Council calls recess, continues holiday flexible leave program

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Schoolchildren aren’t the only ones soon to be on summer vacation. Wednesday, the Roseville city council approved a resolution calling a recess for its July 15 and Aug. 19 meetings to reduce staff time. According to City Clerk Sonia Orozco this resolution will result in a nominal cost savings in staff time for the city and allow council members to schedule vacation time. “Looking several months out, we saw that with some of the items coming before council,” said Roseville Communications Manager Megan MacPherson. “We could get business done more efficiently if we combined the two meetings into one each month.” Council members will still receive their monthly stipends, $600 and $650 for Mayor Gina Garbolino, which MacPherson said is based on population and not on the number of meetings attended. Retirement/Layoff Update: The numbers are in. According to MacPherson 21 employees were laid off from Roseville’s city staff. “That is the final number,” MacPherson said. However because of some employees’ bumping rights, MacPherson said that it is unknown how specific departments will be affected. More than 60 city employees opted to take advantage of the city’s early retirement incentive. Council members recognized many retiring employees for their many years of service at Wednesday night’s meeting. Flexible leave program: It worked last year, so council’s bringing it back for a second round. City hall offices will close again this year for the holidays beginning Friday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Jan. 1, 2010. Last year, city council unanimously approved the Voluntary Holiday Flexible Leave Program for city employees and observed the program among numerous city departments. According to Craig Robinson, Roseville city manager, the pilot program was designed to manage costs for the city through reducing employees’ leave liability. City employees were required to use accrued vacation time or take the time off without pay for the nine-day period. According to Orozco, a number of city departments participated with only the staffing positions necessary to maintain critical services and business activity and found the pilot program to be successful. As with the 2008/2009 program employees will be required to use accrued vacation, holiday, management leave, paid time-off or leave without pay. During the leave, utility payments will be accepted online, over the phone, via mail and through the drop box in the Civic Center parking lot. Emergency services, utilities department and refuse pick-ups will be fully operational. City employees participating in the program are scheduled to return to their normal hours Monday, Jan.4, 2010.