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September 30th, 2009 by Sameea Kamal
Beginning in January 2010, city hall will stay open five days a week, approved at the city council’s special meeting on Monday.
The council voted unanimously to approve the changes in response to comments from citizens who wanted to have five days to take advantage of what the city offers, said Council member Tom Chavez.
Despite the changes, city staff will maintain their work schedule of four days a week, ten hours a day. The days on which some of the staff work will simply be shifted, Chavez said.
“Our staff felt that they were okay with that, they were in favor of that,” he said. “We went with what they wanted as well, not only what the residents wanted.”
The approved plan would have full service every day, with less people working on Friday. The city anticipates Mondays would be busier days, and that certain city departments may keep more staff work on days that would have more activity.
City hall’s hours will remain 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m, which councilmembers say allows people to come in before and after work.
At the meeting, the council discussed the alternative nine day, eighty hour schedule with every other Friday off before approving the current schedule.
Councilmember Cynthia Sternquist voiced concern with waiting till January to implement the changes, but city staff reported that the winter holidays would need to be adjusted in order to start the new schedule sooner.
Councilmembers also said that since there are only three months left in till January, it would be an easier transition rather than uprooting the schedule now.
The cost of the additional day would be around $3,000 to $4,000 per year, according to city staff.
“We thought it was important just to have a presence in the city, especially with all the changes that are going on,” Chavez said.