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Rockdale Commissioners say 'no' to additional holiday

CONYERS — Rockdale County employees won’t have an additional holiday during Christmas week this year, following a vote by the Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning.

Based on the additional cost to the county, Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt and Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness opposed a resolution that would have designated Monday, Dec. 23, as a paid holiday.

During the presentation of the resolution at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Finance Director Roselyn Miller said it costs approximately $100,000 per work day to pay all county employees. An additional holiday would cost the county about $50,000 more in order to pay employees who are required to work on that day.

Under the county’s holiday policy, full-time, non-exempt employees who are scheduled to work on a holiday receive holiday pay as well as pay for the hours that they work during the holiday.

Full-time salaried employees who are scheduled to work on a holiday receive the holiday pay along with pay for hours worked during the holiday, not to exceed their regular weekly salary plus the paid holiday, according to county policy.

Van Ness pointed out that the county has already designated an additional holiday this calendar year, which was July 5. In her seven years on the board, Van Ness said she has never been asked to consider adding two holidays to the employee calendar.

While she said she supports the county employees, Van Ness said the county doesn’t have the funds to add the holiday, noting that employees have personal days they can use.

Nesbitt agreed, also saying that he is a “strong advocate for our employees.”

“Everything has a dollar amount attached to it; nothing is free,” he said.

“I support the position of Commissioner Van Ness,” he added. “I don’t see that we can afford this at this particular time.”

Commission Chairman Richard Oden said that county employees had requested the additional holiday but that he had placed it on the agenda for the board’s consideration.

Van Ness made a motion to remove the resolution from the board’s agenda. Nesbitt supported the motion, with Oden in opposition.

The county’s normal paid holidays are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.