, Lary kept returning to the topic while continuing his review of the personnel policy.

Chairwoman Sally Christner of Turner told Lary that if Post and the department heads felt the current policy worked fine, it is not the commissioners’ job to micromanage each department.

A couple of employees and department heads brought up concerns with the vacation policy and how many days could be carried over year-to-year.  The maximum now is 45 days.

Post wanted to revise the policy — still allowing longtime employees to keep their 45 days, but cut back on the total days for new employees and others who had yet to accumulate that much vacation time.

Fournier said she wanted to treat everyone “equitably.”

Commissioners agreed to keep the original policy.

In tabling the updated personnel policy, commissioners asked Post to revise the document again and to have it ready for in a week so they can review it and be ready to vote at their next meeting May 17.

In other business, commissioners accepted the bid from Quirk Auto Group for three new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office — two 2017 Ford Utility Police Interceptors at $29,688 each and one 2017 Dodge Charger Police AWD vehicle for $26,756. Subtracting the trade-in value of a 2003 Ford Excursion and a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, the total of the three vehicles is $81,482.

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Androscoggin County Building in Auburn. 


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