JUNEAU — Eighty hours of administrative leave for nonessential employees was approved 4-1 Tuesday by Dodge County’s Human Resources and Labor Negotiations Committee.

The vote is for those nonessential employees who can’t work remotely, according to Sarah Hinze, Dodge County human resources director, who said the vote is subject to change.

While county supervisors and human resources committee members Joseph Marsik, Dan Hilbert, Richard Greshay and Dennis Schmidt voted in favor of the measure, Kira Sheahan-Malloy voted against it.

“The policy is too broad and too ambiguous. No department head could tell me who is an essential employee and who is not,” she said following the meeting. “Not one of the departments represented here today could give me an answer.”

Sheahan-Malloy said no one at the meeting was talking about the effect of COVID-19 on the other 88,000 residents in Dodge County.

“There were too many unanswered and unlimited questions to set a policy today,” she said. “I’m not against the Dodge County employees at all, but the residents in Dodge County are not seeing any additional compensation for their time away from work because of the coronavirus.”

County Administrator Jim Mielke said other counties are doing the same and this is not unique.

“Our goal is to serve the residents over the next four-week period and respect the health concerns of our employees and the public,” he said. “We can maintain services for the public through skeletal staffing in various departments.”

Mielke said he and the county’s department heads are still compiling a list of essential and nonessential employees by department.

“Mail will still be delivered. Invoices will still need to be paid. It’s really dependent on what the operation of the department is,” Mielke said. “It’s not a one size fits all for the county departments. It depends on what the department is. We want to try and maintain a presence here in the administration building, but the administrative staff will look much different than Clearview or the sheriff’s department.”

Sheahan-Malloy said she could not advocate for the policy.

“I’m not comfortable supporting this at all,” she said.

Hinze said even though the policy was passed it could likely change.

“The situation is so fluid right now it could change by tomorrow,” she said. “We just don’t know what will happen next.”

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