- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - The city of Columbus operates on a four-day work week, but some councilmen say it’s time to review the schedule.

The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1jfgN9P) since 2008, all public works, federal programs, inspection department, municipal court and administrative personnel have had Fridays off.

The move was made to reduce use of utilities and equipment and save costs. Official city hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Eight Mississippi cities with populations similar to Columbus, including neighboring Starkville, operate on five-day work weeks.

Councilman Bill Gavin, who wasn’t on the council when the change to a shorter work week was approved, said a five-day work week would be more convenient for city residents.

“Until I can get the support to bring it back up, there really is no point in bringing it up,” Gavin said. “It’s just going to cause controversy.”

He said the three-day weekend is attractive to potential employees and is a recruiting tool. But the city is a business funded by taxpayer money, so it’s imperative that the city be as available as possible to taxpayers, Gavin said.

“They’re off on Friday, so they can make doctor’s appointments that they would otherwise take a day off to do,” Gavin said of employees. “The down side of that is the city is not open for business.”

Councilman Kabir Karriem said he is willing to review the four-day work week.

“If a developer comes to town, they have to wait until Monday to talk to somebody in the building and inspection department,” Karriem said. “If you have a ticket to pay or have to pay a fine, you can’t do it on Friday. With anything, you have to evaluate it and see if it’s still serving its purpose.”

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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