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Council halts free days off
by Kenda Nelson
Jan 11, 2012 | 447 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
REFUGIO — Mayor Ray Jaso said Tuesday night he would stop giving city employees extra time off before holidays if that’s what the council wants.

Acting on complaints from taxpayers across the community, Councilman Frank Hosey asked and received council approval Tuesday night to end a trend of giving employees days off prior to sanctioned holidays without prior council approval.

Anticipating a scheduled holiday on Monday, Hosey said, “normally this Friday, you’d be gone.”

“I’m 100 percent with Frank,” said Karen Watts, council member.

Councilman Joey Heard asked the city attorney, Donald Kubicek, if the council is allowed to adopt the restriction.

“Of course, you set your policy,” Kubicek said.

Heard asked what would happen if the mayor gave them the time off anyway.

“That’s between you and the mayor,” Kubicek said.

However, Jaso, who admitted to granting the days off in the past, said he would adhere to the council’s wishes.

“I’m not going against the policy that the council sets,” Jaso said. “Put it down.”

Employees were allowed time off on Friday before Christmas and two days after Christmas, without using vacation days, Hosey said. Heard said the result was a public outcry from taxpayers.

“(Tuesday) was not a good day to be out at H-E-B,” Heard said. “Everybody was mad about that.”

The mayor also granted two days off for the championship game, according to Hosey.

“The only two people who actually left (to go to the game) were already on vacation,” Hosey said. “We’re only talking about holidays tonight. We’ll talk about football later.”

The council also approved the $34,000 fire fighting contract with the county for 2012; the $29,080 contract with the county for animal control; and the list of 4-H animals that will be housed inside the city limits.
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