Starting June 29, Santa Maria city offices will be closed to the public on Fridays.
City officials say employees will still be at work, but won’t be interacting with the public so they instead have time to complete extra work that has resulted from unfilled vacancies.
One of the city’s strategies to balance its budget is not filling vacant positions.
City officials say leaving some positions unfilled is saving the city up to $2 million per year."We have a structural budget deficit that’s very significant so we have our best and brightest minds working on solutions and that includes our city council," said Mark van de Kamp, Public Information Officer for the City of Santa Maria. "We are always keeping them appraised of what we can do. We need to close that gap between expenditures and revenues."
The city is reportedly facing its 10th year with a budget gap.
Some employees are also voluntarily adjusting their work schedules to 80 hours over a nine-day period.
The Friday closures will not affect the police department, library, Recreation and Parks Department, or Utilities Department.