West Hartford Forums

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Why Is West Hartford Giving the Tax Collector a 4 Day Work Week?

Posted by whforums on July 9, 2008

In what can only be described as vaguely ironic, the Hartford Courant today posts a reminder that the office of the tax collector will be closed (permanently) on Fridays. Although the office will remain open more than 35 hours per week, it is ridiculously bad PR to be making this “budget cut” in the middle (or perhaps it’s really the lull) of the referendum season. Which isn’t to say the town shouldn’t continue to examine how many town hall services they can switch to a four day work week (though the more we cut our budgets at the expense of public services – read leaf collection – the more we should demand greater budget transparency), but is to say that, in our current local political climate, a headline like this looks bad and stirs up bad feelings. Not exactly a win-win.

More simply: those who want to hear a spiteful undertone will have no problem looking at looking at this news and hearing “You don’t like higher taxes? Ok. We’ll pay the taxman the same and make ‘em work less” rather than “We’re doing everything we can to limit town spending.” And this will only serve as fuel for those who (mistakenly) perceive the town council’s most recent budget cuts as vindictive (and for those who don’t seem to process the connection between services and taxes).

The town clerk’s office and the assessment office are also switching over to four day work weeks (sign me up, etc.).

Link to Courant story.

photo credit

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4 Responses to “Why Is West Hartford Giving the Tax Collector a 4 Day Work Week?”

  1. WH Alum said

    Are they extending the hours during those 4 days? Where is the money saving in this? Does it have to do with energy savings?

  2. Noah Webstar said

    But the building remains open on the fifth day – so where do the “energy savings” come from?

  3. WH Alum said

    Yeah that’s precisely what I’ve been wondering.

  4. whforums said

    I believe the council has at least been studying the possibility of switching many of the offices/services in Town Hall to a 4 day work week. At the last council meeting, there was some talk about the difficulty of switching some vital offices/services (such as IT) to that schedule.

    As to why they started with these particular offices — well, I’m as in the dark as the tax collector’s office on a Friday morning.

    Some hours are being extended — the new schedules are available in the link above.

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