Claremore Daily Progress

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December 6, 2012

Policy changes prompt discussion

Commissioners review draft of employee handbook

CLAREMORE — Rogers County is revamping its employee handbook for 2013. The Rogers County Commissioners on Monday approved a draft copy of the proposed changes.

Elected officials will now get an opportunity to review the policy that includes several additions and changes to the existing policy.
The new draft reflects changes to the cell phone policy, use of communication systems, vehicle usage policy, employee conduct and a number of other minor changes.
The new draft also includes a performance review process for county employees. 
Human Resource Director Jenny Bentley presented the draft proposal to the board for approval and briefly commented on some of the changes.
“I expanded it so it is easier to read for employees,” Bentley said. “It is a little more user friendly.”
Several new areas are now included in the communication policy.
Political activity is also addressed in the policy to include that “No regular county employee shall participate in partisan politics during normal county working hours. This means the devoting of time and labor during usual office hours toward the campaign of any candidate for office or for the nomination to any office.”
The policy, however, specifically excludes elected officers.
The changes come after many questions arose regarding the political activity of both County Clerk-Elect Robin Anderson and employees of the court clerk’s office during the past election cycle.
Anderson was seen during her campaign, at numerous events on county time during normal working hours.
Additionally, the new policy limits the use of county equipment such as cell phones and computer for personal activities.
Both Anderson and Commissioner Mike Helm used county equipment and email to conduct campaign business earlier this year.
“No County official or employee may use County property for his or her own personal use or for any other use not required by or consistent with or in connection with their duties in Rogers County,” according to the documents.

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