Tulare City Manager Darrel Pyle now has the ability to sell back as much vacation time as he wants.

An article in the Visalia Times-Delta, heavily read in the linked headlines section on PublicCEO.com, brought attention to the City Council’s decision.

In the piece, there was discussion regarding the number of vacation hours Pyle can accrue and a conversation with a councilman who thought Pyle should take his vacation time to remain rested and effective.

Pyle though, says it’s simply a non-story.

In an e-mail interview, Pyle said that his vacation rate did not change. Pyle also said he’s previously had the benefit to sell back his vacation time the past four years, sharing the same benefit as every other management employee.  

Pyle said that though every management employee can cell vacation time back, he somehow could not until having exceeded 320 hours. Management employees can keep a maximum of 320 hours on the books.

“I take vacation time when the business of the City allow, and am usually out two weeks per year,” Pyle said. “Prior to our last election, I had never been told that I had lost effectiveness.

“I spend lots of time with my family. We eat dinner together almost every night. We vacation together as their school schedules allow.”

The City of Tulare had a great financial year in 2007-08. The city received $18 million in Prop 1B money to match the countywide Measure R regional transportation sales tax money to deliver two grade-separated railroad crossings.

The city also broke ground on a new library, a new park and an $80 million industrial wastewater treatment plant.

Due to such a good year, Pyle was offered a raise in August 2008. But Pyle said he saw California’s financial future and therefore, declined the raise.

Because the City’s General Fund revenue projections for 2009-10 are down approximately 8 percent, he said he asked council not to consider a raise this year either.

James Spencer can be reached at jspencer@publicceo.com