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Proposed Reduced Work Week for Some Town Employees

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has suggested that willing town employees could work a three- or four-day work week, as opposed to the typical five-day work week.

This idea came on the heels of last week's statement by Town Comptroller Bart Talamini that one of the town's fund balances could be in a deficit as early as 2015. Feiner is now looking for employees who would not be opposed to working 20 percent less hours for a four-day week or 40 percent less hours for a three-day week.

"This is a way I think we could really save money and make it easy," said Feiner. "[This could be for] people who have grandchildren or kids who would be willing to work fewer days at less pay. And the money that we save could go into additional savings."

Feiner said that these hour-cuts to those who volunteer could save the town money and avoid additional layoffs. If the Town Board intends to go forth with this idea, they would need to pass a resolution, said Talamini. In addition, the board would have to agree on dollar amounts for the employees, as well as the terms and conditions.

While the board now has two weeks left to finalize the 2012 budget, Town Councilman Francis Sheehan did not think it a workable idea. Sheehan said that reducing a few employee's pay by 20 percent and letting them keep their benefits is not going to save the town enough money to disallow the "B Fund" balance from being in a deficit by 2015, as Talamini predicted last week.

"How do we get our financial heath going forward?" said Sheehan. "Instead, it seems like a raid of every bank account that we have – whether it's the reserve fund [or] the contingency fund. My concern is, what do you do next year when there is not money in the bank to take? What do you do the year after that?"

Feiner said that he believes that the budget is still a work in progress and is continually looking to save money. While the Town Board did not participate in creating the budget this year, Feiner said that they can still make additional cuts if they deem necessary.

"I don't see this budget as being doom and gloom," Feiner said. "I don't feel that we're heading towards doomsday. I think that if we are careful and we watch the dollars, I think that we're fiscally healthy. I'm convinced that the budget I proposed is responsible and puts the town in a good, strong, healthy financial position."

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