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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Commissioner Jackson's Statement Regarding New County Hiring Guidelines

Last night at the regular session county commission meeting, Commissioner Chris D. Jackson sponsored and passed a resolution that will require Lawrence County Government to put Lawrence County citizens first when hiring for jobs within county government.

“This legislation is intended to make sure we put Lawrence Countians first when jobs come open in county government, Jackson said."

"Right now there are about 20 county government employees who do not live in Lawrence County. In theory, that is 20 jobs that could have went to Lawrence Countians to help them support their family during these tough times."

He added, "It makes no sense to give a job to someone from out of county when we have people who are well qualified in our own county who need and want a job. Plus, with tax revenue being as scarce as it is right now, we need to keep all we can in our county and not let surrounding counties benefit at our expense. With the passage of this resolution, we put Lawrence Countians first."

The new hiring guidelines will be effective immediately.


Whereas, Lawrence County and the rest of our state and nation are going through tough economic times where jobs are hard to come by. Currently, there is no county employment policy with regards to residency.

Whereas, there are currently about 20 full time/part time county employees who are not Lawrence County residents. While we commend the job that they do and thank them for their service to our county, tough economic times call for a new policy which will put Lawrence County citizens first when positions within county government become available.

Whereas, every time a person from outside of our county is hired to work a county job, an opportunity is lost for a Lawrence County citizen to gain meaningful employment for their family. Further, it is also valuable tax revenue that will not be collected by Lawrence County, but rather the county in which the employee resides.

Whereas, there are plenty of well qualified Lawrence County citizens who need a job and would serve our county proudly and efficiently. Therefore, the following shall be the new guidelines for hiring employees within Lawrence County government:

1. When hiring for an open position within county government, the respective department head must consider residency when making a decision on who to hire.

2. In the instance there are two applicants with equal qualifications and one is a Lawrence County citizen and one is not, a strong preference shall be given to the Lawrence County citizen over the non-resident.

3. If the department head wishes to hire a person from outside of the county, the department head shall appear before a joint meeting of the Insurance and Benefits Committee and the Grievance Committee to explain why he or she would hire the non-resident over an applicant from Lawrence County. After a review by the two committees, a final decision on whether to accept or deny the department head’s decision shall be made. An available option for the committees can be to accept the hire with the stipulation that the non-resident establish residency in Lawrence County within three months.

4. This policy will be effective immediately. The new guidelines will not affect any current employees, only future hires.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Lawrence County Legislative Body meeting in regular session this 30th day of March, 2009 that the County Legislative Body adopts these new hiring guidelines which will put Lawrence Countians first when jobs become available within county government.

This Resolution should take effect upon its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

SPONSOR: Chris D. Jackson

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