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Friday, June 26, 2015

Police Officers to Donate to Fellow Officer in Need

Lauren, Kate, James and Casey Kilgore visit with the Duke kids: Finley, Marlow and Knox. 
Typically, the first reading of a new city ordinance doesn’t generate much positive publicity.  But “Ordinance No. O-12-2015” is anything but typical.   As is often reported in this space, one of the greatest assets a community has is the support of the members of said community.  A few weeks back in this space, FTM reported on Lt. Casey Kilgore of the FTPD and his ongoing battle with cancer (story here)  Now, as the battle continues, his “troops” have rallied and the aforementioned ordinance is under consideration.

The ordinance, which seeks to allow a full-time employee of the city to donate her/his vacation time to another full-time employee of the city, was originally requested by Kilgore’s co-workers.  Councilman Ken Bowman supports the ordinance, saying, “I was thrilled to see the demand from Casey’s coworkers and friends to find a way to help him and his family at this time”.  He went on to say he “was even more thrilled when we found a way to do the right thing and make the changes necessary to allow for this great idea to become a reality.”

The ordinance has some strict requirements on when one full-time employee can donate vacation time to another which include the diagnosis of a “critical illness.”

Additionally, donations can only be made when the “donee” has exhausted all of his/her own vacation time and sick leave (if applicable).  Also, an employee may only donate a maximum of 40 hours (one week) or half their remaining vacation time to the “donee.”

Finally, in order to ensure that the net cost to the city is zero, given that this is a goodwill program between and amongst employees, the ordinance includes a clause to adjust the “value” of the donated vacation time according to the pay rate of the involved employees.

Says Councilman Adam Meier, “It’s a good policy and one I’ll be happy to support.  This ordinance simply gives city employees the opportunity to donate their own leave to another city employee who has been diagnosed with a critical illness. It allows our city employees the opportunity to take care of their own in a time of need, without any additional cost to the city.” 

Meier also has personal experience with a similar policy.  “I’ve personally donated leave in a leave bank program at my own place of employment and witnessed the positive benefits it can provide to those battling an illness.”

As with all city ordinances, they must be read twice and then voted upon.  The first reading occurred on June 15, 2015 with the second reading and vote set to occur at the next Council meeting on July 20.  The ordinance is expected to pass.

As Meier put it in regards to the ordinance, “the fact that there is such a strong desire for such a policy is a positive reflection on those who serve Fort Thomas- but it is not surprising in the least.”

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