Program provides off-hours assistance

The Westfield Parks and Recreation Dept. has implemented a program that will ensure residents using their parks and trails have the best possible experience.

Jones

Jones

Parks Director Melody Jones said the department has adopted a standby service similar to the one used by the city’s public works department. Jones said the parks staff has three full-time employees but their hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“This protects us from vandalism or acts of nature not during the work day,” she said, adding no staff members are on standby in the event something occurs.

Employees assigned to service watch duty will be reached by telephone and can remain at home or any location as long as they can report to the corporate limits of the city within 15 minutes of any call. The standby person will be available every night of the week from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., and from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekend and holidays.

“It’s putting us in the position to be at the caliber of service citizens expect and ready to handle any concern we have. Someone is on standby in case it does happen,” she said.

Jones said there were only three cases in the past year that would have needed standby response.

“It’s not a high number. We just want to be prepared in case there is an incident,” she said.

A service watch person on duty will be paid $105 per week or $15 a day. The minimum pay for a call-out will be one hour’s pay at the overtime rate. All other scheduled service watch duties will be paid at the overtime rate. Time spent in travel to and/or from work is considered time worked.

“It’s less than $2,000 (for the remainder of the year). It’s money already in my budget,” Jones said.