COVID pay: Deputy airs frustration

Deputy Daren Kellerman shared his concerns with commissioners about last week's decision not to pay front-line county workers extra for their efforts during the worst of the pandemic.

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April 27, 2022 - 4:17 PM

Allen County Sheriff’s Deputy Daren Kellerman speaks to commissioners about a decision not to pay extra to county employees who worked during the worst of the pandemic. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

An Allen County Sheriff’s deputy took commissioners to task for what he described as trying to gloss over a decision to not pay some county employees extra for working through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Daren Kellerman spoke at Tuesday’s commission meeting, upset because the previous week, commissioners did not devote much time to the decision and described it only as “No. 10” on a list of proposed expenditures for the county’s $2.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

Commissioners decided on April 19 not to spend nearly $160,000 to pay an extra premium to those “front-facing” county employees who had to work throughout the pandemic, while others were sent home to work remotely. Commissioners David Lee and Bruce Symes said they wanted the money applied to other projects; Commission Chairman Jerry Daniels did not comment. 

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