ROGERSVILLE — At its Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 meeting, the Hawkins Co. Commission voted to approve removing the “P” endorsement requirement from the Recycle Technician II job description (Classification 410/Salary grade 4) for persons working at the Hawkins County Recycle Center.

According to the motion by Commissioner Mark Dewitte, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, with a “second” by Commissioner Nancy Barker, the job description established in 2017 with the “P” CDL endorsement — required to transport more than 15 passengers in a vehicle — is no longer relevant since the Recycle Center is not currently using community service workers.

The recommendation to update the job description and the Hawkins Co. Classification Factor Ranking Schedule was made by the Personnel Committee at a meeting on Sept. 30, he said.

“We are only getting inmates from the Hawkins Co. Jail as workers,” Dewitte said. “They are no longer driving a 15-passenger vehicle to pick up litter.”

Dewitte said that the “P” endorsement is now unnecessary, “and just another hoop they have to jump through in order to get a raise”.

“But if we do this, that’s not going to mess up anybody’s money, right?” Commissioner Dawson Fields asked.

“If I’m not mistaken, when they got the ‘P’ (endorsement), they had to take some type of training to get some kind of raise with the ‘P’,” Commissioner Michael Herrell commented. “Are you taking that raise back from them? Are we leaving them with that raise? Because I’m pretty sure they had training classes at the Bus Shop and they got a raise for the training.”

Commissioner Danny Alvis said that any raises granted because of such training would remain in place.

Not requring the “P” designation won’t affect any employee who receieved a raise because of the additional traing required to get that endorsement, Dewitte added.

Herrell asked how that could be justified for other employees who did not have the endorsement.

“They are on the salary schedule,” Dewitte replied.

“So, if we get another (15-passenger) bus, what are you gonna do then?” Herrell continued.

“I would assume we would have to bring it back, but that’s not anything in the foreseeable future,” Dewitte said. “That 15-passenger bus is just an added expense to the county and it seems to me that those who are wanting to cut costs would want to get rid of that 15-passenger bus.”

The county’s old 15-passenger bus is no longer in operation.

Herrell agreed with cutting costs but said that some employees will be getting paid more for a certification that they now no longer must have.

“I understand what you are saying, but we are actually giving them more money for something they don’t have to have,” Herrell said.

“We are not giving them anymore money, they are on the salary schedule,” Dewitte responded.

But when those employees participated in the additional training to acquire the “P” endorsements, “it didn’t have anything to do with the salary schedule,” Herrell said.

The resolution passsed by a vote of 16 “yes”, three “no”, and two “abstain”.

In other matters Monday evening• County Attorney James Phillips said that local attorney James M. Point has been appointed as the county’s Delinquent Tax Attorney for a period of 12 months, and that James R. Jones has been nominated, and approved, to serve another term as a Commissioner of the Lakeview Utilities District Board of Directors, for a term beginning Dec. 20, 2019, and expiring Dec. 19, 2023; and,

• Voted to approve Madelaine Sierra Redman, of Mount Carmel, as a Notary Public.

Resolutions pulled• A resolution proposed by Commissioner Glenda Davis to declare retiring K-9 “Bak” as surplus property and for the service animal to be donated to his longtime handler, Officer Wesley Seals was pulled by its sponsor and was not brought up for a vote.

• A resolution proposed by Commissioner Michael Herrell that would declare Hawkins County to be a Second Amendment (Gun) Sanctuary County was pulled by its sponsor, who said that he did so after conferring with County Attorney Jim Phillips and Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

Herrell said that he would bring the resolution back up for a vote at a future meeting.