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Wenham Finance Department to Stay Closed on Fridays Through December

Wenham will extend summer hours for the Finance Department only citing limited resources.

The town of Wenham's Finance Department will continue to be closed to the public on Fridays through the end of the year, the Wenham Board of Selectmen approved by unanimous vote on Tuesday.

The department had been closed to the public all summer and the vote allows the summer hours to continue through Dec. 31. 

Hamilton Selectmen Chairman Molly Martins asked Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren if there were any complaints this summer about the reduced hours. Chelgren said there were none.

Nichole Hagstrom was named the town's finance director last fall after previous searches did not yield a candidate. Hagstrom was promoted from assistant to the town administrator, a position she held for seven years. For two years, she also served as assistant town accountant.

As part of that move, Chelgren said previously that Hagstrom would receive town training and some of that can be done during the time that the office is closed to the public.

“There is so much demand for assistance but there are limited resources,” said Chelgren. Chelgren further stated the move to continue having the Finance Department open Monday through Thursday and close it to the public on Fridays would offer relief to the staff while causing minimal or no inconvenience to residents.

Chelgren said there are times when the employees must be offsite or step away from the counter to handle other business matters and this would be the solution.

Chelgren added that residents have the options of online payments and there is a drop box for payments in the back of Town Hall, which are available and easy to access.

“Many towns across the nation are closed altogether,” said Selectman Patrick Wilson said, adding that concerns may arise from the public and it is important to explain why it is being done and he said he wants to hear from the public.

Selectman John Clemenzi felt the online pay option was good but that the decision should be monitored. Clemenzi suggested a limited timeframe and to bring it up for review in December.

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