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Joyce Endee

Commission welcomes new member, questions timekeeping system

November 15, 2012
OSSIPEE — County Commissioner David Sorensen easily won his bid for re-election Nov. 6 and will remain as a commissioner for the next four years. Sorensen (R-Eaton) was challenged by newcomer to politics Erik Corbett (D-Bartlett) and won in a vote of 14,449 to 10,061. Corbett won in Jackson, Sandwich, Hart's Location and Bartlett. The race was close in the other northern Carroll County towns but the southern part of the county secured Sorensen's win.

"I would like to congratulate all the winners and I am looking forward to working with them," County Commissioner Asha Kenney announced at the Nov. 7 commissioner's meeting. Rep. David Babson (R-Ossipee) ousted Commissioner Dorothy Solomon (D-Albany) in a much closer race of 13,647 to 11,671.

"I'd like to congratulate David Babson. I think all races should be run the way we ran a race so that there is a certain amount of decorum. I wish you [Babson] well," Solomon told Babson at the Nov. 7 meeting. "Thank you for your service Dotty. You've done a good job. I hope I can do as well," Babson responded.

The two maintained a cordial, even friendly demeanor during public debates and conversations throughout the election in the campaign that maintained a positive feel. On several occasions Babson said publicly that Solomon had done a wonderful job, was a good commissioner, and was always prepared for the meetings. Babson chose not to seek re-election as state representative, opting instead to run for District 2 commissioner. He will take office in January to begin his two-year term. In 2014, the District 2 seat will become a four-year seat up for re-election as well as the District 3 seat that will become a two-year seat and that is currently held by Asha Kenney (R-Wakefield).

Other meeting news

Thirty-eight thousand dollars and still counting up to a possible $10,000 more until maybe, just maybe, the Kronos timekeeping and scheduling system will be fully operational. It is hard to discern exactly what has gone wrong with the implementation of the computerized system met to streamline scheduling and payroll processing. According To Human Resource Director Janice Sullivan, the company is now asking for a $10,000 retainer against which training, conference calls, and on-site visits will be billed against as the final push is on to make use of the system. In past responses from the county's finance director, and the current and past human resource director blame a system that is complicated to set up and maintain given the variety of shifts staff work in all county departments, shift differential, differing pay grades, vacation tracking differences and other quirks caused by a county complex with three different union contracts as well as a slew of employees who work under non-union benefits. For at least a year, the Kronos timekeeping system has been used but the county's finance director has continued to do a duplicate payroll "by hand." Sullivan told commissioners she has past experience working with Kronos, "loves it", and promised to have the system fully operational by January 31, 2013.

"This whole thing is absurd. We've had this program for three years. I distinctly remember whoever sold us on this program that the big savings was going to be in scheduling. I suggest someone get out the contracts and read it A-Z," said Babson. He added it would be beneficial to bring everyone who has been involved in the system over the past three years into a meeting along with Kronos representatives to hear exactly what has gone on and continues to prevent the system from being used.

Commissioners have begun the annual task of hearing budget presentations from all department heads. Those managers will then have to present their budgets to delegation subcommittees and then the full delegation as the county budget process drags out over six months.

Commissioners received and opened five bids for installation of a new telephone system at the jail. They took all bids under consideration.

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