Com­mis­sion ap­proves plan for hol­i­day time

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - From staff re­ports

The out­come of a ques­tion over whether po­lice of­fi­cers, sher­iff’s deputies and 911 op­er­a­tors would get big­ger checks for work­ing the hol­i­days or time off later was set­tled by county com­mis­sion­ers last week..

They voted to give those em­ploy­ees more time to get to take hol­i­day time off later in­stead of hav­ing to pay those em­ploy­ees for hours they were oth­er­wise set to lose.

County Man­ager Matt Den­ton said he looked over the prob­lem af­ter com­mis­sion­ers had ini­tially re­quested that he pay law en­force­ment, 911 dis­patch­ers and Sher­iff’s deputies to cover lost time they don’t get to make up for work­ing hol­i­days.

Den­ton said when he went back to crunch the num­bers, the ini­tial idea to pay out for hol­i­days would cost too much. “We want to do what is right for ev­ery­one here, our em­ploy­ees in­cluded,” Den­ton said.

In­stead of pay­ing out em­ploy­ees for the time they won’t get to take due to al­ready hav­ing to work over­time be­cause of man­power is­sues in pub­lic safety, they’ll get to keep va­ca­tion hours for longer by al­low­ing Den­ton the au­thor- ity to “ex­tend the nec­es­sary pe­riod of time” those em­ploy­ees can use time they are owed off.

Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved of a plan to al­low for the pub­lic safety em­ploy­ees to take time off dur­ing the up­com­ing months, with the hopes ev­ery­one will have got­ten to take the ex­tra time be­fore April 2018.

How­ever some did have reser­va­tions. Com­mis­sioner Hal Floyd in spe­cific was wor­ried that with the po­lice de­part­ment and 911 de­part­ment still un­der strength in per­son­nel, they might have a more dif­fi­cult time ac­com­mo­dat­ing that sched­ule. He asked for the com­mis­sion to pass a res­o­lu­tion keep­ing with what was orig­i­nally in­tended, giv­ing Den­ton the dis­cre­tion to al­low for the va­ca­tion time to be spread out.

Had the county sim­ply paid out the time, it would have cost over­all $160,000. Com­mis­sioner Jen­nifer Hulsey and Floyd both stated that they ex­pect the prob­lem to be solved in 2018, whether of­fi­cers get the time off or get paid for the hours.

“We need to make sure we plan for this in the bud­get next year,” Hulsey said. “I don’t want this to hap­pen again.”

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