New San Marino City Hall Hours Official

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Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Illona Anderson (from left), Eva Choi, Victor Aleman and Cindy Collins were among those working at City Hall on Friday, the first Friday in years in which the building and its services were open to the public.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Illona Anderson (from left), Eva Choi, Victor Aleman and Cindy Collins were among those working at City Hall on Friday, the first Friday in years in which the building and its services were open to the public.

The city of San Marino is officially open for business on Fridays, after years of adhering to a four-day workweek for most of its departments.
As of last week, City Hall is now open to the public from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m.-noon on Fridays. Previously, it was open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closed altogether to the public on Fridays.
“The critical time for us was
7 a.m.,” said interim City Manager Cindy Collins. “In this town, most of our business at City Hall is on planning and building, so, it’s really busy in the morning sometimes. The 7 a.m. start, I think, is a big boost for customer service.”
The hour changes, which ironically fell on a four-day week thanks to the Labor Day holiday, came at the recommendation of last year’s ad hoc committee created by the City Council to analyze city operations as they relate to expenses. The citizen advisers to the committee concluded that City Hall being open on Friday would negate the need for the city to employ a second part-time building inspector (because the full-time inspector would then transition to a five-day schedule) and also would generally improve service to residents.
Collins said the new schedule results in a 45-hour week for City Hall, which necessitated a bit of a shuffling to stagger schedules and prevent overtime from being an issue. Background departments, such as parks and public works, police and fire services aren’t really affected, as the nature of their work had already resulted in a separate schedule from City Hall.
Rather, Collins said, the affected departments are the service-oriented ones based directly out of City Hall. By ordinance, the earliest time construction or remodeling work can begin is 7 a.m., Collins pointed out.
“People have to get used to the concept, so we’ll track it,” she added, referring to the changes in service traffic in the building.
Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes said he expected increased traffic in mornings, but not necessarily right away.
“I would imagine that 7-8 a.m. will be the peak time for people who want to get these things done,” Cervantes said. “We recognize those peak times and that’s what adjusted those opening hours for us. The learning curve is going to take time to adjust.”

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