ENM council tables discussion on paid holidays

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The Elko New Market City Council tabled a discussion on paid holidays for city employees until further information could be provided.

The discussion at the council's Thursday, Jan. 8, meeting came out of a request by Councilmember Dennis Melgaard to review the number of paid holidays the city offers.

City Administrator Tom Terry explained that under a state statute city halls have to be closed on 10 holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and either Columbus Day or the day after Thanksgiving. Elko New Market's city hall has been closed on all of those days and also on Christmas Eve, giving staff 12 paid holidays.

In comparing with other communities, most have 10 or 11 days. Terry noted some of the surrounding communities are only open for half a day on such days as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Mayor Jason Ponsonby suggested the city choose either Columbus Day or the day after Thanksgiving to be closed.

The consensus of the council was to choose the day after Thanksgiving.

Melgaard recommended to save costs the city only pay for six of the holidays.

Ponsonby disagreed, saying if the city is not offering the same benefits as surrounding communities, that would expedite staff turnover.

Melgaard offered a motion that city hall be closed for 11 holidays with six to be paid. The motion died for a lack of a second.

City staff was directed to get more information concerning time off and paid holidays, which would likely be ready by the council's Thursday, Feb. 12, meeting.

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