rethinks its four-day work week
March 25, 2009 | LOGAN -- The Cache County Council
took public input at its regular meeting Tuesday regarding
the four-day work week for county employees, which has
been in effect since last August. It will make a decision
on the policy at its next regular meeting April 14.
The hearing pitted county department heads who were
in favor of the schedule against several members of
the community involved in the real estate and lending
industries, who said their business is being hurt by
The change to four days was made after Gov. Jon Huntsman
announced that the majority of state workers would begin
working four 10-hour days per week in an effort to save
energy and fuel consumption. Cache County shortly thereafter
made the decision to mirror the state's model and adopt
Most of the discussion during the public hearing focused
on the county recorder's office, which Recorder Mike
Gleed said he has opened numerous times on Fridays for
important transactions, despite having already worked
a standard 40-hour week.
Marilyn Adams was the first to speak, telling the
council that Friday is the traditional day to exchange
possession of properties, especially homes, so the new
residents can move in over the weekend. Adams also said
FHA loans, whose rates vary on a day-to-day basis, now
cannot be processed on Fridays, often leading to additional
"We have no control of when those funds are going
to arrive," Adams said. "If they arrive at 8 o'clock
Friday morning, you've opened up a legal question as
to who pays now for those costs of the interest. Whose
fault is it?
"There are a lot of legal ramifications that I hope
the council would consider and may not have thought
about by not having the availability to record on a
Speaking for her own office, County Assessor Kathleen
Howell told the council that while initially confused
by county offices being closed on Fridays, the public
has begun to enjoy the ability to do business with the
county before and after normal business hours.
"If you look at the numbers, you'll see that in some
of those days in January and December, 38 percent of
the work we did was transacted in those two hours,"
Howell said. "Why? Because people don't have to take
off work to come now."
Howell added that more than 400 county residents have
signed a petition supporting the extended hours Monday
Local real estate agent and mortgage officer Bracken
Longhurst, who addressed the council last month on the
topic, suggested the recorder's office close half an
hour early Monday through Thursday and open for two
hours on Friday afternoons to address time-sensitive
Rep. Curt Webb, president of Cache Title, echoed the
sentiments of Adams and Longhurst, posing a hypothetical
situation of not being able to close on a home for nearly
a week because of the recorder's office being shut down
"The nation is open five days a week, and we do national
work," Webb said.
Paul Berntson of the building department said he has
moved shifts around to accommodate inspections and other
business which needs to take place on Fridays.
Real estate agents Kent Bankhead, Kade Longhurst and
Kristen Seedall also spoke against the four-day work
County Treasurer Karen Jeppesen and Auditor Tamra
Stones spoke in favor of the policy.