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Outsourcing payroll, HR services put on hold by Sunnyside Council

The Sunnyside City Council seems to be in agreement that outsourcing payroll and human resource services would be good for the city, but are divided on how and when to proceed with the process. Council members last night heard presentations from two companies providing the services, ADP and Paychex. But after the presentations, opinions varied on whether to hire a firm immediately or wait until next year when a new budget is in place. "From our past history, there is no doubt in my mind we have to go to a payroll system," said Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger. "I'm concerned when we do an HR audit what we're going to find. If it's anything close to what we found in payroll, I think we're going to be very upset." Vlieger said he wanted to get a system in place before the end of the year to make sure the city receives audits of payroll and human resources offered by the companies. Councilman Francisco Guerrero asked if the city had budgeted for this service in the 2013 budget, noting that the cost for the services is not small. He said he recognized the benefit of the audits, but doesn't believe the city has the funds to pay for the service this year. Vlieger said that the expense for the service might save the city a lot of money in fines. He pointed out that the city is already paying unexpected fines from the IRS, and if the new service prevents such fines for 2013 it would pay for itself. "We didn't budget for the fees and penalties, either," he said. Vlieger also pointed out that the city could save money in salaries because with the service the city would not require a trained HR specialist. Councilwoman Theresa Hancock said she agreed with Guerrero, saying that she wanted to give Day more time to get his feet wet in his role as city manager before adding a new service. She suggested that with a stable city manager, the city might be able to avoid the pitfalls Vlieger is concerned about. Councilman Jason Raines said he is more concerned about the city staff's ability to handle yet another change in operations while they are still working on a software conversion to the new BIAS system. "I think this is something I would like to have Mr. Day look at and evaluate," he said. "Give him some time to figure out where we are with the BIAS conversion, figure out where this can benefit us potentially as a city." The council eventually agreed to turn the problem over to Day to study and have him return to the council at the second meeting in September with a report on the issue.

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