Vacation buybacks, personnel manual on city agenda

Augusta employees are in for a post-holiday treat if commissioners OK as much as $522,132 in vacation leave buybacks Tuesday.


The city personnel policies and procedures manual allows the commission to pay employees the value of unused vacation leave, and three-quarters of eligible workers have participated in previous years, according to the agenda item from Finance Director Donna Williams.

According to a report, city workers had 342,416 hours of unused vacation as of Nov. 11, including 104,386 hours among law enforcement personnel and 36,645 hours in Augusta Utilities unused vacation time.

The funds, if approved, will appear on employees’ Jan. 5 paycheck, according to the agenda item.

In a related item Commissioner Marion Williams has called for the commission to approve revisions to the city personnel policies and procedures manual, although a subcommittee reviewing the revisions hasn’t met since May.

Commissioners questioned including Williams said they had not seen a final copy of the manual. One notable change discussed months ago is the extension of employment protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, which Equality Augusta board member Matthew Duncan said advocates hope to see pass by the end of 2017.

The commission also is set to approve three members of an ad hoc monitoring and oversight committee for a new economic development program to target areas underserved by retail businesses. Requested by Commissioner Sammie Sias, the three members are Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis, Sias and Commissioner Ben Hasan, with Mayor Hardie Davis serving as an ex-officio member.

The vote follows a vote called by Sias on the mayor’s proposal to rebuild James Brown Arena at the vacant Regency Mall and the commission earlier this year authorized funding a position to encourage development in underserved areas such as south Augusta.

In other action, resident Seve Adigun is speaking about a proposal to establish metered parking downtown and Beverly Johnson is speaking on a request by Hyung Goo Kim to open a retail package beer, wine and liquor store at 2318 Walden Drive. Opposed by many, the application is recommended for denial on the commission’s consent agenda.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or