May 15—One more day can make a big difference at McAlester's City Hall.
Adding Friday to the City Hall open schedule will help with several customers still behind on bills and several more looking to resume their city payments in-person as we inch closer to normal.
We appreciate city administrators, staff and councilors for taking precaution over the past year — and ensuring plans were in place as we transition into getting back to normal.
But it was the right time to continue the transition back to reopening on Fridays.
City Hall is open from 7:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday — and will soon be open on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Councilors recently voted to open City Hall to the public on Fridays. But the companion measure for an emergency declaration failed, so it won't go into effect for 30 days.
McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak said he plans to to get the schedule in place prior to the measure going into effect.
"As soon as I can figure out how to man that on Friday, I will have it open," he told us.
Stasiak said it should be in place by May 21.
We appreciate the time and effort taken to put a plan in place to make it happen — and doing it safely.
City Hall offers several payment methods already to make it more convenient for customers.
A payment kiosk was installed at City Hall to accept utility bills payments and it helped expedite the reopening process. Other utility bill payment options include paying online at https://www.cityofmcalester.com/ or by phoning 918-423-9300, extension 4961.
Those options will still be available to help expedite payment processes and keep everyone from having to wait in any lines.
But having City Hall open on Fridays will also help with customer service, especially for those who prefer in-person services.
City employees and administrators were still previously available by phone on Fridays, but having it open one more day per week will help ensure anyone who needs help can get it done.
We urge everyone to continue taking precautions as another COVID-19 strain just reached Oklahoma this week and get vaccinated to help us get back to normal.
—McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board