Grand County Commissioners discuss severance, unemployment |

Grand County Commissioners discuss severance, unemployment

Hank Shell

The Grand County Board of Commissioners may revisit the issue of the county’s severance pay and post employment insurance policies after a discussion at its June 17 meeting.

The county’s policy treats resignations and terminations from appointed officials the same, meaning in both cases, an appointed official will receive severance pay.

“The bottom line is that we have a severance pay provision that’s been in there for years and years and years, and unless you’re convicted of a felony in connection with your employment, you get your severance pay,” said Jack DiCola, Grand County attorney.

DiCola informed the board that if they didn’t want to pay severance to a particular employee in the future, they would have to change the policy.

Though it was only briefly alluded to, much of the conversation seemed to center around the severance paid to former building official Scott Penson.

Severance pay for hourly employees is reduced if that employee is terminated.

Had Penson been terminated rather than resigned, his total severance would have been reduced by about $1,500 because he had previously worked as an hourly employee.

“When somebody resigns or otherwise terminates an agreement with us, and they terminate and they resign, I think our liability is significantly lessened with regard to unemployment, with regard to other issues,” Dicola said.

Though the board mentioned holding a workshop to revisit the policies, it wasn’t clear whether a workshop had actually been scheduled.

The board approved Peter Rempel as the county’s interim building official at its June 10 meeting.

Rempel is the plans examiner for the building department.

County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran told the board that applications for the permanent position were being submitted and interviews would be scheduled.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.

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