The Pulaski County Council this week held a lengthy discussion over how much the county should pay per hour for a part-time animal control officer. Commission President Tracey Shorter approached the council alongside the newly-hired animal control director Sarah Thompson with a request that the council set a part-time wage for the position, asking for a rate of $15.17 – the same rate as a full-time employee but without benefits.
Thompson was the county commissioners’ choice to replace the previously animal control director, Deb Tiede, who worked full-time for the county with an annual salary of $27,000. Thompson agreed to work the position part-time, however, because she owns a local business; unfortunately, no part-time wage was set for the position.
Shorter said that the county can save money by allowing Thompson to house animals at her home instead of using the Starke County Humane Society when possible, and Shorter explained Thompson expects to work about 20 hours per week. However, the wage she requested is $5.77 more than the county’s current part-time wage for new employees without experience, but Shorter emphasized that Thompson has more than 16 years of experience with animals which should qualify her for the requested hourly wage.
Council members ultimately settled on a wage of $13 per hour, which according to handbook policy, will be paid at 90 percent for her first 640 hours.