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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Clerk told to 'shop local' for office furniture by the county council

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Greene County Council had a real clear message Monday afternoon for county clerk Jackie Winstead: Shop local.

The council directed Winstead to "shop around" inside Greene County and provide them with some additional quotes at the next regular meeting for office furniture she wants to buy for her courthouse office.

Winstead presented the council with a $8,166.40 quote and catalog photos of the furniture she wants to purchase from Bedford Office Supply.

The quote is for eight desks and one table, and she would be reimbursed 66 percent of the cost from the state, if the purchase is made by Sept. 30.

Bedford Office Supply is a regular vendor to many county offices and provides delivery service several times a week.

Winstead said she wants to purchase cherry furniture to match the office's woodwork.

She explained that Bedford Office had given her a significant price break on the quoted items.

However, council president John Wilkes quickly said, "Let me ask you a question, did you get any other prices?"

Winstead, "No, I ran out of time."

Wilkes said, "I'd like to have some local prices on this."

Councilman William "Butch" Brown agreed.

Winstead said she plans to make the purchases out of her office's Perpetuation Fund, which has a balance of about $70,000.

The clerk was directed to re-submit new quotes at the council's next meeting Sept. 27.

The council also learned that an outside collection agency is bringing in a satisfactory return on billings done for the county ambulance service.

Ambulance Service Director David Doane reported collections were running about $5,300 ahead of this time a year ago.

The collection agency has billed out $1,365,502 in invoices since contracting with the county in April. Collections have amounted to $577,093.

In April, the county entered into a contract with Medical Accounts Services of Spencer to assist with billing and collection services for the ambulance service.

The commissioners agreed to a six-month contract with compensation based on a percentage of revenue brought in. The fee charged is 7 percent of the amount collected.

Doane told the council that he is satisfied with the job being done with the collections, but said he would like to re-negotiate the fee to a lower rate.

He said wants to spend money locally, but said there is no qualified billing company locally that is experienced in medical bills.

Doane, at the suggestion of councilman Ed Cullison, did inquire with the Greene County General Hospital's billing department if they might be able to handle the ambulance service billing, but he said they were not interested in taking on the job.

Doane said when the collection agency was hired there was at least a month backlog of billing that he "thought" was being done and it was not completed by an employee who no longer works in his office.

The council approved a motion to advertise for a $300,000 additional appropriation to cover the county's self-funded health insurance plan through the end of the year.

Deputy Auditor Sue McDonald said, "We're out of money."

Councilman Wilkes explained that the $300,000 was cut from the Health Insurance budget during last year's budget hearings with the understanding that an additional appropriation was probably going to be needed.

Final action on the additional appropriation is expected at the September meeting.

In other matters, the council:

* Approved a $33,129 additional appropriation for the County Recorder's office to hire Fidler Consulting, a software company, to back scan records from 1960 to 1992. The money will come from the Recorder's office County Identification Fund.

* Approved a $50,000 additional appropriation for the sheriff's department to purchase two vehicles from the County Corrections Fund. The Ford Escape vehicles will replace two high mileage department Ford Explorer SUVs, according to Sheriff Terry Pierce.

* Approved two inter-budget transfer requests from surveyor Ira "Butch" Wright which moved $2,500 into extra hire. Wright requested $1,500 from the perpetuation fund and $1,000 from legal services.

* Approved a $200 transfer from longevity pay to mileage for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) office.

* Approved a $250 transfer for the health department from birth certificates to extra hire to cover the cost of hiring a nurse to help with a recent immunization clinic.

* Appointed Don Johnson, from Center Township, to fill a vacancy on the County Alcoholic Beverage Board. He fills the vacancy that was created in June with the death of former board member R. Julian Huffman of Bloomfield.

The council meets the last Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in the third floor meeting room at the county courthouse in Bloomfield.

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Let's see 900$ per desk. Well I mean if they don't match what on earth would we do?


Must be nice to get matching stuff when you are spending someone's money.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 5:54 PM

Please people wake up. No matter what political party you are isn't it time we get some different people in these offices? The same ole same is getting very old. We are paying for these people to send our jobs out of county, we are paying some of these offices to be rude to us when doing business in their offices. And by re-electing them we are allow

ing this behavior. I am tired of work going to other counties!Keep it local if possible. Do the wotk in your office and if you choose to send it out of county then cut an employee. Quit taking advantage of those that elected you. Please people get out and vote!

-- Posted by Aug on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 6:58 PM

Ok, really? Give Jackie a break. She has other things to do than shop around for furniture.

Why is that even a big deal? Why don't we look at things like the sheriff getting $50,000 for new cars?

-- Posted by aceofhearts on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 7:36 PM

The furniture is a lot more important than safe, dependable cars for our law enforcement to get to and from emergencies and to patrol to keep our County safe. I think we need to get our priorities straight!

