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McDuffie commissioners approve bonus program

McDuffie County employees will get the chance to earn a little extra on their paychecks.

There is only one concession. Employees must meet or exceed job performance evaluations given by department heads to be eligible to receive up to $500 a year in bonus money.

The new incentive bonus program, which will go into effect this year, was approved in a 3-1 vote by McDuffie County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday night. Commissioners have agreed to appropriate $50,000 towards funding the program, according to McDuffie County Manager Don Norton.

Voting to approve the measure was Chairman Charlie Newton, Vice-Chairman Sammie Wilson Sr. and Commissioner Robert "Bob" Farr. Commissioner Darryl Wester voted against the idea. The other elected official on the panel, Commissioner Fred Favors, did not attend due to illness.

Mr. Newton said he believes the incentive bonus program will reward county employees who are doing an outstanding job.

"I think it will be an extra benefit to our employees," he added. "If it works well, we'll continue it and it doesn't, we won't."

After Commissioners Wilson and Farr made motions supporting the plan, Commissioner Wester said he didn't think the new program would be that beneficial.

Mr. Wester said he believes it will cause some animosity between employees - especially in smaller departments.

"I think you're opening up a can of worms," Mr. Wester pointed out.

Even though he voted to try the program for a year, Mr. Farr agreed with Mr. Wester's belief, saying, "I think it's going to cause some friction," between some of the county's employees.

There may be some potential for such a problem, Mr. Norton said, noting that he would at least like to try the program for a year. Mr. Norton said he believes the program can be used as a mechanism to help county department heads recognize "the really good employees."

Mr. Newton suggested that county department heads be evaluated four times a year regarding the new program.

Prior to making a decision about the program one way or the other, Mr. Wester said he thinks the program is only going to make a few employees happy and that the majority of them are going to be left "unhappy."

Web posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008

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