County imposes unpaid holidays

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County commissioners voted during a special called meeting Monday to implement cuts in payroll and supplements to help bridge a deficit and balance their Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

The items approved by the commission Monday were all recommended unanimously by the Commission's Finance Committee, which had worked over the past two months to produce a balanced budget with a minimal impact to county employees.

Items unanimously approved by the Commission on Monday include five unpaid holidays for all county employees; cuts of 2 percent to the supplements given to county employees paid by the state, such as prosecutors and public defenders; a request that the judges cut their supplements by 2 percent, and a request to the city of Albany and the Albany-Area Chamber of Commerce to allow the county to cut their funding of the Economic Development Commission by 2 percent.

The board also voted unanimously to cut their own pay by 2 percent.

All of the measures are designed to help bridge a deficit caused chiefly by rising health insurance costs and decreased revenues from a shrinking tax base.

The Commission won't approve the full budget until June 28. County Administrator Richard Crowdis pushed up the items onto Monday's agenda so that employees could have more time to prepare for the first unpaid holiday, which will fall on July 5.

In total, employees will have five unpaid and four paid holidays in the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1, unless county commissioners are able to find other revenues. It would take another $100,000 to reduce to four unpaid holidays.