County Commissioners OK Sick Leave Pool Proposal, Name New JP

McLennan County commissioners approved an employee sick-leave pool Tuesday and named a replacement for a retiring justice of the peace.

(Photo by John Carroll)

WACO (December 11, 2012)—McLennan County employees will be able to pool their sick leave under a proposal that county commissioners approved Tuesday.

The measure passed by a 4-1 vote.

Commissioner Kelly Snell, who earlier expressed concerns about the potential cost of the plan, was the lone dissenter.

Employees may donate unused sick days to the pool to be used by other workers facing serious health problems.

An administrative committee will be appointed to control the pool and only those who donate to it will be eligible to seek additional days.

Commissioners also decided on a replacement for retiring Pct. 1 Pl. 2 Justice of the Peace Billy Martin, voting unanimously Tuesday afternoon to name retired Department of Public Safety Sgt. W.H. "Pete" Peterson to complete Martin's term.

Peterson unsuccessfully challenged Pct. 1 Pl. 1 Justice of the Peace Kristi DeCluitt in the Republican primary earlier this year.

He's an Army veteran who also worked as a police officer in Copperas Cove.

Commissioners deferred action on a proposal to cremate rather than bury the bodies of destitute residents whose funerals the county must pay for under state law.

Commissioner Joe Mashek says the county should cremate paupers to save money, but Commissioner Lester Gibson countered that the decision should rest with the families of the dead.

The county currently offers a choice, but is considering the change to save both money and space in Restland Cemetery, which the county has operated for more than two decades.

Commissioners voted to defer action until next week in order to give the funeral home with which the county contracts to come back with an estimate of what it would cost to bury ashes in a communal site.

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