Mohave_County,_Arizona_sealCandid comments regarding pay and benefits for the public workforce were offered during the May 18 Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting. Board members were critical of the current structure as Human Resources Manager Ken Cunningman presented a draft overhaul of the county’s personnel policies.

Board member Buster Johnson said a previous board years ago was wrong to offer extra Paid Time Off (PTO) to employees in lieu of raises. Johnson said the current board is hardpressed to take away what was previously given to county employees, but he said time off benefits are excessive.

“It is not possible to run any organization with 39 days a year vacation,” Johnson said.  Johnson said excessive days off hampers the ability of each employee, departments and the county to keep up with workloads and service delivery demands.

“I’ve had problems with the merit system since I took office,” Johnson said. He said he favored reverting back to no more than ten vacation days a year during an employee’s first five years of service, with progressive vacation time awards maxing out at 20 days per year.

Supervisor Hildy Angius said it has taken her a long time to understand Johnson’s argument that the PTO system is out of line.

“The whole system is ridiculous,” Angius said. “The whole system and the way that governments are run and people are paid and the way they get their benefits is antiquated.”

Supervisors said they would carefully research the proposed personnel policy revisions and consider input from employees in coming weeks. The package proposal comes back to the Board for discussion and possible action during a June 15 meeting.