LEWISBURG — Greenbrier County courthouse employees gathered Monday for an informal meeting to discuss the possibility of scheduling four-day work weeks to help mitigate escalating gasoline costs.

Circuit Judge Joseph P. Pomponio Jr. called for the impromptu afternoon meeting which was attended by about 30 county employees, including Judge James J. Rowe, Sheriff Roger Sheppard, circuit and county clerks and others.

Pomponio said starting next week, he and Rowe will begin scheduling their office staff with 10-hour days, four days each week.

“Judge Rowe and I wanted to open it up for discussion and hear your thoughts on this,” Pomponio said. “This would help some of our employees who have long distances to drive to work each day.”

Pomponio said the state Supreme Court will initiate a similar plan later this summer and Rowe agreed the plan would help offset gas costs for some county employees. Monroe County officials last month also toyed with the idea of changing work hours at their courthouse.

Staff from both judge’s offices would cross-train to cover missing days and court dockets would also be changed accordingly.

“Certainly, this is worth pursuing, but we must provide the same level of services to the public,” Rowe said.

Several issues quickly came to the forefront, such as what hours the courthouse would be open to the public and one probation officer queried whether some offices could “simply close down once a week?”

Pomponio and the majority of those attending, agreed that department heads would ultimately make decisions concerning altering employee work schedules.

The hours of the courthouse, however, are set by county commissioners, Pomponio said.

None of the three commissioners was present at the meeting.

— E-mail: cgiggenbach@register-herald.com

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