Tulsa County treasurer, clerk to close offices early Friday for Christmas party
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Friday, December 14, 2012
12/14/12 at 8:11 AM
As they have done for years, the Tulsa County treasurer and clerk will close their offices for several hours Friday to hold annual Christmas parties.
The Treasurer's Office will close at noon, and the Clerk's Office will close at 1:45 p.m. The offices normally close at 5 p.m.
"The purpose of this party is to celebrate Christmas, but it has a bigger goal than that," said the treasurer's chief deputy, Steve Blue. "We want to reward our employees for their hard work because they do work hard and we want to boost morale."
Blue described the party as an "office function" that has been held since before Treasurer Dennis Semler took office in 1996. Employees are paid for their time away from the office only if they attend the party.
"The timing of this party is fortunate because we are getting ready for the busiest week of the entire calendar year," Blue said. "The last week of December, we will have our lobby full of people coming in to pay their taxes.
"So at this party, Dennis always gives a talk about the importance of what we do, the importance of our governmental function and the importance of us serving the taxpayers."
County Clerk-elect Pat Key, who now is the chief deputy, said the office Christmas party has been held for at least 20 years.
"This is the one time of the year we do this for our employees," Key said. "There are many offices that stop what they are doing for a short period at Christmas to share time together."
The treasurer and clerk, however, are the only two Tulsa County elected officials who close their offices to the public to hold their parties.
Tulsa County Human Resources Director Terry Tallent said the county does not have a policy dictating hours of operation.
Elected officials "have the authority to set their hours as they believe is appropriate to effectively operate their office," he said.
The Clerk's Office and the Treasurer's Office posted signs on their doors and in their lobbies weeks ago notifying the public that they would be closed for part of Friday.
Blue said the 35 employees of the Treasurer's Office are paid for attending the Christmas party because it is an office function.
"It is not that much different than Walmart having a morale session prior to opening their doors in the morning," he said. "The goals are the same."
The Clerk's Office's 35 employees also are paid for their time away from the office. But Key noted that employees will be working through the lunch hour Friday.
"There is no work in our office that does not efficiently get taken care of, and in a timely manner," she said.
Original Print Headline: Two county offices to close for parties today
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
County Clerk-elect Pat Key: She said the office party is good for workers.