If you have business at Manteca City Hall you’d better take care of it by 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
That’s because a combination of furloughs, a Friday flex day and Thanksgiving will shut down nonessential municipal services until Monday, Nov. 26.
The city also will shut down from Dec. 20 to Jan. 1 as part of its furlough strategy to keep costs down while maintaining the highest feasible level of service.
The furloughs were instituted four years ago as a way to avoid additional cutbacks. Manteca had 420 municipal workers back then. Today the ranks have been whittled down to 317 through attrition and layoffs.
Furloughs - essentially forced non-paid days off - saves Manteca’s stressed general fund that covers the cost of day-to-day services such as police and fire just over $354,600 a year. That averages out to $1,118 that an average city worker has given up on an annual basis through furloughs. The savings is equivalent to the overall compensation including benefits of three police officers. Municipal workers have seen a loss in their compensation between benefits, salary cuts and such in excess of 20 percent.
Manteca went to flex days - nine working days every two week as opposed to 10 - to increase efficiency with a smaller staff plus extend business hours on Monday through Thursday to a half hour earlier and a half hour later.
City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted that water stops and starts will not take place during furloughs. Essential service such as garbage, police, and fire will operate on their normal schedules.