Weatherford Democrat

August 14, 2013

New building, grounds supervisor has plan to save county money

Holloway wants to increase jailers qualified to supervise inmate work crews rather than pay contractors


Weatherford Democrat

— By JUDY SHERIDAN



Parker County Commissioners have promoted longtime building and grounds employee and licensed jailer Kevin Holloway to the recently vacated post of building and grounds supervisor.

The court’s motion to set Holloway’s annual salary at $55,000 for the job Monday also eliminates the title of assistant supervisor for a second building and grounds position, but it retains the post with lower pay.

Two building and grounds employees, supervisor Vernon Sampley and maintenance supervisor Howard Ford, resigned without giving two weeks notice in June.       

Hired 17 years ago as a jailer, road hand and lawn technician, Holloway now supervises the qualified jail inmates, or trustees, who work outside during the day to maintain county properties.

Holloway was one of 37 applicants for the position, five of them county employees.

Riley said the court selected Holloway because he interviewed well and came in with a plan to reorganize the department, cut costs and still get the job done.

“He had spent time talking with department heads and elected officials about their needs,” Riley said. “It was obvious he had done his homework, and he came in with recommendations.”

Holloway, who will talk to the court about the specifics of his plan next Monday, said he hopes to boost the output of trustees — saving taxpayer dollars that now go to contractors — by increasing the number of certified jailers qualified to supervise them.

He said he would like to hire two new entry-level jailers, instead of replacing the former assistant supervisor, for approximately the same amount of money.

“We could utilize the trustees with those jailers to get projects done,” he said. “That’s the basis of the plan.”

One certified jailer is permitted to oversee a maximum of six trustees, Holloway said, so two jailers would raise the work force to a dozen, depending on trustee availability.

Inmates would not be able to perform all types of work due to license and code requirements, he said, but they could handle many different kinds of projects, learning trade skills along the way.

Holloway estimated that free inmate labor saved the county about $40,000 when the courthouse was painted and plastered recently to prepare for tours.

On his application for supervisor, Holloway named County Commissioner George Conley, County Jail Warden Ron King and County Clerk Jeane Brunson as references.