Miami Gardens City Hall is now closed Fridays, but has extended operating hours Mondays through Thursdays.
City Hall now is open Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The change extends operating hours from the previous 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but also gives residents one fewer day a week to access city services in person.
If there are only two people coming in between 5 [p.m.] and 7 [p.m.], then that’s something we’ll look at.
City Manager Cameron Benson
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Miami Gardens City Manager Cameron Benson said the move is a cost-cutting effort but he also thinks it will boost morale among staff members and give more time to engage residents.
“I said let’s open up the government a little bit longer and I was thinking of people that get off work late,” Benson said. “We’re missing out on our opportunity to serve them.”
The city will save about $32,000 by changing the operating hours.
The city’s 2015-16 budget estimated City Hall maintenance costs of more than $1 million including salaries and utility costs. Some of the utility and maintenance costs include the future police department portion of the municipal complex and are more than $600,000.
Residents such as Patricia Wright say they can see the benefit from the business side of things but want to see what the change will mean for staff members.
“I think the employees need to be thought of first and foremost,” Wright said.
Benson said that each department will have to manage employees hours and shifts and that the plan is open to adjustments. After six months, the city will likely conduct a review of the change in operations.
“I told the employees to monitor what’s going on,” Benson said. “If there are only two people coming in between 5 [p.m.] and 7 [p.m.], then that’s something we’ll look at.”
The change at City Hall won’t affect operating hours for the police department or the city’s various park facilities.
Also, the development services office will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.