Last Thursday, the three commisisoners — William Bell, Bobby Humphryes and Shelia Smoot — put forward a resolution to bring back all the employees currently on furlough. County attorneys told the commissioners that bringing back the employees without the means to pay them would be against the law.
The commission delayed bringing all county employees back to work after Finance Director Travis Hulsey said funds are not available to pay them.
Commissioner William Bell withdrew his support of a resolution that would have brought all employees back to work next week. After questioning Hulsey for several minutes, Bell said that bringing the employees back now would only create a greater crisis further down the road.
"It makes no sense for us to vote to recall these employees and not have a way to pay them," Commissioner William Bell said.
Hulsey told the commissioners that much of the county's finances is earmarked. The county does not have the legal flexibility to move money from other funds into the county's payroll accounts, both Hulsey said.
Commissioner Bobby Humphryes said last week that he was ready to go to jail if that's what it took to bring workers back to work. Today he continued to support that move.
"If we put in the effort to put these employees back to work that we have to make excuses not to bring them back to work, then we'd have them back by now," Humphryes said.