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County employees getting extra day off

Panola County supervisors voted unanimously at their Monday meeting to add New Year’s eve to the calendar of days county departments, including both courthouses, will be closed this year.

The Governor’s office issues memos a couple of weeks before national holidays declaring which days the state will officially observe the holiday, and more importantly to local employees, which days their respective departments will be closed for business.

The last few years the Governor has given state employees New Year’s eve along with Jan. 1, but this year only included New Year’s Day itself as an off day. County Administrator Kate Victor said word spread quickly throughout the county of this year’s plan to work Dec. 31.

Victor brought the matter up at Monday’s meeting, and supervisors agreed to add another day to the Jan. 1 holiday, allowing county workers to take Dec. 31 off, and closing the courthouses.

City of Batesville employees, who also follow the Governor’s declarations, quickly began to question if the city could follow suite, and arbitrarily close City Hall and give all employees the day off.

Mayor Jerry Autrey said this week he will let the aldermen decide whether to take the extra day when the board meets Tuesday afternoon for its final gathering of the year, barring any city emergencies.

In other business this week, the supervisors:

  • ● Approved payment of $1,500 from the “I Care Tag Grant” program to the Panola County Humane Society.
  • ● Approved payment of an invoice from American Johnny for $488.75 for the use of five portable toilets for the Panola County Air Show held at the airport in October. Victor said the county couldn’t pay the invoice without the board’s consent because no purchase order was issued. Noting the success of the air show and the popularity of the event with locals and visitors alike, the board voted unanimously to approve the measure.
  • ● Agreed to have the Road Department build a driveway, including a new culvert if needed, for property owned by M.C. Hudson on Waldrup Rd. The state replaced a bridge on Waldrup this year, but in the process left him no access to his property.
  • ● Passed a referendum of support for Marsy’s Law for Mississippi after hearing from the state field director, Shellie Michael, about the crime victims’ rights measure. County Attorney Gaines Baker advised the board he had researched the Marsy’s Law history and effort, and believed it to be beneficial to the crime victims if passed in the upcoming legislative session. He noted the measure passed the Mississippi House last year, and narrowly fell short in the Senate.
  • The board will meet Monday in Batesville to consider other matters.