The Wanderer - Mobile Edition

MARION SELECTMEN'S MEETING

Selectmen Frown on Vacation Carry-overs

Marion Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry

It is the end of fiscal year 2015, time for town employee requests to carry over unused vacation time into the next fiscal year - an annual custom that has Marion Board of Selectmen Chairman Stephen Cushing openly expressing his distaste for the tradition.

"I think everybody knows what my opinion on the carry-over of vacation hours is," said Cushing on June 29. "I will once again say how important vacation time is."

Harbormaster Michael Cormier requested the carry over of 80 vacation hours, which selectmen agreed was excessive.

Cushing acknowledged that the harbormaster position is often subjected to difficult work hours and a busy summertime, the time when most plan their vacations. But when the vacation requests happen on a yearly basis, Cushing frowned upon the steady practice of foregoing a vacation.

"I'm not going to take anybody's vacation time from them," said Cushing. "But they need to understand that the vacation time is theirs. It's theirs to take.... It benefits the overall department in general, their family life, their personal life."

Town Administrator Paul Dawson said the harbormaster department does try to take vacations during the wintertime, but even then there needs to be coverage.

"I get it, but I think sometimes ... it's difficult to find the time," said Dawson. Then in a moment of slight awkwardness he said, "Mine (40-hour vacation carry-over request) is going to be the one that follows this. I tried to use it.... I tried to take a week off, but it wouldn't work."

But hey, at least it's 40 hours and not 80, Cushing said.

"I'm not going to beat this one up," said Cushing.

The selectmen approved both vacation carry-over requests.

Also during the meeting, selectmen quickly approved and executed the contract for the new fire chief.

The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for July 7 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Police Station.

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