Indigent Health Care a Topic of Disagreement Among Commissioners

During Shelby County Commissioners' Court, three items on the agenda received split votes by the Commissioners and required a tiebreaker vote by County Judge Rick Campbell. The three items pertained to moving the Indigent Health Care Coordinator employee out of the Shelby County Judge's office to its own office.

Judge Campbell spoke concerning Indigent Health Care (IHC), "We approved in budget to move [IHC Coordinator]. It's become 85% (of the work) in that office and I don't think it is fair to the new incoming County Judge to only get 15% of work out of somebody and they're spending 85% of the rest of their time or more, really more, its a full-time job. I think [IHC] needs to be a stand alone office."

Currently, the IHC Coordinator is also the Administrative Assistant to the County Judge and is funded through the IHC Fund. With the moving of the position into a separate office, the Shelby County Judge's budget would have to replace the Administrative Assistant position which was allotted for in the new 2014-2015 budget.

Discussion was held among the Commissioners. Roscoe McSwain said, "So, the Judge's office has got a new salary allowance setup?" to which Judge Campbell replied yes saying, "We budgeted for a new salary, $10 an hour."

A motion was made to approve by Travis Rogers and a second was made by Bradley Allen. McSwain and Jimmy Lout opposed the approval and Judge Campbell passed a "for" vote approving the item.

The next two items on the agenda also concerned IHC. During discussion for item 5 - hiring an employee to fill the vacancy. McSwain said, "I don't agree to a fact of hiring, creating a new position and then hiring them, because to me it isn't fair to, nothing about you or the court today, its about 30 days from now. What if that person doesn't have that employment, if the court says to change or Allison (Harbison) or something was different, well that is a dis-justice to the employee to have a job that's going to last 3 weeks, if it turns out that way."

More discussion was held concerning the position. With the approval of the agenda items, IHC would have a full-time and a part-time employee. Lout said, "My thought was that it didn't need a full-time and a part-time (employee)."
The current full-time employee, Deanne Sample, has already given her notice of leaving. It was expressed by the incoming Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison to the court about having the part-time employee become full-time and only having the one position. Judge Campbell replied he was informed the part-time employee had expressed they didn't wish to hold the full-time position and he felt often times the office needs both positions.

A motion was made to approve by Rogers and a second was made by Allen. McSwain and Lout opposed the approval and Judge Campbell once again passed a "for" vote approving the item.

The stand-off among Commissioners continued with the final item concerning IHC Fund which pertained to purchasing a new computer, fax/copy machine, and a new fax line for the Indigent Office to be paid for out of the IHC Fund. The item was approved with the same process as before - two approvals by Rogers and Allen and two votes against by Lout and MsSwain with the final vote of approval by Campbell.

Following approval of all agenda items. Commissioners and County Judge expressed words of appreciation to Sample as it was her last day working for the County.