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City Hall’s Front Desk Hours Expected to Change

College Park City Hall

In last week’s Council worksesion, it received recommendations from staff that the hours of the finance/parking window should be changed to be open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and to be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Scheduling and assignment changes for staff will result and one part-time employee will be laid off. Staff expect improved customer service and productivity to result from this change.

After months of data collection and discussion about how to improve the service at the front window for residents and visitors who come to City Hall, staff has the following recommendations.

Based on data collected, and on what we see and know, it is clear that there is very little business conducted at the windows in the evening and on Saturdays. The advent of online payment for parking tickets has significantly changed how we do business and will continue to do so as we add more online services. After discussing the services that need to be provided to customers, the impact on staff involved, and the duties required to support the parking enforcement officers, we have concluded that the City is wasting resources by keeping the customer window open until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

All persons who handle the front window should be cross-trained to handle all activities that take place at the front window. It will no longer matter if a business transaction is related to finance or parking; everyone at the window will be able to handle it. This will give us maximum flexibility to open all windows at peak times and to reassign people at slow times.

Some of the transactions that occur in person after 7 p.m. and on Saturday could also be done via the Internet or by mail or drop box. In addition, some of the transactions shown are actually those that come in the mail on that day, rather than in person. Therefore, the number of people coming in is actually fewer than the number of transactions shown.

Staff anticipate these changes to become effective on January 2, 2012 to allow time for advertising the changes and completing staff cross training.

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