GREENCASTLE -- Tuesday night's Putnam County Council meeting began with a changing of the guard.
Mitch Proctor, who has been the council's president since he served at his first meeting in 1985, told his fellow council members that in addition to not wanting to be considered for the council presidency for 2010, he also would not seek re-election in November for his council seat.
"I've had a great time; it's been a good run," he said. "I've seen the good times and the bad times, and have had the privilege of serving with an august group that's always been good."
Proctor said he looks forward to "not sitting here running the meetings, but sitting out there watching them."
The council unanimously selected Darrel Thomas, last year's vice president, as their new president. Keith Berry, who was absent from the meeting, was chosen to take Thomas' spot as vice president.
"That's what happens when you miss a meeting," Proctor said with a chuckle.
After his appointment, Thomas presided over the rest of the council meeting.
Putnam County Treasurer Sharon Owens asked the council for approval to hire Barbara Wood as her first deputy, and to make the second deputy post in her office a part-time position. The cut in the second deputy position, coupled with the fact that neither Wood nor the new second deputy would be on the county's insurance, will translate into a savings of about $28,000 for the treasurer's office, Owens said.
Putnam County Auditor Stephanie Campbell asked the council to approve an additional claim for $18,940 to pay Owens' annual bond.
The county had budgeted $1,010 -- the amount that had been paid to bond the previous year's treasurer -- to bond Owens. In December, the county received a bill listing $19,950 as the amount needed to bond Owens.
"The money is there, we just didn't budget it," Campbell said. "It will be paid out of the county general fund. (The additional expense) will just take away from the operating budget."
Every county employee must be bonded, Campbell said. Bonds for employees vary based on how much access employees have to cash and on the employee's personal credit history.
The county's insurance carrier, Greencastle-based HBG, hires bond companies on behalf of the county, Campbell said.
"When we got the bill in December, that was the first time any of us were aware that the bill for (Owens') bond would be that high," Campbell said.