In a year of major changes, reorganizations and renegotiations for Tulare County, the County Administrative Office has become a nexus for public information about where businesses, unincorporated residents and concerned citizens should go to find the services they need.
In an effort to make the office more accessible to the public, the Board of Supervisors voted to change the hours of operation for the Board of Supervisors and County Administrative Offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, to 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.
Administrative Analyst Denise Akins said the schedule, known as “4-9s plus 4” increases hours to the public by one hour for four days and has been approved by the Board other agencies such as Health and Human Services Agency, Resource Management Agency, Human Resources and Development and County Counsel. Akins noted that CAO and Board of Supervisor staff members informally assessed the call volumes on Friday afternoons, so there is very little impact to services by closing during that time.
“It provides an additional hour of public access [each day] before and after most typical work days and we will be closed during typically slow afternoons,” Akins said.
Chairman Peter Vander Poel and Supervisor Ennis both commented on the improved access to the public before the new hours were approved by a unanimous vote.
Supervisor Allen Ishida joked about the early morning commutes from some of the staff who live out of town. Chairman Peter Vander Poel quipped, “We can encourage those staff to move to Tulare County and help our local economy.”
In addition to greater public access, Akins said the new schedule will cut down on energy costs at the offices. By closing the office from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, during peak electricity demand, costs can be reduced significantly, especially during the hot days of summer.
The resolution approved by the Board also had the caveat that the Supervisors could discontinue the alternatives hours and return to the previous schedule at any time. For more information, call the County Administrative Office at 636-5005.