During a lengthy, four-hour long meeting last night, Northampton County Council adopted Executive Lamont McClure's $15.5 million plan to recruit and retain staff at Gracedale with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
His plan calls for the following: $2.5 million for nursing agencies to supply manpower until more staff is hired; $2 million to build an on-site Daycare for Gracedale staff at no cost to them; $10 million for bonuses paid to keep and recruit staff over a two-year window; and $1 million for capital projects.
The only part of the plan to pass unanimously was the $1 million set aside for capital projects at Gracedale.
The $10 million for recruiting and retention bonuses was amended at the request of Council member John Goffredo to exclude Administrator Jennifer Stewart-King as well as the Nursing Director and her top deputy. This bonus is a $2,500 annual payment over four years to all staff. The only Council member opposed was John Brown.
The most controversial aspect of the plan is $2 million for an on-site Daycare. At the request of Council member John Cusick, this was amended to include workers at 911 and forensic center, if possible. Council was advised that this daycare is a pilot program, and might ultimately be expanded to include the entire county.
The only Council members opposed to the daycare were John Brown and John Goffredo.
On Monday, I will go in the more detail with the pros and cons made by Council members.