The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 3, 2013

County officer wants return to 40-hour work week

Staff Writer

JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County Commissioners were caught a little off-guard Tuesday when Cindy VanAllen, director of the county’s Victims of Crime assistance program, requested the office go back to a five-day work week.

VanAllen’s office has been on a 32-hour work week for the past five years, she said.

“We took a cut for the county five years ago,” she said. “We are the only office that is not back to five days.”

VanAllen was originally scheduled to address the commissioners regarding a grant application, however, she also proposed a new program for the county that would incorporate the use of a facility dog.

The program is called Canine Companions for Independence and, if implemented, would require the Victims of Crime office to operate on a five-day work week. Going from a 32-hour work week to a 40-hour work week will cost the county just over $6,000 more a year, VanAllen said.

Commissioners agreed they needed a little more time to research the program before committing to it, which VanAllen said she understood; however, she said her office would still like to be put back on a 40-hour work week, regardless.

With a looming deadline of July 12 for the grant application, the commissioners were left asking VanAllen why they were just being approached on the issue a week before the deadline.

VanAllen said she was waiting on budget figures from the state and federal government before she could complete the application.

With County Administrator Janet Discher on vacation this week, the commissioners were not comfortable approving the increased work week without discussing the financial aspect with Discher first.