It’s the thought that counts.
That is what the Scotland County Board of Commissioners are saying about the $100 bonus it awarded to county employees on Thursday.While some may consider the bonus small, commissioners were looking to show workers that they have not been forgotten.
“Our employees have been asked to make significant sacrifices … (and) this is just a token in recognition of what they have done,” said Chairman Guy McCook.
Full time county employees were given a $100 check Thursday or Friday as a result of the unanimous vote by the board. Regularly scheduled, budgeted part-time employees were given $50. In order to receive the bonus employees must have been on the job by June 30, 2012.
The total cost of the bonuses to the county is $37,000.
“That is one-tenth of one percent off of our fund balance,” McCook said.
Sitting at 9.8 percent before the bonus, the balance will now drop to 9.7 percent.
Commissioner Whit Gibson expressed concerns that employees might view the small bonus as an insult.
“I would also hate to see this or anything have a negative impact on our ability to reinstate what our employees have lost over the last several years,” Gibson said. “We need to reassure them that we are still working toward reinstating (their compensation).”
Two years ago, the county took 2.5 percent of employee salaries to help resolve the budget crisis. During budgeting this year half of that was returned to the employees.
“Now that we are at the point where the Local Government Commission is not breathing down our neck anymore … we wanted to recognize that we couldn’t have made it to this point without each and every employee.
“I wish (the bonus) could be more, but we would be hard pressed to do anything else right now,” McCook said.
Introduced by Commissioner Bob Davis, the resolution states that the commissioners are to be exempted from the bonus.
“I’m just glad that we are able to say thank you,” said Commissioner John Alford.
Commissioner Carol McCall said that the message sent by the bonus is more important than the size of the bonus itself.
“Their jobs are becoming increasingly harder … and this is a way of acknowledging they’re there and saying ‘Merry Christmas.’”
In agreement, Commissioner John Cooley said that “anything is better than nothing.”
“And it does acknowledge that we appreciate them.”
The bonus will be issued net of taxes.