Yu: Should City Hall Be Open on Fridays?

Temple City councilman Vincent Yu has expressed some concerns about the policy of closing City Hall on Fridays.

The city’s current 4/10 work schedule policy was adopted last year. City Manager Charles R. Martin had recommended closing Fridays to save utility costs for Temple City.

During the May 5, 2009 city council meeting, councilman Yu stated a number of people had commented to him about the city’s work policy. Yu asked city staff to look at the new schedule to gauge how citizens were responding to it, he said.

Since July 2008, City Hall and the Civic Center have been opened Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, both city buildings have been closed on Fridays.

Most city employees now work four days a week, ten hours per day.

According to city staff analysis, City Hall and the Civic Center have reduced its natural gas costs by 43 percent, resulting in a savings of approximately $1600.

Electricity usage has fallen by 4.5 percent, albeit an accurate account of savings could not be identified because Southern California Edison, the city’s electric company, changed the way it calculated electricity usage rates.

The study period of the analysis began in July/August 2008 through February/March 2009.

There has been some light complaints stated assistant to the City Manager Gary Flod at the Tuesday council meeting.

Besides saving on utility costs, shorter employee commute time, light Friday foot traffic and full staff schedule on the same days were advantages of the current city policy, Flod said.

The most successful and efficient schedule for providing service was the 9/80 schedule, the previous work employee schedule, councilman Fernando Vizcarra stated. Councilman Dave Capra agreed.

Former councilwoman Cathé Wilson, who was in attendance Tuesday evening, disagreed. Wilson commented that the current schedule was working and asked why fix it if it was not broken.

Linda Payne, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, stated that the Temple City Chamber of Commerce had received more than 12 complaints. She urged the City Council to consider councilman Vizcarra’s suggestion of re-instating the 9/80 work schedule.

City Manager Martin cautioned against reversing the city’s work schedule policy due to the low number of city employees. Martin stated it could dangerous if certain staff worked alone.

After council discussion, Yu stated he wanted to further study the issue before making a change.

Temple City’s neighboring cities, with the exception of the city of Arcadia, are all closed on Fridays, according to the city staff report.

 

This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on August 14, 2009.

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