Commissioners approve interpreter post, pending funding | News

JASPER — Dubois County Commissioners Monday voted to create a county interpreter position, pending funding from the full-time salary by the county’s fiscal body, the Dubois County Council.

Over the course of the last few commissioners meetings, department heads and county staff have discussed the need for a country wide interpreter.

They envision a county interpreter who would provide translation services to the health department, probation office and the county courts. The person would be based under supervision of Human Resources Director Markie Rhodes, but would be a flexible position throughout Dubois County.

Previously, the commissioners requested a job description, a sample schedule, and a plan as to how the position would be paid. Monday, Dubois County Chief Probation Officer Jenny Lampert provided them with the remainder of the requested information.

After reviewing and discussing the sample schedule and pay classification, the commissioners passed the motion to create the interpreter position. Now, the discussion on the full-time salary will be passed on to the County Common Council.

Following the interpreter discussion, County Treasurer Kitty Merkley proposed a change to the county dress code from business casual to smart casual.

One main change from the current employee handbook is it would allow the employees the option to wear denim.

Merkley worked with Rhodes to reconfigure the section of the handbook referring to the dress code, and emailed the proposed draft to each of the commissioners.

Commissioner Elmer Brames offered changes he would suggest if he were to support the request. One change was to remove the term “smart casual” and just define the dress code within the policy. Another was to prohibit clothing material or accessories that displayed offensive, promotion, personal opinion, or any type of graphic message.

Brames added that if they adopt a new dress code, it gives department heads something to work with and continue to manage the employee dress code.

Commissioner Chad Blessinger said he opposes changing the policy and Commissioner Nick Hostetter said he supports the policy change.

Brames stated he thinks he can support the change but wants to see a copy of the final policy before making his decision.

Commissioners asked Merkley to return with a final copy of the dress code policy at their next meeting.

In other business, Rhodes suggested removing COVID-19 signage from county buildings. The signs state that masks are not required for the fully vaccinated.

Rhodes said his recommendation is based on the current CDC guidelines.

County Auditor Sandra Morton also asked if it’s necessary to continue to provide disposable face coverings.

Commissioners collectively agreed it’s time to remove the signs. As for the masks, the county will keep providing them until the supply from EMA runs out.

While an earlier draft of the meeting agenda included Mid States Corridor discussion, the item was removed from Monday’s agenda.

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