GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Commissioners held a stalemated vote over whether to make Veterans Day a paid employee holiday and to close non-vital municipality operations on the holiday during their Tuesday meeting.
Commissioner Beau Sang was not present for the meeting.
Commissioner Tony Gallagher made a motion to make Veterans Day a paid holiday for city employees. Newly inducted Commissioner Mike Brown seconded Gallagher’s motion.
Gallagher said he brought the vote before the commission a few times last year and each time it was voted down.
“I feel that it’s very important we honor the veterans and we don’t give our employees raises and we haven’t given them a raise in a long time,” said Gallagher. “This is just a day off I think is important. It would help the employees and give them a little incentive and it would help us, the city, because the federal government is closed down. The state of Ohio is closed down. Gallia County government is closed down. The banks are closed down and the post office is close down. I would just like to see us close down also to honor the veterans.”
Gallagher specified this would be in addition to any holidays employees already had after asked by newly named City Commissioner President Cody Caldwell if this would replace another day already given to employees.
“We discussed that last year and I think (City Clerk and Auditor Annette Landers) looked it up and the price was pretty pricey for one day,” said newly named City Commissioner Vice President Mike Fulks. “You have departments working and some can’t be left alone so they’re getting time and a half.”
City Manager Ted Lozier said he would check for specifics of what any additional cost would be to the city should it approve Veterans Day as an employee holiday. The expense check wouldn’t be for the entire city staff but only for individuals that would need to serve essential functions like first responders.
“We have one commissioner not here,” said Fulks. “I would make a motion to table it until everyone is here.”
“We could run some numbers and get some (finance data shared),” said Lozier.
“…That’s been the issue in the past,” said Caldwell, “not really an objection to doing something for our city employees. It’s been a fiscal issue, I believe.”
The motion to table the issue died for lack of a second motion. As president of the commission, Caldwell cannot second motions. Fulks issued a “call to question” which ended discussion of the initial motion to vote on the additional holiday.
Fulks and Caldwell voted to not approve the holiday and Gallagher and Brown voted to approve the holiday which resulted in a stalemated vote. The holiday motion was not approved.
In other commission matters, Lozier said he was exploring a route to hold a one to two hour work session for the commission to discuss what the commission wanted to set as goals for the year. Lozier noted that electrical equipment was being gathered up after another year of Gallipolis in Lights in Gallipolis City Park. The city is finishing up the last of its leaf pickup efforts. Columbia Gas subcontractors have returned in town and are going through town and removing temporary roadway repairs and doing more permanent finishes. The city continues to monitor an earth slip on Ohio 141 and working to get some grant money or zero interest loan money to make repairs to the slip. Electric vehicle charging station equipment is on order and waiting to arrive. Once in Gallipolis, installation of the charging stations will begin.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.