Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
Want to check out a book at the Clayton County library on Friday? Not going to happen.
Eager to spend that day at a county-run park or recreation center? Nu-uh.
Clayton County's government, with the exception of public safety officers, will be closed on Friday, while county employees take a mandatory furlough day, according to county spokesperson, Jamie Carlington.
The furloughs were approved last year, as part of the fiscal year 2011 budget, in an effort to help cut expenses at a time when the local, state and national economies were faltering. The furloughs have mainly been tied to recognized holidays, as is the case this time with Monday being Memorial Day.
With all but public safety closed on Friday, many of the services residents have access to, will be closed for a day. The county's courts, and tax offices will join libraries and parks and recreation facilities in being closed.
The county commission also mandated, last November, that public safety departments, such as the county's police and fire departments, and sheriff's office, set their own furlough schedule, separate from the days scheduled for other employees. The intent was to make sure public safety services continue, uninterrupted, on any given day of the year, according to the resolution passed at the time by the commission.
Clayton County Library System Director Carol Stewart said libraries tried to avoid scheduling books to be due back on Friday. She added that, in case any books are due to be returned on Friday, people can return them on Saturday (when the libraries re-open) without any penalty. "If, by chance, a book slipped by, and is due on Friday, we'll forgive a day," she said.
Many county offices will again be closed on Monday, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
Carlington said the exceptions, this time, will not only be public safety officers, but also Clayton County International Park's The Beach, which is scheduled to celebrate its annual opening this weekend.