Yavapai County employees may soon enjoy a four-day work week.

New state legislation allows county departments to operate 10 hours a day, four days a week rather than eight hours a day, five days a week, according to Yavapai County Human Resources Director Alan Vigneron.

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors asked Vigneron to gather written comments from department heads to help it make a decision.

yavapai-county-sealSome county departments are already using the four-day schedule, Vigneron said, including fleet management and public works, and it could work for others, but not for everyone. Courts, juvenile and adult probation, and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office would not be able to adjust.

Yavapai County District 1 Supervisor Carol Springer said she would have a problem not allowing all departments to take advantage of the three-day weekend. She proposed collecting comments from each department head on how a four-day schedule would affect them.

“I personally support four-day weeks,” Springer said. They are an extraordinary benefit to employees; however, she does not want to make a decision without department input.

Some departments will be able to alter their operations and some won’t, Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis said. He favors adopting the policy with the stipulation each department must ask the board for approval.

Yavapai County wouldn’t be the first to adopt a four-day work week policy. According to Vigneron, Navajo County currently operates on the altered schedule, which changes office hours to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, rather than 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“There are positives and negatives to doing that,” Vigneron said.

Perks include longer office hours allowing the public to conduct county business before or after work, improved employee morale due to a three-day weekend and energy savings.

The downside is some departments would be closed Fridays, and it could complicate family schedules in terms of child care.

The new legislation also gave the county the option to adjust its holiday schedule. The board unanimously approved giving employees the day after Thanksgiving off rather than Columbus Day.

“I know some employees who wanted us to make this decision after Columbus Day,” Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman joked.

Vigneron told the board he received very few comments from employees regarding the change, which will go into effect this year.

 

Trista Steers can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 124, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Yavapai County roads ignored by the state and federal government for their scenic or historic value have a new chance for recognition.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to establish the Yavapai County Scenic/Historic Route Program at its Monday, April 20, meeting.

Ninety-six servings of food were prepared by the Verde Valley School kitchen staff and delivered to the soup kitchen at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in West Sedona last week.

VVS students Nam Pham, Katja Beisheim, Ali Maricich and Lainie Benedict delivered the food along with Dale Domingue, a supervisor and wife of headmaster Paul Domingue.

Every year, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials honors emergency dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 12 through 18.

Sedona’s Public Safety Answering Point is one of only two in the country run by the fire department instead of the police department.

That means any 9-1-1 call coming in from the area automatically goes to Sedona Fire District’s regional communication center in Uptown. Since the center dispatches for 12 other fire and medical agencies, SFD’s dispatch receives calls from almost 100 miles of Interstate 17.

April is here and the surrounding landscape is beginning its spring display of wildflowers. According to one of Sedona’s wildflower enthusiasts, the season is a little slow starting this year, but several wildflowers may be found while hiking some of the local trails or even driving along the highways. Some of the most prevalent to watch for are Eaton penstemon, blackfoot daisy, Gooding’s verbena, desert marigold and desert paintbrush, according to a press release.

Coconino County’s Board of Supervisors voted to quarantine house pets in and around Flagstaff after more than 20 wild animals tested positive for rabies in the area during the last six months, the Coconino County Health Department reported.

The quarantine, which could last as long as 90 days, restricts the movement of dogs and cats, prohibits feeding and interacting with area wildlife and forbids pet owners from leaving pet food outside after sundown. Compost bins and piles must be completely enclosed, the county reported.

Sedona City Council approved to pay its next possible city manager more than its last.

On Monday, April 6, council approved, 7-0, a contract for the city manager from Bullhead City, Tim Ernster, to become Sedona’s new city manager for a base salary of $167,500.

It’s 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, and a mellower group of paddlers than those relaxing in the last of the sun’s slanting rays would be hard to find.

Of course, 32 of them are just dead tired, having been up working on the Verde River Canoe Challenge at Beasley Flats in Camp Verde since 6 a.m. — all of them students in the Northern Arizona University Parks and Recreation class who are in charge of every aspect of the race.

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