Lake County Council

Lake County Council

The Lake County Council deserves credit for progressive thinking that could help attract and retain quality employees seeking to build families.

It comes close to mirroring an even better policy authorized by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb last year for state government employees.

Last week, the Lake County Council banged the gavel on a veto override, adopting a policy granting two weeks of parental leave in cases of birth or adoption for county government employees.

The bill rightly applies to both men and women, acknowledging the important role both parents play in the lives of newborns and adopted children.

The council already had set $175,000 aside to fund the first year of the offerings. It's a small investment in the bigger picture.

We've repeatedly argued for county government hiring practices that seek to attract and retain qualified, quality workers. Region taxpayers deserve this.

A benefit package that honors new parents is a good start.

Holcomb saw this same wisdom late last year, authorizing four weeks of parental leave for state employees in such situations.

Unfortunately, the pathway to the Lake County government policy was partially obstructed by the thinking of bygone centuries and an unnecessary veto by the Lake County Board of Commissioners.

When the County Council first approved the policy earlier this year, a lone voice of dissent, Lake County Councilman Eldon Strong, exhibited poor reasoning.

Strong chose to take specific issue with fathers receiving parental leave, while stating he took no issue with mothers receiving the same leave.

It's antiquated thinking that has no place in modern society.

The Lake County commissioners, the county's three-person elected executive body, also should have thought better of vetoing the policy. Commissioners argued they preferred to wait until the county hires a human resources director — a position sorely needed in a county often characterized by patronage, unqualified hiring.

But there's nothing wrong with having this beneficial policy on the books before a human resources director joins the county payroll.

The council was right to adopt and sustain the policy over the commissioners’ veto.

We congratulate them on forward thinking befitting a 21st century workplace.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.