Escambia County

Easy decision: Give county employees Dec. 31 off

December 12, 2012

The Escambia County commissioners debated yesterday how to live up to the old commission’s vote (i.e. Gene Valentino, Wilson Robertson and Kevin White) to give all county employees a three-percent raise. “Crazy Uncle” Wilson was working behind-the-scenes to deny the raises for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office—apparently he was upset that the sheriff’s wife joined in with others in opposition to Touart being in the interim county administrator. The others were trying to figure out how to come up with over $3 million.

A buy-back program, in which employees get paid for their accrued leave, was proposed with a price tag of $1.4 million, about half the cost of the 3 percent raises. However, that mostly rewards the upper-level salaried staff, who take off time, leave early or show up late for work but never apply it towards their personal leave. The hourly employees don’t have that luxury because they are always on the clock. If they take off to see their child in a school play, they don’t get paid unless they use their personal leave,

The one proposal that made the most sense was to simply give the employees New Year’s Eve off. It costs the county nothing. The employees can save on day care. Commissioner Lumon May suggested it, but didn’t get any support.

The reality is the high-priced salaried employees won’t be working a full day. I doubt the county commissioners will either. It should be a light day.

  • Citizen December 13, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Now Now Rick, you must not make the higher ups at the S/o look bad. You know they are there promptly @8 and leave @5?? That’s why you see most of them in Sam’s, Mall and any where else they can shop on the county’s dime for Xmas gifts. The ones in plain clothes are the worst. The poor road officers don’t get to that that. They’re out there humping calls from one to the other while all the plain clothes take 2 hours lunches, shop and meet their wives or misses [other than wife] at Parks etc.. You not only get a raise to wear plain clothes, you get all these perks too.

  • joe December 13, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Give them the day off…there won’t be any work getting done anyway.

    Rick hit on the the main budget problem with the highly paid vs. moderately paid employees in ALL levels of gov’t. The high-level staff members don’t record leave time, add to that the ridiculous provision that allows them to carry forward 6 months or a year of leave time (ever heard of that in the private sector,I know , funny) and you have thousands of un-worked man hours being paid annually for the highest paid employee rates. Do you think the secretary/bookkeeper is going to tell her boss to turn in a leave form when he/she is out of the office, for any reason whatsoever?
    I’m surprised Rick hasn’t broached this area in the arena he is most competent and credentially recognized by his peers; education. I doubt there is an administrator in Escambia or Santa rosa county that doesn’t retire with 6 months accrued leave time—the equivalent of more than one teacher’s salary.

  • RT December 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Well, jeeperman, that sounds ethical!

  • jeeperman December 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    You just use a third person as the go between when negotiating with another voting member for your vote.

  • RT December 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Someone was working behind the scenes? What ever happened to Sunshine Laws? Perhaps I am just imagining such a law and its relevance to local government.

  • jeeperman December 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    “Crazy Uncle”…. careful, your getting off-center of the fence there Mr. Outzen.
    Would not want CU Wilson working behind the scenes to make your life miserable.

    What about Christmas Eve? same as NYE above?