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.).