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Town Hall Could Be Open Five Days [Poll]

First Selectman says he wants the building open on Fridays.

If you have business to conduct at the , you'd better get it done on Thursday night or you will wait until Monday morning.

That's because Oxford's Town Hall is closed on Fridays, but that could change if First Selectman George Temple has his way.

Temple sent a letter to Town Hall clerical workers last week telling them of his plans for change. Per their contract with the town, the clerical workers need a month notice of any changes to the work schedule. Temple gave them three months because he didn't want to affect vacations this summer. 

Town Hall has been open just four days since it was built in the 1970s, according to town records. Temple said the change is being made to "bring Oxford into the 21st Century." He said it won't cost the town anything to make this move as workers will spread their hours over a longer period. And, he said, he doesn't expect resistance from employee unions. 

Jessica Pennell, president of the local clerical union, said she appreciates the advance notice. She said she will reach out to her regional union representative to discuss the changes and see how the union wants to proceed.

If the changes take effect, Town Hall would be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Currently, it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

Dick Kaminski June 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I’ve lived in Oxford since 1972 and I’m embarrassed to say I do not understand the Town Hall compensation policies. If Town Hall is currently open from 7-9:00 on Monday evenings and will now be open on Friday AND “…it won’t cost the town anything to make this move…” there are only two explanations of how this can work. #1 – Town Hall will only be open for two hours on Friday? (This change would make no sense to me.) #2 – There is a significant premium paid for working in the evening and in excess of eight hours on Monday and this premium will no longer apply. If this explanation is the correct one, then the salaries paid will in fact pay for more hours creating productivity and reducing some overtime. Can anyone advise what I am missing? Oh, and Selectman Temple says he "...doesn't expect resistance from employee unions.", we'll see.
Roc June 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Won't cost anything? I doubt that. George needs to go.
Joe Blow June 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I didn't vote in the poll because it would be nice to be open on Friday but if not, no big deal. I am in full agreement with the former posters, how can you increase hours and not increase cost? Also, we are in a depression and it would seem there is LESS need for extended hours. Less home construction=less work at town hall besides the other multitude of reasons for a slowed down economy.
Mary Beth Nelsen June 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I'd rather have it open Saturday morning for those of us who work far out of town M-F.
Joe Blow June 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Now there is a thought Mary. But......you would NEVER get that by the unions. Don't you get it? It's not about serving the public or having a job, it's about GREED.
Roc June 11, 2012 at 04:49 PM
The reasoning "bring Oxford into the 21st Century." is really pathetic. Can't anyone provide detailed information that would warrant Town Hall to open on Friday's. To not cost anything is misspoken. It doesn't take a business genious to know that if you open an extra day there will be an extra day's worth of costs.
Janis Hardy June 12, 2012 at 09:54 PM
As a former Selectman, I have always felt that Town Hall should be open on Fridays, even if only for the mornings. The land use offices, the Town Clerk, Tax Collector, Assessor and the buiding department are all necessary departments that would have lots of traffic if open on Friday. Keeping Town Hall open on Thursday evening is not enough to accomodate the working residents, and Monday hours should be retained, with perhaps only a half-day on Friday. Union employees could easily be scheduled so that their 36 hours of contract work (if it is still 36 hours like it was when I was in office) could be retained without generating excess overtime. In a lot of ways, Town Hall being closed on Fridays does create several problems for the building dept and for servicing real estate transactions.
Dog Lover June 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM
This is geared toward "GENIOUS ROC" -- If you can read correctly the town hall does not intend to change the 32-34 hour work week, but instead to add Friday into the mix while eliminating night hours.
Josephine Blow June 14, 2012 at 02:17 AM
@ Joe Blow - So now if you are in a Union you are a greedy person who gets a paycheck for doing nothing? The union employees at Town Hall don't serve the public? I'm wondering how you came to that conclusion?
Joe Blow June 14, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Hey, by any chance, are we related? Not everybody in a union is greedy but it's no big secret the union motto as a whole is greed (usually at the top). It is also no big secret that unions protect the lazy and substandard workers. The union employees at town hall do and excellent job of serving the public and I'm sure most of them work very hard for their money. Unions, as a whole, have outlived their use and have become a detriment to both municipalities and manufacturing. It's time to put them out to pasture. For the record- I believe town hall in Oxford should continue to keep the hours they currently have.

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