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Giving workers Dec. 23 off to cost Fayette $131,480

County and PTC offices to be closed; F’ville, Tyrone will stay open to public

Fayette County’s plan next week to add an extra paid holiday to the employees’ usual 10 will cost taxpayers $131,480, according to County Administrator Steve Rapson.

County offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 23, an added day to the two-day holiday that Christmas Eve and Christmas have become for many local governments.

Peachtree City is expected to close down the Monday before Christmas, adding a day’s paid holiday to the schedule of 11 paid holidays already observed by the city. The City Council will decide the matter Thursday night.

In contrast, Fayetteville — already working with a part-time city manager and many part-time staff members at City Hall — and Tyrone both plan to be open to serve the public on Dec. 23.

Public safety functions like law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services will be unaffected by the closures on Dec. 23, although all public safety workers for both Fayette County and Peachtree City will have an extra paid day they may take off later on.

The Citizen queried officials in the four governments about the bonus holiday, which would provide the equivalent of a week off for Fayette County and Peachtree City employees — Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are portions of the email exchanges:

From Steve Rapson, Fayette County administrator —

“Here are answers to your questions:”

1. Will Dec. 23 be a paid day off for county employees? Will Dec. 24 be a paid day off?

“Yes – both are paid.”

2. Will this day off (Dec. 23 and Dec. 24) be charged against vacation/leave time of any employee?

“Neither – charged as holidays.”

3. How many paid holidays do county employees receive during a calendar year?

“10 paid holidays.”

4. How many vacation/paid leave days does a county employee with six years or more of employment receive?

“40-hour employee – 25 days [a] year (15 vacation & 10 holiday).”

Steve, this begs the question: When did Dec. 23 (or Dec. 24, for the matter) become paid holidays?

And if there are 10 paid holidays every calendar year, please name the 10 usual holidays.

“Please find below the paid holidays recognized each year ... the Board of Commissioners added Monday, December 23rd, given that Christmas Eve & Day fell on a Tuesday and Wednesday – it’s being treated as an additional holiday this year as has been done in the past at BOC discretion.

“Holidays — Fayette County shall observe the following holidays and other such holidays as may be prescribed by the Board of Commissioners.

“New Year’s Day, first day of January; Martin Luther King Day, fifteenth day of January; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, fourth day of July; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Veteran’s Day, eleventh day of November; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; day after Thanksgiving Day, fourth Friday in November; Christmas Eve, twenty-fourth day of December; Christmas Day, twenty-fifth day of December.

“The hard dollar cost (Salaries including benefits) is estimated at $131,480.

“Keep in mind that a lot of this projected cost would be spread over the next six months due to the majority of work force being public safety related positions. Those employees would simply bank the holiday hours and use it later ... unlike the FCBOE, the county can’t shut down the jail, water services, and must still respond to calls of service for E911, fire or EMS.”

From Peachtree City, Betsy Tyler, city clerk, and Ellece Brown, director of human resources and risk management:

Betsy Tyler — “1. If declared by Council, this would be a paid holiday for full-time employees (part-time employees do not get paid holidays). Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are already paid holidays for full-time employees.

“2. If I’m understanding the question, I don’t think so – it would be an additional holiday (there are some issues with employees who work different schedules – like 10-hour shifts, or who have that day off regularly, but I’ll need the Personnel Policy to answer that question).

“3. Full-time City Employees get 11 paid holidays per year – 9 declared dates (New Year’s Day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Friday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day) and 2 floating holidays (prorated during their first year of employment) that must be taken or lost in the calendar year.

“This went into effect in 2012 when the Policy was changed to eliminate Perfect Attendance leave (which used to accrue at 3 days per year) and Safety Leave (accrued at 8 – 16 hours per year depending on job hazard level and no safety incidents per department per quarter). Two generic floating holidays replaced the single Birthday Holiday that was previously in effect.

“4. Beginning at the start of an employee’s fifth year of service (after four full years) they begin accruing vacation leave to reach 3 weeks by the end of that year. That vacation amount stays in place until the completion of 9 years (so in an employee’s 10th year and after, they accrue 4 weeks per year of vacation leave, which is the maximum).”

Ellece Brown — “2. If Council declares 12/23/13 as a holiday, this would be an additional holiday for employees in 2013. It does not mean that we would have this holiday every year. It would be a paid holiday for full-time employees, but part-time employees who would have been scheduled to work on 12/23/13 would have the day off without pay.

“Employees working on the holiday (public safety) would be given an alternative day off or be paid for the holiday. It would not count against an employee’s vacation/annual leave. In order for a non-exempt employee to be paid for an observed holiday, he/she would have to work the scheduled workday before and after the holiday or be on an excused leave approved in advance (i.e., vacation day) or bring in a doctor’s note covering the absence.

