Mayor Carlo DeMaria, in written correspondence to the Common Council Monday night, notified the body that the city is currently working on a plan that would permanently keep city hall closed on Fridays going forward and explained that the move was being made to allow city hall to open longer on Mondays and Thursdays and allow the city to realize some cost-savings in lower utility bills on Fridays.
City Councilor Rosemary Miller had asked the mayor’s office for an explanation of why City Hall has not been open on Fridays since the scheduled end of summer hours at the beginning of September.
In addition to the Mayor’s written response, City Solicitor Colleen Mejia addressed the Council and explained that the new arrangement had to be negotiated with the city’s unions, before it could be made official and announced publicly.
“I believe that the (extension of summer hours) was announced on ECTV and I think it was in the newspapers as well,” Mejia told the Council. “Once the plan is finalized, we will have an announcement go out over the Reverse 911, and through the newspapers and cable stations.”
Miller, who stated that she was not against the changes, said that she was moved to ask for an explanation, because many people had asked her about the closed on Fridays policy and had not heard about the extension of summer hours.
Miller said that she was also surprised to learn that the city expects to save money from the closing, as she had proposed a similar schedule to the administration when she first took office four years ago, and was told “that an extensive study had been done, which determined that the city would not save any substantial amount of money by closing on Fridays.”
Miller asked that her request for an explanation of the city hall scheduling be held over to the Council meeting in two weeks, with a further explanation of how much money the city expects to save from the move.