Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer

Discussion of employee morale issues came up during a Thursday meeting of county officials.

County commissioners called a meeting with department heads and elected officials to discuss various issues ranging from updates on litigation and reimbursement procedures for employees.

Employee morale and working relationships between workers were also discussed.

Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer said he wants the county employees to know they are part of a family.

“Morale is just as important as anything else,” Griesheimer said. “We didn’t make the economic situation.”

The county can’t get out of the hole overnight, but strides are being made, and things are getting better, Griesheimer said.

During the meeting Griesheimer said, “We’re going to do everything we can” to give all employees a raise next year.

“We’ve started the budget process,” Griesheimer said. “We don’t know where we’re at as far as revenues and expenses.”

Giving employees a “nice, substantial” raise is the commissioners’ “top priority” in the next budget, he added.

Franklin County is a “family,” Griesheimer said, adding that if there are problems people need to work together to resolve the issues.

Griesheimer said solving problems is better than letting them “fester and get out of control.” The commissioners’ doors are always open, he said.

But he said it must be conveyed to the “naysayers” that they cannot be “out there” on their own. The county must work as a team, he asserted.

“Whatever we need to do to rectify a problem, let us know, tell us,” Griesheimer said. “We will do everything in our power to do that. That’s what we’re here for. We’re not here to be dictators.”

County Municipal Court Judge Walter Murray said, “We’ve got to get along.”

The commissioners’ doors are always open to help solve problems, Griesheimer said.

“We can’t stop the talk in the hallways,” said Griesheimer. “It’s going to happen.”

The important thing to remember is that the employees work for the taxpayers, he noted.

“We can’t go in different directions,” Griesheimer said.

County planning and zoning employee Nichole Zielke asked, “If we’re supposed to move toward resolving some issues and trying to get along, does anybody have any ideas on how to go in that direction?”

Zielke asked if the county should be engaging in “trust-building exercises.”

Griesheimer said, “There’s no easy solution.”

The commissioners appreciate the job the employees do, he said.