Southampton Town workers won't get July 5 off
An extra day off for Southampton Town employees that the supervisor announced for July 5 has fizzled because the town board failed to pass the bonus vacation day.
Instead, Southampton Town Hall will remain open the day after Independence Day, a Friday -- at least for now.
Earlier this month, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst announced during a speech that Town Hall would be closed as a thank-you for town employees' hard work during the storms this past year. Other employees who had to work that day, like police, would get an extra day off to use this year.
When other town board members protested that she alone didn't have the authority to give the extra day off, she agreed to bring forward a resolution at Tuesday night's meeting.
The extra day off failed to gain approval when the board vote tied at 2-2.
Councilman Chris Nuzzi said, after the meeting, that Throne-Holst was trying to "look like Santa Claus in July." He blamed her for pitting town employees, whom he called "phenomenal," against the town board.
Throne-Holst said the boon was meant to show appreciation to the approximately 500 town employees.
"We have had an inordinate number of days in the last year when employees have been asked to go above and beyond," she said. She said employees worked during storms at the senior center without pay and police officers responded to calls without putting in for the time.
Throne-Holst called a special meeting for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. because Councilman Jim Malone wasn't at Tuesday night's meeting.
After the vote, she apologized to town employees who had been banking on the extra day off.
Nuzzi, who was joined by GOP Councilwoman Christine Scalera in voting against the extra day off, said the average town worker has 12 weeks of vacation, sick and personal time saved up -- plus gets 13 holidays a year under the town's collective bargaining agreement.
Throne-Holst was joined by Democratic Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, who said she supported the day off but that it shouldn't have been granted by "edict."