Employees want same hours

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NEW GLOUCESTER – With Chairman Steve Libby and Vice Chairman Kevin Sullivan absent Monday night, the remaining three members of the board tabled most items on their agenda.

Selectmen were asked by town employees to keep the winter town office hours, which were implemented last falls to save workers’ fuel costs and the town money for heating oil and electricity. The hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

On April 24, the board unanimously approved returning office hours to five days a week starting June 1. The hours would be: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

“The current schedule allows us to serve the public an hour earlier and an hour later Tuesday through Thursday,” the staff wrote in a letter to selectmen. They said Monday late hours for the public have been in effect for 18 years.

“A major change of this magnitude from Monday night to another night would be extremely confusing to the public,” they argued.

“The four-day work week allows for three days in a row that the office does not need to be heated or cooled. Employees benefit from transportation cost reduction,” they also stated in the letter.

The request was tabled until the full board can meet.

Selectmen Lenora Conger, David Lunt, Dale Maschino accepted the resignation with regret of Tim Joy as the town’s emergency management director Joy has filled the post since 1987, first as civil defense director.

“In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the federal government has tried to come up with a different approach to Homeland Security to which a new department exists. The federal government requires certifications from the different courses it has selected, and I just really do not have the time to complete them,” Joy said.

Selectmen will advertise the position, which has a stipend available, effective July 1.

Finally, selectmen tabled taking action on adopting a fee schedule on an animal control ordinance adopted by voters last week.

Selectmen want to waive first offenses for barking dogs or those roaming loose.

Subsequent offenses would carry a fine of no less than $50 and not more than $500.

An opinion from the town attorney will be requested to include a warning only for first-time offenses.

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