CHARLOTTE, Mich. — The Eaton County Board of Commissioners is looking at an alternative to giving sheriff deputies and corrections officers $10,000 bonuses for the next two years.
The commissioners voted on Wednesday to reopen the employment contracts to adjust pay and benefits instead.
Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich formally requested $10,000 bonuses to both retain his employees and attract new ones.
Reich was hoping the commissioners would approve his request, which would have equated to roughly $2 million, but the Ways and Means Committee rejected the proposal last week and opted to reopen the contract to adjust benefits and pay.
One commissioner says the sheriff's proposal wasn't clear enough and might put the county in a tough position.
"The motion that came out of Public Safety Committee and was recommended to Ways and Means did not give any administrative guidance to the board as a whole as to how the retention bonus would have been administered. So theoretically we could have given a deputy a $10,000 pay raise or a retention bonus or however you care to categorize it. They could left on a Tuesday. They could given it on a Monday and they left on a Tuesday."
The current contract wasn't due to be renegotiated until 2024.
Whittum says the Board of Commissioners is drafting legal notifications to send to the collective bargaining unit.
It's unclear how soon the unit will respond.
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