OTTAWA — Putnam County Commissioners voted to eliminate the position of county administrator held by Jackson Betscher.
The vote was made during the commission’s Jan. 3 meeting, with Commissioners John Schlumbohm and Michael Lammers voting to eliminate the position and Vincent Schroeder voting against the motion.
Lammers said he voted to eliminate the position to help the taxpayers.
“The reasoning behind my doing this was to save taxpayer money. It means the commissioners and the rest of the office staff will have to work a little harder, but that is what the people deserve,” Lammers said.
Schlumbohm said as an elected official for the last 25 years, he has always strived to try to also save taxpayers money.
“I did struggle with it a little bit since I am new to the job, but we can bring back the administrators position if we see it is not working with our staff of three in our office and our own input,” Schlumbohm said. He said the commissioners will step up to the plate to do what needs to be done to help the country run smoothly.
Betscher was employed five days a week and his duties were to take care of various issues, such as the county dealing with the EPA in reference to water operations performed in conjunction with the Village of Ottawa.
“I think, personally, we will lose being on the cutting edge of things. It paid to have him, and he did a lot of things with the budget where organizations, directors and elected officials talked to him about their budgets,” Schroeder said.
He would then bring the budget to the commissioners and they would make a decision on the budget. If the savings are deemed to not be worth the loss in service, the commissioners agreed to get another administrator, Schroeder said.