Declaring the four-day work schedule bad for business, Oxnard business leaders have added their voices to a rising chorus of public support for a return to a five-day workweek for Ventura County government.
The Greater Oxnard Economic Development Corp. has fired off a letter to county officials urging them to dump the shortened workweek, adopted 2 1/2 years ago to satisfy air pollution rules requiring large employers to curb commuting.
"Simply put, for better or for worse, the business world continues to operate on a Monday-through-Friday basis," the letter said. "Keeping the county offices dark one day out of five sends a contrary message to the business community."
Ending the four-day workweek became possible last month when the federal government eased its air pollution rules. Chief Administrative Officer Lin Koester has ordered department managers to come up with options to current four-day schedules, an early step toward reopening county government for business five days a week.
That staff analysis is expected to be completed in mid-March, clearing the way for the Board of Supervisors to take action.
For members of the public who have been inconvenienced by the shortened workweek, changes can't come soon enough. Oxnard business leaders say the four-day schedule has hurt economic development efforts.
"I think what has happened is that the system really didn't work, and if you think about it logically it really doesn't work," said George Lauterbach, chairman of the board of directors of Oxnard's economic development corporation. "One of the trends I see in government is to be more customer-service-oriented. Working four days a week, unless you're 4Day Tire Store and offer great prices, really doesn't work."