MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Commissioners had a fairly light day of business Monday. Knox County Sheriff David Barber met with them to obtain signatures on the memorandum of understanding between the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police union regarding furlough days and other measures taken to balance this year’s budget.
As agreed to in previous discussions, the memo notes that staff members will be kept working 12-hour shifts and that all FOP members agree to take 80 hours of furlough time during the 2010 budget year. Barber said the document will now be filed with the State Labor Relations Board.
Barber also asked commissioners’ clerk Rochelle Shackle to contact his office regarding membership with Hospital Purchasing Service. HPS is a group purchasing organization, wherein groups combine their purchasing activities for food supplies to leverage their buying power. The membership had not been renewed upon review, due to a perception that it was not offering significant savings to the county.
Barber said his staff further reviewed the membership and discovered the county was in fact given special rates which do make it financially valuable and crucial for the budget. Shackle said she would work with the sheriff’s office to approve and pay the membership.
Matthew Kurtz, interim director of the Department of Job & Family Services, met with the commissioners for his usual weekly session. Kurtz said he had been systematically meeting with the heads of other organizations DJFS often works with, in order to build community connections to help the future operation of the department.
“Now is the time for me to build bridges,” Kurtz said, “not at some later point when I’m asking for their help.”
Kurtz said usage figures for job search services at Opportunity Knox are still seeing a heavy number of clients, roughly doubled from what they were in the past.