City Hall will stay closed on Fridays for at least another year.
Since June 2009, both city hall and the city’s library have been on a Monday-through-Thursday schedule, with city hall extending its Monday-Thursday hours to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The two cutbacks were instituted during the height of the city’s budget woes, with total property values dropping 40 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Almost right away, the closing saved $140,000 a year in energy, building maintenance, personnel and vehicle savings, the memo said.
In separate recent surveys, 80 of 127 citizens and 77 of 83 city employees said they preferred a four-day week with longer hours. More than half of employees said it would be difficult or extremely difficult to rearrange personal schedules and issues such as day care if the city went back to a 5-day week. Also, 75 of the 83 employees said the four-day week has made them more productive.
New commissioner David Merker had asked for the hours discussion at the commission’s April 16 meeting, but had said even before Tuesday’s meeting that his preference was to give the setup another year.
“I still question it,” Merker said Tuesday. “Common sense says if the world is working on a 5-day week, Boynton Beach should also.”
Vice Mayor Woodrow Hay said he believes citizens have adjusted to the 4-day schedule. And, commissioner Michael Fitzpatrick said the option of conducting city business before and after they go to their own jobs “is a help to a large segment of our citizens.”
Mayor Jerry Taylor, who also was mayor when the hours changed in 2009, agreed to wait, but said he still favors returning to a five-day week.
“If you close the store, of course you’re going to save money,” Taylor said Tuesday, “but you got to ask yourself what are we here for. We’re here to serve the public. Are we serving the public adequately?”
The commission took no vote Tuesday, but was in consensus on revisiting in a year and also discussing the hours during its July workshops on the 2013-2014 budget.