New policy gives county staff paid leave for officials' funerals

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | 7:08 p.m. CDT; updated 8:47 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 27, 2011

COLUMBIA — Boone County Commissioners Karen Miller, District I, and Skip Elkin, District II, both sat next to an empty chair at the County Commission meeting Tuesday. It was the first official meeting of the commission since the death of Presiding Commissioner Ed Robb.

The commission approved a revision of the bereavement leave clause in the personnel policy manual. The revision will grant county employees up to two hours of paid leave to attend the funerals of elected officers.

The paid leave outlined by the revision is only applicable to county employees with benefits.

The revision had both a first and second reading and was approved by the commission Tuesday — two days before Robb's funeral.

Miller, acting as presiding commissioner at the meeting, said the revision served an “immediate need” in the county.

There has not been a death of a presiding commissioner in office since Norma Robb, no relation to Ed Robb, in 1985. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren told the commission there were no records of paid leave for Norma Robb's funeral because there wasn't a time card system.

The bereavement leave section was last revised in 2003. Before the most recent revision was passed Tuesday, it allowed three days of paid leave for deaths in the immediate family of an employee and up to five days for additional "hardship."

It also allows one day paid leave for relatives not considered immediate family.

Elkin closed the meeting with a tribute to Ed Robb. Elkin said it had been a couple of difficult days for the commission, but it was going to move forward. Elkin remembered his colleague as an "honor to work with."

A funeral will be held for Ed Robb at 2 p.m. Thursday at Parker Funeral Home.

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