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Selectmen discuss possible changes in town office hours

April 01, 2021
The finance department will close at 4:30 p.m. and the selectmen said they want the town administrator to talk with other department managers about changing their hours.

Hours for most town offices are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. On Wednesday, finance director Holly Burbank brought a request to the selectmen from her staff asking to close their office at 4:30 p.m. Burbank said the issue was raised to the board in January about changing office hours, but the board decided not to change hours.

She said she has had talked with members of her team and the topic of changing the hours has come up numerous times over the past few years only to be rejected. At the same time one agreement with one employee specifies a 4:30 p.m. end time and Burbank said overall the staff feels there is an unfairness in the hours. Additionally, Burbank said the office really gets no customers after 4:30 p.m., including no foot traffic or phone calls.

"They're simply asking a change in the office hours from 8-5 to 8-4:30, shortening their lunch break to a half an hour," Burbank said.

Board Chair Gus Benavides said this matter was brought to the board about a month ago and discussed at length. He said he was in favor, but the idea was shot down because there was a general sentiment that no one wanted to change the hours, and everyone wanted their hourlong lunch. Benavides said this was an opportunity to revisit that topic.

Burbank said this matter was brought to a department manager meeting and she was in favor of the change though there were a few who might not have been in favor.

Town administrator Scott Dunn said he had no opposition to the change.

The selectmen unanimously approved a motion to change the finance department's hours to 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and change the lunch break to half an hour effective March 29.

Benavides said he would like Dunn to go back to the department managers and discuss this matter again.

"I don't want one off open until 4:30, another open to 5, and so on and so forth," Benavides said.

Dunn said two offices have more unique circumstances. He said the most resistance to changing office hours came from the planning and land use department and advised contacting that office about their hours and selectmen said they would want to do that.

The town clerk's office closes at 4:30 p.m. but staff will work an extra half an hour to close out their books for the day.

Dunn said he would speak with the planning director and the town clerk, and if they have any requests, he would bring them to the board.

Martin Lord Osman
Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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