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Town updates personnel policies

Pahrump town employees can expect a few changes to their personnel policy after Tuesday’s town board meeting.

The revisions came about after town officials consulted with legal counsel and POOL/PACT, the town’s insurance provider.

Earlier this month, Wayne Carlson, the executive director of the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool, delivered some welcome news to town officials when he informed the board that the town’s renewal cost has dropped roughly $12,000 from the previous year.

Town Manager Susan Holecheck said the policy changes were long overdue.

“Our personnel policies have not been revised in quite some time. As we know, laws change and there’s good reason why we revise those policies and we just need to remind people that they can’t be on cell phones when operating town vehicles. It’s time that we revise the policies so they are more up to date and compliant with the laws,” she said.

Holecheck also said the new changes will apply only to staff.

“Board members have a separate personnel policy, which we went through a change recently. This is only for employees and they have different liability issues and guidelines. In the past, we have asked the employees to tip 15 percent when they are having lunch at a seminar. Our elected board has a little more flexibility. We also mandate that staff take the least expensive mode of travel when they are traveling,” she said.

The town manager also cautioned employees about the problems associated with surfing the web on town owned computers, especially when it’s not business related.

“This is a big problem because we really need to remind everyone that we are here to work. The whole world is on the internet, but when you visit websites, you can get viruses. We have had to call in companies to fix the computer because of viruses. We’re not saying we will, but if this continues to be a problem, we may charge the employee for a portion of what it costs to fix the computer,” she said.

Additionally, Holecheck informed the board that the policy on employee records will also change.

“There’s no reason to keep employee records for 30 years. We can follow the applicable federal and keep them for seven years or even 10 if we felt strongly about it. But 30 years is really kind of silly to do that in today’s world,” she said.

Employee random drug testing was also the topic of discussion.

“We do perform pre-employment drug testing. I really don’t feel that given our various job classifications that we need to do random drug testing. I just really don’t think it’s necessary for our employees,” the town manager said.

The issue of buying and selling goods among town employees was yet another matter that was brought forward.

Holecheck said the policy must be uniform.

“We can’t have employees selling Scentsy and not let somebody else sell something. We also can’t have someone coming in selling Schwan’s food to employees and not let an employee sell Scentsy. We really needed to get better on that so we’re just going to take that out,” she said.

Back in March, the town board approved an amended policy relating to board travel expenses.

Board members implemented a 20-day approval process for travel.

Prior to that action, both board and staff were required to request travel authorization at least 10 days prior to departure.

Board members on Tuesday also voted to approve funding the installation of fiber optic cable for the town annex, pool and the main fire station at an amount not to exceed $15,000.

The project will involve separate trenching and fiber installation.

Funding for the project will come from the town’s general fund, pool fund and tourism.

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