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City Hall closing every other Friday?
Allows longer hours on Monday through Thursday
The finance department where residents can pay municipal utility bills could be among the offices that will be closed every other Friday in a bid to extend hours Monday through Thursday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Making it easier for residents and others with business at the Manteca Civic Center is the philosophy behind a proposal to close city hall offices every other Friday.

The citywide nine day/80-hour work week would also apply to operations not at the Civic Center at 1001 W. Center St. including the animal control office and the customer service portion of the solid waste office.

Manteca now operates a traditional five-day, 40-hour work week with most municipal offices open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. About 54 percent of the city’s employees already take advantage of a compressed 9/80 schedule.
That has created issues such as managing workloads and scheduling meetings due to employees being off at different times.

The switch would increase hours on Monday through Thursday — the busiest customer service days of the week. Proposed hours for Mondays through Thursdays would be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. — a half hour earlier and a half hour later than the current hours. The open Friday hours would remain 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Should the council approve the proposal at Tuesday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., the 9/80 schedules would start Monday, March 2.

Tracy, Oakdale, and Lathrop already use the 9/80 schedule. Stockton and Ceres are considering switching to it.

The City of Santa Barbara surveyed 33 cities that had 9/80 work schedules. Of the 18 that responded, the cities found that customers reacted favorably to extended hours and that staff morale and recruitment efforts improved.

Other advantages as delineated in a report to the City Council from Administrative Services Director Joe Kriskovich include:

• improving air quality and congestion management by reducing trips to and from the workplace by 26 per year per employee.

• reducing use of sick leave for personnel business.

• less overtime as more projects can be finished during in a regular day.

• providing a recruitment benefit to lure potential employees

• reducing the cost of office utilities.

Challenges include:

• those citizens who will be inconvenienced by city offices closed every other Friday.

• the limited availability of building inspections on Friday.

• possible childcare issues with a longer work days for some municipal workers.