“3. Full-time employees actually receive less earned time off since we made the changes in July 2012. A full-time employee in 2012 could have received 10 paid holidays, 16 hours perfect attendance, and 8-16 hours (depending on job hazard level and no safety incidents per the individual) safety award. In 2013 the same employee receives 11 paid holidays only.”



bunch of hooey. Just stop. This FC Board of Commissioners started this idiotic waste of money by agreeing to Rapson's asking for it.

Fayette County Board of Commissioners email..send them a Merry Christmas note. Of course, don't expect a reply (if at all) till after next week.

Have these board members forgotten who they work for? Have they pulled out the chain of command chart lately and checked to see that box at the top of the page that shows TAXPAYER above Chairman Brown's name and the other board member's names? Where does it show anywhere that a WASTE of over a hundred grand is good business practice for local government payroll dollars?

Now, we have the "Well, they get it off, so we should, too" PTC crowd batting their eyes at the mayor and city council, at least till 7Pm tomorrow night. Oh just stop already. Ellece, you need a wake up call, big time. As Cher said, Snap out of it!

Perfect attendance leave? (OMG, I need leave for actually showing up every day to work??)

Safety leave? (OMG, I need leave for doing my job safely??)

Generic floating holidays? (OMG, no reason's pick a reason, any!)

Birthday holiday? (OMG, so I can spend the day hanging around reminding my family what a gift to the world I am, all while they are at work and at school??)

I need to buy a lottery ticket holiday? (OMG, so I never have to work a day in my life again holiday??...not too redundant, is it??)

Perfectly groomed toenails holiday? (OMG,, how gross, that's all)

I can't stop burping leave? (OMG, an actual medical condition that comes around once a year when gasping for air repeatedly when told to go back to work and accomplish something worthwhile for a change.)

How's this one? Starting tomorrow night? TAAH DAAH......

Grow a pair and say NO leave. (OMG, strictly for those who know better and still make these ridiculous requests AND for those who say yes to them just because they can

Refer to the:

County of Fayette: RULES
Bored of Commissioners Discretionary Ordinance in:
Chapter: DUH,
Article: I
Paragraph: CAN
Sentence: Just Cuz I Feel Like It
Amendment (dated 01/01/0h0h0h0h)

1s0k's picture

Wow, what a sad little troll you are. Are you suggesting that county and city employees should not accrue leave?

back again?

1s0k's picture

I never left. I just do not feel the need to comment on every story that is published in a small town newspaper to make myself feel important or act as if I have all the answers.

I will be around.

good thing for us. On both counts. Thanks for the warning.

Do you not get any leave at your job? I'm not saying they should get Monday as a vacation day, in fact I agree with you about when did Christmas Eve become a vacation day. usually places close early on Christmas Eve, but not the whole day.
But if you read the article, the "incentive" leave for perfect attendance and safety was taken away along with a birthday "holiday". A potential 4 - 6 extra days off a year and replaced with 2 floating holidays that can not be carried over..
Sure, you were getting rewarded for showing up to work and working safely but now you get 2 extra days off and can be "sick" all the time and be "unsafe".
You can look at anyones employment and find issues with the "benefits" they receive, sometimes these benefits are what get you better quality employees.

Cyclist's picture

Isn't that set by the commissioners prior to the upcoming budget year?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Obviously NOT!!:(


I don't care if the County employees take an extra day off, but it should be without pay. The employees should use one of their vacation days if they want December 23rd off! Who approved the County paying more than $131,000 for an extra vacation day!!

If an employee takes off December 23rd on our dime, most of them will use sick days or vacation days to take off the rest of the week until the first of the year. The County needs to put our money to better use.

Government employees are paid to serve us! I am outraged!

Silver Bullet

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Taking their lead from the very top - Prezbo "We will be ready to rule on day one" and interviewing and essentially hiring a county manager before being sworn into office. Then we have a (formerly) six-figure water manager "guessing" at the cause of some defective water. Dozens of examples of ruling and regulating - dog leash laws, gas golf carts, walking signs, etc. No silverguy, these people have a different mindset about their role in our lives - and it ain't even close to your image of "public servant".

That horse left the barn years ago when government shamelessly started paying mid-level managers of questionable ability six figures. I mean let's imagine you are in the private sector have a business and you are interviewing for someone to manage one of your largest departments. In walks Tony Parrott/Barry Amos/Ed Eiswerth. Do you make a job offer? Pay him over $100,000 per year? You can take that same test with any other city or county employee and would be hard pressed to be answering yes - Mr. Rapson himself and Joe Morton and David Rast being notable exceptions that are actually worth what they are paid - and Brian Wismer and Nancy Price as well.

Live free or die!

You are right, we allow our government employees do whatever they wish! We should be at the next County Commission meeting and demand "No More." All Fayette County Citizens should be outraged! On another note Robert, don't assume that I am old, naive or a guy! I do like your response though...spells it out like it is.

Silver Bullet

And I am not appalled...

Take a cart ride and chill out.

Must be nice to work for PTC. FCBOE staff just "got back" our 2 days that were TAKEN AWAY, but we have to log an additional 8 hours to get them back.

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