St. Johns County reported to Historic City News that their second unpaid staff furlough day is approaching; all departments of the Board of County Commissioners will be closed on Monday, April 5th.
Five unpaid staff furlough days in 2010 will save approximately one million dollars, part of the $47 million reduction in the County’s 2010 budget.
All County offices are also closed on Friday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday.
Due to their unique hours, library branches are observing the unpaid staff furlough day on Saturday, April 3. So, libraries will be closed Friday for Good Friday, Saturday for the furlough and Sunday as is their normal schedule. All libraries will resume normal hours on Monday, April 5. Note the library book drops will be locked at 6:00 pm Thursday and reopen at 10:00 am Monday. No materials will be due on the closed days.
Essential Fire Rescue personnel are exempt from the furloughs. Additionally, employees of Constitutional Officers not under the jurisdiction of the Board of County Commissioners are not included in the furloughs, including the Sheriff, Clerk of the Court, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections.
County officials acknowledge the furlough and temporary service reduction is inconvenient to the public, but they are a necessary and preferable alternative to permanent reductions. County Administrator Michael Wanchick said the substitute for unpaid furloughs would have been 30 or more staff layoffs. St. Johns County has already eliminated nearly 200 employees and reduced $122 million from its budget since 2007. “Furloughs are the best way to manage our expenses without a permanent reduction in quality and levels of public services and programs,” said Wanchick.
The three remaining unpaid staff furlough dates for 2010 are May 28, July 2 and September 3 (with each corresponding Saturday for library branches).