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PTC Council gives workers extra paid day off for Christmas

Peachtree City employees got a $53,000 Christmas gift from the City Council Thursday night.

Council on a 4-1 vote authorized an extra paid day off for all city employees, which will be observed on Monday, Dec. 23, with the exception of public safety workers, who will have to take their paid day off at a later date.

The move will cost the city approximately $53,000. City Manager Jim Pennington had suggested the extra holiday knowing that a number of city employees had elected to use their banked vacation days to have the day off anyway.

Taking the Monday off will give city employees a five-day break before they have to return to City Hall and other city offices on Thursday. Traditionally the city has given its employees Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off.

Councilman Eric Imker cast the lone vote against the extra day off at city expense, saying that despite favorable year-end budget numbers presented earlier in the meeting, he couldn’t support it.
“I doubt any private industry our taxpayers work for will say ‘go ahead and take the day off and not use your vacation hours,’” Imker said.

New Councilman Mike King said he supported the extra day off, since anyone who came in Monday would likely not be terribly productive. Employees who will want to come in and get things done when its quiet will do so anyway, King added.

“I have absolutely no problem saying ‘take off the 23rd,” King said, adding that he had spoken with department directors about the issue and had determined “this is a very minor thing we can do for them.”

King also noted that the city needs to keep its trained employees so it doesn’t have to pay to retrain new ones.

“Consider this my thank you for another wonderful year of service,” said Councilwoman Kim Learnard.

Mayor Don Haddix noted that the day off will not affect employees’ salary.

Imker, when he cast his no vote, qualified that it was with ‘regrets.’

While Fayette County government is also taking the day off Monday, city governments in Fayetteville and Tyrone will be open for business. The cost for the county’s extra paid day off is upwards of $130,000.

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