Happy Pre-Independence Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2006

City’s workers to get extra day off

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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When it comes time to celebrate our nation’s independence, city employees can look forward to a pre-holiday holiday.

Monday, upon the suggestion of Mayor James Perkins Jr., the city council unanimously approved the use of July 3 as an added day off.

Since the date falls on a Monday, workers will have a four-day weekend to travel and visit family or just relax.

But concerned citizens need not worry. The entire city won’t shut down.

“Public safety workers – firemen and police – they always work that holiday,” Perkins said. “Those guys get time off at other times. This will affect departments like public works, namely the garbage schedule. That will likely roll over to the next day.”

The practice is not common in the city, and Perkins said it was brought to his attention that it had been done three or four times before.

Councilman Johnnie Leashore heeded Perkins’ suggestion and made the motion for the council to vote on.

“When you give this type of break, it only enhances morale and makes for better workers,” Leashore said. “It gives them an extra day to celebrate the birth of our nation. And obviously, this is something my colleagues agreed with because it was a unanimous decision.”

Although the routine for some city services for that week will be interrupted, there should not be a backlog of work.

Efforts will be made to shift duties instead of delaying them.

“Our normally scheduled days (for trash pickup) are Monday through Thursday,” said Director of Public Works Darry Bradley. “On Fridays, usually if there are some areas that have got some complaints, we take care of those complaints and catch up. We have a schedule I’m pretty sure we’ll be using. We’ll announce a definite schedule in the paper a couple of weeks prior.”

And the timing could not be better. With a spring that has already seen record high temperatures, it’s a fairly safe bet the thermometer won’t be dropping in the middle of the summer.

City departments have also done extra work in efforts to improve the city.

“We’ve been working quite a bit,” Bradley said. “All the workers are outside and guys are working in the heat of the day. We’ve also been working with the Mayor’s TRUSTBuild program. This will give them some needed rest.”

The impetus for the holiday comes back to one thing – happy workers are efficient workers.

“It’s going to be very positive,” Perkins said. “The employees have the opportunity to go out of town. They can actually travel and spend time with their families.”