By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – Because village employees are using less paid time off (PTO) this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suamico village board voted Monday, Nov. 16, to allow them to carry over an additional unused 40 hours into 2021.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said village policy has allowed employees to carry over up to 40 hours from one year to the next with approval of the administrator.
“One concern I have is any of that PTO over 40 hours that they don’t carry over gets paid out,” he said. “And what I don’t want is to have a huge one-time payment of extra PTO.”
Kaker said he favored allowing an employee the option to carry over up to 80 unused PTO hours into next year, with the hours above the standard 40 being paid using the employee’s 2020 pay rate.
“The other benefit to that is the Emergency Paid Sick Leave, which is a federal program that we’re required to have, expires on Dec. 31 of this year,” he said. “So next year, if you have staff who are quarantining, they don’t have any backup to pay their unpaid time. We want to make sure they’re sufficiently covered if they are out sick or in quarantine. I think that extra 40 hours will go a long way.”
Kaker said the one-time policy change on PTO only applies to unused hours in 2020 carried over to 2021.
Board members also received a report on the village’s vote totals from the Nov. 3 election from Deputy Clerk Melissa Hongisto.
Of the 8,368 ballots cast, she said 6,396 voted absentee with 1,972 in-person voters Nov. 3 and 321 new registrations on Election Day.
Hongisto said voter participation in Suamico exceeded 90 percent.
Because of the pandemic, the village used the vacant Marq building as its only polling place on Election Day to space out poll workers and voters.