COVINGTON — The Newton County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Ezell Brown are wishing all county employees a Happy Thanksgiving.
During Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Chairman Keith Ellis announced the county would provide gift certificates for county employees outside the Sheriff’s Office.
“I wanted to give some good news,” Ellis said. “It’s the beginning of season of Thanksgiving, almost of the Birth as well. As we started thinking about those things, we discussed our employees and the needs of our employees and how could we help them.”
Through some negotiations with a local retailer and some minor revenue from the producers of Vampire Diaries who rented a county building, he was able to carve out enough funds to provide each employee a Kroger gift certificate for $15.50 that they can use to buy a turkey or ham or other items for a Thanksgiving meal.
“We realize it’s not very much. We appreciate them though and hope that they’ll take it in the way it was given,” Ellis said.
The chairman said he recognizes that county employees haven’t had any raises for several years, but wanted to show appreciation for all they do.
“We appreciate what they do, and we would not be able to provide services for Newton County citizens without their help,” he said. “ I think all of us ought to have a smile on our face because we can tighten our budgets enough to help our employees and know they will appreciate it.”
Sheriff Brown is providing the Sheriff’s Office employees a special Thanksgiving gift, as well. He will present each of the 250 NCSO employees with a turkey next week.
Ellis said he is working on ways to show appreciation for county employees year round.
“We’re trying to work out a discount program with some of the local merchants to provide ongoing discounts for county employees as a way of helping with their finances,” he said Wednesday. “I would love nothing more than for my phone to ring and have a local company say they want to help.”