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Peekskill City Hall to Start New, Shorter Office Hours in March

Plans are underway to reduce the hours Peekskill city hall stays open to the public from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The move was discussed last year as a way to minimize the job cuts that took place in this year's budget.

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.

Wendy Kelly January 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Finally Mayor and Council Members have taken a situation and used their heads to resolve an issue too bad they don't use their heads more often. As I have said to Mary numerous times the staff at City Hall is wonderful. Time to reconsider.................Who in their right mind is going to come to a B&B in Peekskill?? And do what? Nothing left. This isn't Vermont that has skiing.
sayitsnotsojack January 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM
They can take a tour of the thousands of subsidized housing units in Peekskill and the new fire house with all the shiny trucks.
Wendy Kelly January 24, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Funny sayitsnotsojack but actually very sad cause it is the truth. At least they won't have a Meth Clinic to visit!
Sally Bentley January 24, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I hope that the Council will re-consider this early closing plan or at least tweak it. City Hall closes in the summer at 4 p.m. and I know that it causes lots of people inconvenience, since they come into the library during that hour, trying to find out "what's up?" Parking tickets, fines and taxes need to be paid at City Hall and the Clerk's Office provides all sorts of necessary forms and filings for the public. Many people try to get these errands accomplish by leaving work a bit early and getting back to City Hall before it closes at 5 p.m. Opening an hour later would be less of an inconvenience to the public, I understand the extra work being asked of the staff, but the public needs for transactions at City Hall should be at the top of the consideration pile.
Walden Macnair January 24, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I'm sorry but this just doesn't make sense. It would be like Walmart closing early so they can count their money. I know sometimes the City employees forget that they actually work for the citizens but this is just a bad plan. The purpose of their job is to take care of the City. The City is the people who you're locking out. What are you thinking? Maybe one of you should take the Disney Management Course in Orlando and find out what Customer Service can do for your organization.
John Curran January 24, 2013 at 06:49 PM
TAXES WENT UP in 2013 - so of course we will gets LESS government service. If City Hall is in such a budget mess, where were they over the past 5 years?
Wendy Kelly January 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Understand what everyone is saying may have needed my second cup of coffee but work needs to be done with less staff. Everyone today is working their jobs plus another , no one is replacing staff once they leave. As a taxpayer prefer to pay regular time than OT. Schedule an appt as per Brian Havernak stated. I leave very early and return dinner time so all my business is done over the phone, mail or on my vacation days. Example, the parking permits at station works just fine with me, send check with return addressed envelope bingo have mine in plenty of time.

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