-- Posted by Aug on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 8:00 PM

Well the Sheriff has to have cars to do his job and your office furniture you can do without. Further more if you don;t have anything better to do with your time then post here maybe you have to much help in the clerks office. Agree if you don't get the drift let me spell it out for you we are in the mist of a great recession all local shops are stuggling to stay afloat Spend money local they pay tax money not Bedford furniture. Anyone who even argues against then don't even deserve to be a elected official.

-- Posted by wasted dough on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 8:06 PM

Winstead said she plans to make the purchases out of her office's Perpetuation Fund, which has a balance of about $70,000.

What is a perpetuation fund & why does it have that large a balance with no budgeted reason.

Then I wonder how many other county offices have a fund with similar situation.

If every county office has this fund or that fund we will have to hire extra help or an outside consultant to keep them straight.

Why would the the State reimburse 66% of the cost if purchased by Sept 30th when the State is practically broke itself. Another good use of my tax $$

-- Posted by Linton101 on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 9:38 PM

Jackie you are doing a wonderful job! If you read the article it states, Bedford Office Supply is a regular vendor to many county offices and provides delivery service several times a week. Jackie was just using the company that provides services to the county. I think everyone is making a huge deal out of nothing. When was the last time you bought furniture in Greene County? I bet most of you go to Terre Haute or Bloomington.

-- Posted by bfield12 on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 10:59 PM

I don't get it, the Clerk is told to buy furniture locally but 90% of the county's office supplies are being purchased through Bedford Office Supplies, this makes absolutely no sense. Whether it be furniture or pencils, what's the difference?

And what's this "buy local" all of the sudden, there probably isn't a single nail in that Courthouse that was purchased locally.

-- Posted by outofthisworld on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 11:00 PM

Local buying doesn't stop with our officials. We all need to do the same. Shop the local grocery, pharmacy, restaurants, etc. To the extent you can, stay out of the big box stores. These stores are fast contributing to the lack of jobs in the US.

Shop and spend local!

-- Posted by RDK on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 5:39 AM

just my opinion 3, just for the record - I am so with it, thank you!

Shopping local isn't always the best, quality, price, availablity and choice matters as well. Not everything you need is here in lil' ole Greene County.

-- Posted by outofthisworld on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 10:39 AM

Buy local when you can! What about Byers furniture across the street! If they don't have it, I'm sure they can order. Do you really need new furniture for the office? Or do you just think it would be a good deal with the state paying 66 percent?

I wasn't going to vote Democratic anyway, this just confirms it.

Stop spending our money, it's ok to save some!

-- Posted by baker1955 on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 10:47 AM

Cherry? Really?

I'm with Linton 101, what is a "perpetuation fund"? Where did this money come from?

-- Posted by Blueyedame on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 11:35 AM

Why in the world would it matter if the furniture matches the woodwork? I am pretty sure there is a tall counter and the only people that can see the woodwork are the employees.

-- Posted by u r kidding me on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 1:29 PM

I personally buy local. If we have so much money in the perpetuation fund why not cut her budget or don't give any more to the office. She has a lot of employees in that office, she doesn't have time. Get Real!!!! How long does it take to make a few phone calls?????? It is time for a change and people need to vote. I am pretty sure the customers coming in that office could care less whether the furniture matches, they would just like better and kinder help then they get.

-- Posted by dempsey on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 7:41 PM

You know the more I think about all the money going out of county the madder it makes me. The clerk has taken a lot of comments and they are well deserved, it is nuts to even entertain the idea a buying furniture when we are hearing of unemployment, job lay offs, bad roads and etc. But, the more I read the artical I wondered about the 33 plus thousand dollars the recorder is going to spend. I done a little checking today about the purchasing of a scanner that could handle government business and documents and I was told 10 thousand would buy a nice scanner. Why in the world are we spending that kind of money when we can purschase the scanner from a salesman that lives in Newberry, we have 3 employees in that office, property transfers are slow so why can't we put those employees busy scanning the documents? I know other counties scan their own documents. People we have to hold the office holders accountable. They are to free with our tax dollars. Please think about it before you vote!

-- Posted by Aug on Thu, Sep 2, 2010, at 6:26 PM

I totally agree opinion 3. We need more communication between taxpayers and the procedures that need to be followed when doing business in the courthouse. It is a very imtimidating place and when we aren't sure of what we need to do when we get there we do depend on those in the offices to help guide us in the right direction. If we had more communication between office staff maybe we could be saved from some of the frustration on both sides of the counter. Good point, I think I am just feeling overwhelmed with the lose of control we seem to be experiencing not just locally but all over. We can't do a lot about the state of the world but we can start making a difference with this election and those that follow. I also believe in letting the people that are working behind those counters when they are doing a job well done!

-- Posted by Aug on Sat, Sep 4, 2010, at 11:04 AM

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