County pushes direct deposit

Nancy Hettinger has received a paycheck from Moffat County for 26 years, but she won't for long if the county commissioners get their way.

It's not that Hettinger is losing her job; she's simply the only full-time county employee who has not signed up for what the county says is mandatory direct deposit.

Two years ago, county commissioners decided to streamline their payroll process by depositing all employee payments directly into personal bank accounts.

Private employers are required by law to give their employees a choice between a paycheck or direct deposit, but the same is not true for government employers said Lynnette Running, Moffat County human resources director.

Although commissioners could not provide specific details, Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said the savings have allowed the county to devote funds to other activities. The two county employees who could provide specific dollar figures were not in the office Monday.

Commissioner Les Hampton said it's about using available technology to be more efficient. He said he doesn't think it would be harder for an employee to receive payments through direct deposit.

"I feel that it's reasonable to ask Nancy to accept the pay system that all other employees have accepted," Hampton said.

Hettinger is an administrative assistant for the Moffat County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Buddy Grinstead came to the commissioner's meeting to support Hettinger's request.

He said that if she wants to receive her pay by check, then he supports her.

Hettinger explained that she does not have a bank account and prefers to receive a paycheck.

Grinstead suggested that commissioners make an exception for those employees who have worked for 25 years or more and who wish to decline the direct deposit method of payment.

Commissioner Darryl Steele expressed concerns that if they allow one exception, then they'll have to allow others.

At least 27 of the county's 260 employees have worked for the county for 20 years or more, Running said.

"This is the policy and that's what we need to follow," Running said.

"If they wanted to grandfather people in, they should have done it two years ago when they made the policy,"

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