The two remaining furloughs are Aug. 5 and Sept. 2.
Chairman Tim Lee said using the tax increase to eliminate the two remaining furlough days, which were implemented in April as part of a budget cutting measure, was never a guarantee, although his original millage increase proposal included that plan.
“Everything is a proposal until it gets voted on,” Lee said.
Earlier in July, Lee proposed increasing the millage rate to 11.21 mills, with a 1 mill increase for the general fund. But on Tuesday night, commissioners approved a millage rate of 11.11 with only a 0.9 increase to the general fund.
“We didn’t implement the full mill increase because we decided we just needed to keep moving forward with cost cutting measures put in place,” he said.
Even though eliminating furloughs was on the original proposal, employees were never officially told by the county that the furloughs would be eliminated, Lee said.
Lee added the fact some employees have already taken five furlough days while others will be furloughed on the upcoming scheduled days was a “part of the equation,” but not a deciding factor.
“The idea to propose a lower millage increase for the general fund and keeping the remaining furlough days came about independently,” he said. “One did not lead the other.”
Commissioners approved five furlough days in April as part of a measure to help fill a projected $27 million hole for fiscal 2011. It was the first time in county history that employees were furloughed.
Most all departments under the county manager’s office were required to close on the scheduled dates and employees were not paid for those days. The days were distributed so that they did not fall during the same pay cycle.
Public Safety officials coordinated their own furloughs while the Superior Court Clerk and Sherriff’s offices were allowed to implement the furloughs or cuts as they saw fit.
Commissioners participate in the cuts and furloughs as well, Commissioner Helen Goreham pointed out at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We took a 10 percent cut to our department, gave back our mileage and took furloughs,” she said.