Florence considers fewer city office hours
Florence should consider closing its city office Tuesdays and Thursdays, mayor Bills Harris said during Monday’s city council meeting.
“We have so few people in this town paying taxes, and we have more part-time and full-time employees than I have ever remembered in my life,” he said.
Instead of having utility clerk Dana Gayle in the office twice a week, her services could be redistributed across the same hours, Harris said.
“Nobody’s losing hours on this deal,” he said. “They’re just being put somewhere else.”
Closing the office twice a week will be difficult because there are some people who can only stop at the office to make payments on those days, one community member said.
The city will have to be shrewd to use Gayle’s time properly if her schedule is restructured, councilman Mary Shipman said.
“If you just cut an hour every day, how do you utilize somebody for one hour in the morning,” she said.
One possibility would be to have the office open 9 a.m. to noon those days so residents can come in. Gayle will have time to focus on other duties the rest of the day.
Councilman Ken Hoffman said it would be best to table the issue since councilman Matt Williams was absent.
“I think we should table this until all council members are present,” he said. “This is a big decision.”
The city can’t afford more employees, Harris said, so employees have to manage their workloads well.
“What I’m saying is be accountable,” Harris said. “Have time management and take care of stuff. Everybody else has to do this in their everyday life.”
As well as full-time staff, the council expressed concern with hiring temporary help for mowing Florence’s cemetery, as well as lifeguards and pool managers.
Requests for mowing need to be sent this week to have bids ready to discuss during the next meeting.
Mowing the cemetery twice a month from May to September cost Florence $8,000 last year.
“Kick it around, but we’re going to have to figure out what we’ll do,” Hoffman said. “You’ve seen the grass already.”
Finding pool help is also a concern since Florence had trouble last year.
“A bit of experience would be nice,” Shipman said.
Finding solutions for mowing and the pool will be important with Memorial Day approaching, she said.
Last modified March 5, 2020