March 28, 2013

Essex County to adjust emergency policy

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County workers with an emergency at home might find County Manager Daniel Palmer himself driving them there.

Because the original resolution allowing emergency rides for workers who arrive on public transit was unclear about how they’d be taken home, Supervisor Margaret Bartley (D-Elizabethtown) proposed that it be clarified when it was tentatively passed by the County Board of Supervisors Ways and Means Committee this week.

“I don’t think we’re going to take them home with a CHAMP bus,” she said. “I don’t want people to think that.”

The rule is intended for workers who take the county’s CHAMP public-transportation system to get to work at a county building in Elizabethtown or Lewis. 

But it’s not the same bus that would deliver them home or to another location as the result of a personal emergency, Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said.

“It could be a coworker that’s allowed to take them home. We’re not creating a bus route for anybody. It’s an emergency situation.”

Douglas said his research showed it might be needed only once or twice a year.

County Manager Daniel Palmer said he’d handle it himself, if need be.

“I can drive them home if it’s an emergency.”

The resolution to take employees home for emergencies passed unanimously; it will get a final vote Monday at the board’s regular April meeting.

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