Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
Travel policy changes that call for reimbursement are pushed to June 19
Say that you’re a Stafford County employee. The county paid for a conference and associated travel expenses for you. But less than six months later, you have decided to leave your job. Should you have to reimburse the county for those costs?
That’s what a new amendment to the county’s personnel policies would call for. Employees have another week or so to comment on the proposed changes.
The Board of Supervisors will take up the matter again on June 19, after deferring the vote at this week’s meeting. Two amendments are proposed to be added to the staff manual, which was last updated in September 2008.
If an employee voluntarily leaves the county within six months of county-paid professional development, training or seminars, the employee would be responsible for reimbursing anything that exceeds $1,000, according to the proposed policy.
Changes had already been in the works, but came to attention when board members criticized the outgoing fire chief for attending a conference in Las Vegas during his last week in Stafford. Supervisors later learned that former Fire Chief Rob Brown used vacation time for the conference, which was paid for by the hosting organization. Interim Fire Chief Mark Lockhart also attended and was paid for by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Here’s the story from last month.
Another proposed amendment calls for county vehicles to only be used for in-state travel, unless approved by the department director.
An email notice was sent to all employees on May 30, notifying them of the draft policy. The Employee Advisory Committee, made up of employees from several departments, also reviewed the changes. The board’s Finance, Audit and Budget committee discussed the changes last month.