GLENDALE : Council OKs New Hours for City Offices

In a move to become more customer-friendly, the Glendale City Council has approved a new work schedule at City Hall to cut the confusion caused by the irregular hours some city departments have been keeping.

The adoption last year of a "9/80" schedule--in which city offices are closed every other Friday--plus the limited business hours kept by the Department of Water and Power's billing counter and the offices that issue building permits and related services, have created headaches for the public and the business community, city officials said.

"We're trying to standardize our hours as best we can so that when you do business with the city, it will be very clear when we are open and when we are not," said City Manager David Ramsay.

The scheduling changes were recommended by the Warner Group, a firm that recently audited the city's organizational structure.

However, the city stopped short of reverting to the traditional 40-hour week without the alternating "dark Fridays"--which Warner suggested. Ramsay said the 9/80 workweek has helped the city comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District trip-reduction guidelines and avoid costly fines, as well as reducing overtime and sick pay.

Instead, the new schedule will have all general city offices open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other Friday. Offices that cover zoning, planning, fire, public works, public service and permit services will be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays. The public-service department counter, where water and electric bills are paid, will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays.

While the changes are relatively minor--some departments will merely be open a half hour longer each day--Ramsay said they should help people pay their bills and get more business finished.

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