City to hire payroll intern
New devices considered for New London council members
By Robert Cloud
The New London Finance and Personnel Committee voted to hire a intern to help with payroll and human resources.
Treasurer-Finance Director Judy Radke told the committee at its Aug. 3 meeting that city staff were struggling to keep up with all the paperwork associated with the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
City Administrator Chad Hoerth said the city must track and document employees’ time off and leave of absences.
Tracking employees’ sick leave has been “pushed off” onto managerial staff, giving them a greater workload.
Instead of hiring another full-time employee, Hoerth said the city would save money by hiring a part-time employee “to try to help us catch up a little bit.”
To pay for the intern out of this year’s budget, the city would use funds set aside for unpaid sick leave.
Radke also noted that the city’s expenses for staff to attend professional meetings and mileage were below budget. Instead of traveling to conferences and training workshops, staff are attending via Zoom or other forms of teleconferencing.
“There would be more than enough money within our budget this year to bring that individual in,” Radke said. “I’m looking at about 15 hours a week, helping out at this time, then seeing how the position develops over time.”
In a memo to the committee, Radke said the overall objective of a human resources intern would be to assist the department in benefits administration, records retention, policy research and updates, recruitment, FMLA administration and planning employee focused events, among other things.
A candidate for the person must be enrolled in college seeking a degree in human resources, have experience with Microsoft office software and be able to multi-task.
At this point, the city expects the position to be for no more than two years.
Missy Kempen, the city’s electronic media specialist, told the committee that the council members’ communication devices need to be replaced.
“Five years ago the city purchased devices for council members,” she said. “They are starting to wear down.”
She said city staff had planned to include replacement of the devices in the Capital Projects list for the 2023 budget.
“Because they are falling apart even sooner than we anticipated, we would like to get them replaced now instead of six months from now,” Kempen said.
Kempen provided two options for council members to consider: a laptop or a tablet.
An HP 250 G8 Notebook with a 15.6-inch screen and a core i5 processor. These are priced at $726 each.
The tablet would be a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with a 12.3-inch screen and a core i5 processor. Including a keyboard and a case, the table would cost a total of $787.
Radke said the city could use about $8,000 from its technology funds to pay for the devices this year.
Council members could choose which device they want or they could continue using their current device.
“I personally have no problem with what I have,” Ald. Tim Roberts said.
Roberts said the city should only replace those that need to be replaced and not spend money to replace all of them.
Several members said they were having issues with their devices and had been unable to get them repaired.
Radke said the city should authorize funding to replace all the devices at once rather than return to vote on replacing each one after it breaks down. Some that are currently functioning may break down in a few months.
She said each device would not be replaced until it needs to be.
Roberts made a motion to replace up to 10 devices as needed. The motion passed unanimously.