The Chowchilla City Council voted Dec. 13 to expand hours at City Hall in a move that states the city’s finances are strong and revenues are growing again. This will begin on Tuesday, January 3rd 2017. Members of the public wishing to pay their utility bills in person may now do so at City Hall 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The No. 1 service provided by City Hall is managing public utilities; this service will be open 40 hours a week. City Hall also issues permits for construction. Because demand for permit services is moderate, that service will continue to be open Monday through Thursday. As permit demand picks up, so will that counter’s hours of service.
The Friday closure of City Hall dates back to May 19, 2009, when the city balanced the fiscal crisis it was facing against the need to serve the public. As a compromise, the city cut City Hall hours by 20 percent. Times have changed. The city now has a strong, balanced budget, fiscal reserves are expanding, and revenues are growing. As such, the balance has tipped back in favor of the public.
“If city government were a business, it would be a service industry, no different than a restaurant or retailer,” City Administrator Brian Haddix said during the council meeting. “We view the customer as king and know that we need to be open when they need our services. That’s how it works. That’s what it means to be a business-friendly city.”
“We are here for the people of Chowchilla – they are who we work for,” Mayor Mary “Trinket” Gaumnitz added. “And we have a duty to have our doors open on Fridays. Many residents get paid on Fridays and want to be able to pay their utility bill right away. Thanks to the vision of our council, they can now do just that.”
|Chowchilla News Day
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