Per diem pay sparks debate

    An old point of contention between the Adams County Commissioners and the Adams County Council reared its head during discussions between the two entities prior to the start of scheduled budget hearings on Tuesday morning.
    Several years ago, in an attempt to decrease countywide budgetary allocations, the council elected to eliminate all per diem payments to county officials, including the commissioners, who previously had received per diem stipends for their work on the county Drainage Board. The move did not sit well with commissioners, who broached the subject last year and did so again with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, as well as new information, on Tuesday.
    Commissioner Ed Coil said the Drainage Board had been established in 1966, and that commissioners had always been funded for their work on the board by council "until two years ago." He informed councilors that "in the next two weeks, the (drainage) board will be changing the rates" being charged for its services. "We'll be spending an awful lot of time on drainage matters that we're not compensated for," he said.
    Commissioner Doug Bauman commented that "Adams County is ranked fourth in the state in the quality of our drainage issues, and I'm proud of that. I agree with Ed that we should be compensated for our time. The bottom line is, we're going to do our job" regardless of whether or not a per diem is paid for time spent working on the board. "But you get what you pay for", he said.
    For the complete story, see today's print or online editions.