Charlestown to con­sider town hall hours re­duc­tion

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA


— Res­i­dents may have fewer hours to get to town hall if the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers ap­prove a new pro­posal.

Cur­rently, town hall is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon­day through Fri­day, with an of­fice clo­sure of noon to 1 p.m. each day for lunch. Un­der the pro­posal, it would open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Mon­day through Thurs­day with Fri­day hours be­ing 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“We found that for the most part, we never have a phone call


or any­body walk­ing in af­ter 2 o’clock in the af­ter­noon on Fri­days, it’s al­ways and has been the slow­est day of the year,” said Wib Pumpaly, town ad­min­is­tra­tor, at Tues­day night’s meet­ing.

Pumpaly said he and other of­fice em­ploy­ees have dis­cussed the hours of the other town halls in the county for a pe­riod of time and looked into other town hall hours.

They found that the town hall stays open 45 hours a week, the long­est com­pared to any other town hall in the county. Pumpaly said Port De­posit town hall is open 30 hours a week, Ch­esa- peake City town hall is open 33 hours a week, North East’s town hall is open 40 hours a week and Ce­cil­ton, Elk­ton, Per­ryville and Ris­ing Sun all are open 42.5 hours a week.

“The town of Charlestown has a 45-hour week, which is more than any of the towns that we’ve sur­veyed,” he noted. “That is the town staff keep the town hall open 45 hours a week, if you will, whereas the town’s main­te­nance peo­ple in Charlestown only work 42.5 hours a week.”

Pumpaly sug­gested cut­ting their two 15-minute breaks — breaks that are re­quired by labor laws — ev­ery day to equate to 2.5 hours a week to re­duce the work day, al­low­ing for the clo­sure at 2:30 p.m. He said the fed­eral labor law re­quires an hourly em­ployee a 15-minute break in the morn­ing and a 15-minute break in the af­ter­noon.

“I would have to check on this about the 15-minute break, es­pe­cially be­cause of labor laws, I don’t know if that’s ac­tu­ally le­gal,” Com­mis­sioner Pres­i­dent Re­nee Ca­pano said.

Pumpaly then sug­gested that if the com­mis­sion­ers do not want con­sider the break re­duc­tions, they could ad­just the of­fice’s lunchtime. He said the labor law does not re­quire giv­ing em­ploy­ees an hour for lunch.

No de­ci­sions were made on the pro­posal and is sched­uled to be dis­cussed at the next meet­ing at 7 p.m. July 26.

In other news, the com­mis­sion­ers have also unan­i­mously voted to give the town’s full-time staff a 3.3 per­cent cost of liv­ing ad­just­ment in­crease Tues­day night, which equates to about $7,000 ex­tra in spend­ing, start­ing as of July 1. Although, two com­mis­sion­ers were not present dur­ing the meet­ing, the three com­mis­sion­ers did ap­prove the in­crease.

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