BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Breathitt County Executive Judge Jeff Noble confirmed to WYMT that the County Breathitt Courthouse is back after a budget was passed and approved on Wednesday.
âWe were actually able to have a meeting a day earlier than scheduled,â said Breathitt County Executive Judge Jeff Noble, âWe’re open for business again and the employees got to work this morning. “
Which led to the shutdown:
Courthouse officials were scheduled to meet on June 22 for a meeting, but not all were present.
âThree of the magistrates ended up with medical emergencies and we ended up having a special meeting on the 24th,â Noble said.
The other problem was that a second reading for a budget did not get in by the deadline, which was supposed to be July 1.
âI actually got a call from DOG and informed me at noon that we would be temporarily closed until a budget was passed,â Noble said.
What happened at the meeting? :
The meeting was to offset the budget that was to be approved on July 1. Although it passed, Executive Judge Noble attempted to come up with a change in the budget plan to help courthouse workers, it was rejected three to two.
“They had $ 25,000,000 budgeted for this item and I asked them to take $ 5,000 out of it and put it in drug tests for employees and the other $ 20,000 to take it and put it on. into the general fund and distribute them to employees and county employees – an increase in the cost of living, âNoble said.
Executive Judge Noble explains that the funding would help pay for drug tests for employees who have previously failed a drug test – it would help eliminate past disruption in an employee’s file.
âI have employees who cannot even operate the county equipment due to the failure of a drug test that was carried out in July 2019. It puts us under staff and that is just frustrating to me that we can’t get this, “Noble says.
Executive Judge Noble said an update to drug testing on an employee’s file would help improve the progress of work in the courthouse.
âThat way all of our employees could do what they were originally hired to do. I have operators that I am not going to let go of equipment with because they failed a preliminary drug test and they may have medical reasons why they tested positive but you don’t even know that because that they refused to pay for their test drug and we can’t get the final results without theirs being paid, âNoble said
While this isn’t the first time Noble’s drug testing proposal has failed, Noble is determined to get it approved.
“I will not give up, I named him several times in different meetings about changing the administration code to give authority to a drug test at any time and it did not happen , but it’s just not fair to the taxpayers who pay employers to work and not be able to do their jobs because you can’t take a risk without getting a drug test, âsaid Noble.
More work to do:
Executive Judge Noble went on to explain that their own tax court’s budget isn’t the only one they have to overlook to approve, but that of several others in the county as well.
âThe Clerks Association has actually brought us to justice at this time. The county clerk’s budget was not passed in December for the start of this year. They work on a calendar year, from January to December 31, they have no budget. We have a corner office whose budget has not been adopted. The Ministry of Health, we do not control their budget but we have to vote it so that they can be approved, it is another budget that has not been fully voted.
That makes a total of four budget plans for courthouse officials to review and approve. Executive Judge Noble is only hoping that he and his fellow councilors can work together to prevent another shutdown.
âWe just have to work together. Remember what we do for who we are here is to work for the public and put our differences aside and work together for the betterment of the county, âNoble said.
Court officials plan to meet on Friday morning to make up for lost time.
âI think it’s time for us to step in and do what we can for our people,â Noble said.
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