Cole County Commissioners hold off on holiday day-off decision

The Cole County Commission will wait to see what the cost will be before deciding if county employees will get the day after Thanksgiving off.

After years of having that day as an extra holiday, Missouri state government employees have been told the state will be open for business.

The day after Thanksgiving never was established as a day off by law, but had been granted for years by the governors’ executive orders.

However, the Nixon administration said the state saves about $1 million, mainly in overtime costs, by keeping it a regular work day.

“Certainly state employees will be able to use annual leave to take off Nov. 26,” Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said in August.

With that in mind, the county was planning to do the same as the state.

Monday, though, Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher brought the matter up for discussion, saying he had wondered — since the county may not be able to give employees raises next year — if they could give the day after Thanksgiving off instead.

Western District Commissioner Chris Wrigley seconded Hoelscher’s motion for discussion purposes and suggested they have county Finance Officer Debbie Malzner look at the potential cost to the county.

The circuit court — a state agency — will be open, keeping the courthouse open that day, and Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce told Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger that there were no plans to change that.

Like the state, the county is concerned about overtime costs.

The departments affected by making Nov. 26 a holiday include the sheriff’s department, court marshals, maintenance department and — for the first time — ambulance personnel, since the county has taken over that service.

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