Peekskill officials are decreasing the hours city hall remains open to the public as a way to help city employees maximize their work day.
Under the plan, city hall would be open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The building currently stays open until 5 p.m.
Workers would use the extra hour to focus on any paperwork that needs to be taken care of. Acting city Manager Brian Havranek said the idea came about as a way to deal with staff reductions during last year's budget discussions.
During Tuesday's Common Council workshop, Havranek said a number of department heads have already approached him about the plan.
"They feel that it's needed... they gave it a couple of weeks and they are already feeling the pain," Havranek said.
Havranek said he would like to start the new hours on the first Monday in March and use next month to notify the public of the change.
Councilwoman Drew Claxton said suggested that departments choose whatever the slowest hour of their day is and shut down during that time. Havranek said it is important to keep the closing time at 4 p.m. to avoid confusing the public.
"You have to establish it and say that's it and then everyone would get used to it," Havranek said.
Councilwoman Marybeth McGowan suggested that there could be a day during the week when city hall does stay open later if a number a people come forward and say they're having a hard time making it to the building before it closes.
Havranek said it's not unusual for departments now to schedule appointments with the public after 5 p.m.
"Just because officially it's closed, doesn't mean that someone, if they need to make an appointment, can't say 'fine, ring the doorbell and I'll let you in'," Havranek said.
Havranek said he will remind department heads that they should extend themselves and make special accommodations for people on the rare occasions they can't make it to city hall before 4 p.m.