Cash incentives for good ideas

Starting Aug. 1, Clark County employees will have reasons to suggest ideas that could save taxpayers money.

Make that reason$.

The pilot Employee Suggestion Program is part of the county’s reconfiguration efforts to ensure a balanced budget, when expenses are rising faster than revenues at about a rate of 2 percent a year.

So the county isn’t only tracking employees to try and find cost-saving efficiencies, but engaging them in trying to find good ideas.

Here’s how the program works: Any county employee may participate, with one key exception. As described in the county’s employee newsletter, “Employees cannot receive financial awards when suggestions fall within their jobs responsibility and they have authority to make the changes.”

(When I read that line I pictured all the department heads snapping their fingers and saying, “Darn it!”)

Employees are being asked for “unique, constructive proposals about specific changes that could lead to savings, efficiencies and employee well-being.”

I assume the word constructive was thrown in so people don’t suggest that irritating co-workers be fired.

Suggestions will be submitted to Axel Swanson, the commissioners’ senior policy advisor. If the idea pans out, the employee will be given up to 10 percent of the savings generated.

The maximum amount an employee could receive per suggestion is $10,000.

Yes, $10,000.

Sorry — as noted, this contest is for employees only and is not open to members of the public.

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