SOUTH GATE : City Offices May Again Be Open 5 Days a Week

The doors of City Hall may once again open on Fridays if a proposal is approved by employees and the City Council.

As in several other Southeast cities, South Gate government offices have been closed on Fridays during the past year in an effort to reduce employee commutes and meet Air Quality Management District standards.

But Councilman Henry C. Gonzalez, making good on a campaign promise, has proposed opening City Hall five days a week to make services more accessible to the public.

"People get paid on Fridays and they come to City Hall to do business," Gonzalez said. "They can't do it and have to take a day off the following week. City Hall is there to give service. . . . You can make everybody happy without making the transition too hectic."

The city has yet to complete talks with employee unions on the change and it is unclear what the new hours of operation would be. However, any change would probably require departments to stagger workers' schedules, reducing the number of employees available at certain hours, said Osie Harrell, president of the 100-member Municipal Employees Assn.

"We're waiting to see what the (city's) proposals are," he said.

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