City employees make up for lost time

By Chris Schmaedeke: Freedom New Mexico

With back-to-back three-day weekends, city offices are playing catch up after the holidays.

Christmas and New Years Day fell on Friday this year, resulting in three-day weekends for many city workers. Public safety officials were still working or on call but most officials had the extra time to spend with friends and family.

The cities of Clovis, Tucumcari and Portales all face the same hurdle of trying to make up for lost time that occurred during the holidays. A lot of operational services face the most problems.

“It is just a lot of catch up work,” Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas said. “You have to get everybody back in sync again. It can be tough.”

Thomas said trash pick up has a heavier load because their service is a day behind. Even though catch up work can be hard, Thomas believes the time off is for the best.

“Extra time off is beneficial to the employees,” Thomas said. “Its good to have family time. Taking the holidays off has been done for years so its not changing any time soon.”

Tucumcari has an election coming in March and the deadline to file for candidacy was Tuesday, which gave city officials extra work.

“Yes the workload is heavier,” Tucumcari city clerk Christine Dougherty said. “We have the election coming up.”

Tucumcari’s in and out traffic has been a lot heavier since the holidays Dougherty said. Dougherty also believes having the extra time off is worth it no matter how heavy the workload is when you get back.

“Yes, definitely, spending time with your family is always worth it,” Dougherty said.

Portales is dealing with extra traffic in city the offices.

“With it being an election year there is always work to do,” said City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry.

The election is not the only work going on in Portales as personnel reviews and the budget are first of the year duties.

“The treasurer handles the budget but that and everything seems to involve everyone,” Martinez-Terry said. “It is a lot of catch up work.”

Martinez-Terry said it is great to have the time off but sometimes it is hard to get a lot done because people are gone for longer than just the holiday.

“It is great to have a little time off,” she said. “It can just get frustrated when not everyone is around when you need something done.”