NEW CASTLE —
The Lawrence County Salary Board approved the addition of four full-time deputy positions in the sheriff’s department yesterday.
The full-time jobs, approved by a 4-1 vote, replace four part-time positions.
Voting in favor were Commissioners Dan Vogler and Robert Del Signore, Controller David Gettings and Sheriff Perry Quahliero. Commissioner Steve Craig voted no.
There is no change in the base salary, which is $14.28 per hour or $29,705 annually. As full-time employees, the deputies will be entitled to have health insurance benefits.
However, Quahliero said he believes there will be enough revenue to cover the additional cost for benefits. He noted his office, through the first six months this year, has already matched all of last year’s revenue for issuing licenses to carry a concealed weapon.
Quahliero said he hasn’t been able to provide staff enough for security for the courthouse, central court and other offices with the part-time deputies. He said the part-timers were working 32 to 40 hours a week.
But he said he had to reduce their hours to a maximum of 28 hours per week. Otherwise, if they work more hours, they would be eventually be entitled to benefits under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, he said.
As a result of yesterday’s action, the department will have 16 deputies, all full time, a chief deputy and the sheriff.
In explaining his vote, Craig said, “I’m concerned about the long-term impact on our budget.”