Commissioners decide to log their work hours for public to see - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Commissioners decide to log their work hours for public to see

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

Should you be able to know how much time the people you elect to office spend doing their job?

There has been a contentious situation with the Allen County commissioners -- one of whom has repeatedly been accused of not pulling her weight.

"People just want to know that those folks that they've elected are providing the services that they were elected to perform," Commissioner Nelson Peters says.

Friday, the three commissioners voted to mandate they record and report to the auditor their time spent on official tasks.

"I think this is something that has broiled for quite a while. There are instances where individuals want to know what we're up to, where we're at, what we're doing, and this will allow the public to have the ability to see the hours that we have worked as the Board of Commissioners," Commissioner Therese Brown says.

So, every payroll period, they will be required to turn something in that documents how they spent their time.

"Provide a little bit more accountability, a little bit more transparency for the people that we represent so that they know that the trust they've placed in us as public servants is not lost," Peters says.

Her recent health issues notwithstanding, for years, Linda Bloom has been criticized for her lax attendance.

So far this year, Bloom has attended 15 of the 21 commissioner meetings after attending less than half of them the previous two years.

In addition to the commissioners' legislative meetings, each of the three county executives serves on other panels, like the plan commission or drainage or library board.

"It's a commitment. I mean, you need to be present and accounted for to be able to maintain what our constitutional/statutory requirements are when it comes to serving on those boards. So it is more than just legislative on Fridays," Brown says.

However, Peters and Brown each serve on multiple  boards -- Bloom only on one.

"We wanted to make sure that the commissioners that were appointed to whatever boards were not only appearing but were also staying for the duration," Brown says.

After initially agreeing to do an interview, Bloom later backed out, saying she was the one who made the motion to pass the time accountability resolution, and added that even if she weren't there Peters and Brown would have passed it anyway.

All three say they hope the move will establish a best practice for other people elected to office.

“Set an example for county employees, set an example for other elected officials who may also desire to provide that same sort of transparency and accountability,” Peters says.

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