Strong support for County Counselor Mark Vincent was voiced during a meeting Monday.
The support was expressed by department heads and two county commissioners during a meeting about problems the county is facing.
The meeting dealt with employee pay problems and morale issues.
During the meeting, the county employees and commissioners got into a discussion about what is being done to save taxpayer money so it can be used to give raises.
While that issue was being debated, Scottie Eagan, the county’s planning director, said she realizes there were some people complaining about having Vincent work full time as the county counselor.
But Eagan said her office is thrilled that Vincent is on staff for the county.
“He helps us so much,” Eagan said.
Vincent has been a full-time county employee since late 2011, and prior to that he was a part-time attorney for the county.
Eagan said Vincent is very helpful when it comes to understanding state statutes and regulations.
It is nice to have an attorney on staff to get answers from quickly rather than waiting days or weeks, Eagan added.
Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke also voiced support for Vincent, saying, “Don’t run off.”
Second District Commissioner Mike Schatz said he thinks Vincent is an “invaluable asset” to the county.
It is very nice for the commissioners to be able to walk across the hall to Vincent’s office to seek legal guidance, Schatz added.
Vincent even answers emails at 8 or 9 at night during vacation, Schatz said.
Vincent said he does the work for the county because he has so much experience in the various legal areas of the county.
Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer agreed that Vincent is a great help to the county. County government is a “different animal,” and Vincent has a strong understanding of how it works, Griesheimer said.
With all the lawsuits the county deals with, Griesheimer said he does not understand how anyone could say that the county cannot justify a full-time attorney.
Angie Hittson with the county health department also said Vincent has helped her office by getting contracts processed in a more timely manner.
Hittson said Vincent is always an advocate for the county employees.
Vincent’s salary is $115,000 a year plus benefits.