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Mahoning County reviews policy on snow day closings

Published: Thu, February 3, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.


George Tablack


Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick

Recent weather barrage prompts call for clarity




The procedure for emergency closings of Mahoning County offices and buildings and whether county employees will be paid for the lost time are on the agenda for a county commissioners’ staff meeting at 11 a.m. today.

“It’s not my place to second-guess that decision,” county Administrator George J. Tablack said of the

decision to close county offices and buildings Tuesday due to a forecast ice storm.

Tablack said Clark Jones, county emergency-management director, called him at 6:32 a.m. Tuesday and left him a message saying many local institutions, including Youngstown State University, had closed for the day and asking him to call back.

Tablack said he then heard on

21 WFMJ-TV that county offices and buildings would be closed before he first spoke to Jones at 6:59 a.m.

Probate Judge Mark Belinky, presiding judge of the county common-

pleas court, said he and Jones

decided the courts should close

after learning that YSU had closed.

After taking other calls, Tablack said he first spoke to John A. McNally IV, chairman of the county commissioners, concerning the closing at 7:40 a.m.

Tablack said he wasn’t sure who decided to close the county government offices and buildings that house them, nor was he sure who notified the media of the closing.

However, Tablack said McNally, as chairman, would be his starting point for any discussion of potential closing of county offices and facilities.

After learning that the county courthouse and YSU were closed, Judge Theresa Dellick of the county’s juvenile court said she closed her court and sent her workers home at 7:15 a.m., except for personnel in the juvenile-detention facility, who work in round-the-clock shifts regardless of the weather.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Dellick told The Vindicator that any work time her employees missed Tuesday would have to be made up though vacation or personal days or flextime.

“It’s a day they didn’t work” that wasn’t a scheduled holiday, she explained.

An hour later, Judge Dellick recanted that plan, saying she couldn’t demand that her employees make up the time because doing that would violate the county’s weather-emergency policy.

Judge Dellick also said she believes requiring employees to make up the lost time when the employer closes the workplace would violate federal wage-and-hour law.

The judge said she believes juvenile-court employees who lost work time Tuesday will be paid for that time under county policy.

The Vindicator’s broadcast media partner, 21 WFMJ-TV, reported Wednesday night that County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino estimated the snow day cost county taxpayers $200,000. Among the departments counted on that payroll were the treasurer’s office, auditor’s office, the recorder’s office, the county administrator and children services.

As for employees directly under the commissioners’ authority, Tablack deferred questions concerning their being paid for lost time Tuesday or their making up lost time to the county commissioners, who, he said, might consult with the county prosecutor’s office on this matter.

Entering into this discussion will be employment law and labor contracts affecting unionized county employees, Tablack said. The juvenile court has no union, and all employees there serve at the pleasure of Judge Dellick.

“I’m sure all of this is going to be discussed tomorrow,” Tablack said late Wednesday afternoon.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years ago

Taxpayers are had again by the public employees. While the rest of us in the private sector struggled to get to our jobs in the bad weather, the public employees were home snug in their beds and getting paid to be there. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

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2northsideperson(365 comments)posted 4 years ago

Union, you can't blame this one on the employees, but their management.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years ago

Send the $200,000.00 bill to Clark Jones, George Tablack and Mark Belinky - LOL!

PS - when is Queen Theresa going to have her picture from 2000 updated?

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4lovinmyjob(2 comments)posted 4 years ago

Hey UnionForever, don't be mad just because your boss cares more about making money than they do about your safey. At least our bosses care about us. So it's wrong for our bosses to want us to be SAFE?? Maybe you should reconsider the field your working in, cause obviously your miserable.

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5republicanRick(1340 comments)posted 4 years ago

Give the commissioners credit for recognizing the need to clarify this situation. My feeling is, if you are a county employee and afraid of traveling in poor weather, use a SICK day and stay home. Don't give everyone a free day off because it might take them 15 minutes longer to drive to work.

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6georgejeanie(932 comments)posted 4 years ago

A bunch of pathetic babies. How would you have liked to have these pathetic human beings in charge during World War II? We would all be speaking German or Japanese. Wow!

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7grand4dad(202 comments)posted 4 years ago

No, not a SICK day. How about using your vacation day if you don't want to come to work?

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8ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 4 years ago

The terrible grammar in these comments is both funny and sad at the same time. Lots of Valley English teachers failed over the years it appears.

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9uncle(12 comments)posted 4 years ago

"if you don't work, you dont get paid'
So how are all the people on welfare making it? What about the people in prison? Who is paying for their stay at prison? County employees pay taxes as well. Just something else for the peolpe of Youngstown to complain about.

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10redeye1(4878 comments)posted 4 years ago

It just amazes me that because some people who have a boss who thinks its better to be safe than sorry. They have to get into an up roar. Why don't they tell their bosses that it would have been nice to have them close for the day. But no, they are afraid of their bosses. This nation has become a place of whinny a@@es who don't have the balls to srtand up for themselves, they just want to complain about what others have or get.

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11mikogni(5 comments)posted 4 years ago

Look someone made a call to close the courts. As it turned out the "emergency" was another sensationalized news story. The blame this time should be with the news/weather media that hyped up the weather as an historic natural disaster. The public officials probably failed to take into consideration that this storm of the century in Chicago may be the storm of the week in Youngstown-Warren. I say give the public officials a break this time. They messed up because they trusted the weather media. The claim that the county lost $200,000 is another hyped up news story because they are not to paying an additional $200,000. Citizens wishing to use the county offices were inconvenienced, but the work will be caught up.

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12dhtj(32 comments)posted 4 years ago

i made it to work with no problem. even last year when we had all that snow in feb. i made it to work. no 4-wheel drive either. no work =no pay. deduct it fron their checks salaried or not......

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134U2NO(2 comments)posted 4 years ago

Cheating on hours worked is a waste of taxpayers money. Employees taking extended lunches(2hours), leaving 1 and 2 hours early and getting paid for working 8 hours. This is a waste of taxpayers money. These nonprofit agencies, government, federal and state funded agencies are wasting taxpayer money continuously. Our citizens in need are not properly receiving the services that are available to them due to these workers not fulfilling their job duties because they are never in the office. I would not be surprised if some of the agencies don't open during the workweek and still get paid full time hours. It needs to stop. Stop wasting taxpayers money. Please Closing due to bad weather is totally different totally. The commissioners want to check into policies they need to start monitoring some of the agencies that they are responsbile for overseeing and see how much they cheat on time and this is wasting taxpayers money.

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