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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

April, 2015

Each office of the Livingston County Courthouse realizes their job is to provide quality services to the residents of Livingston County. Also, we realize that we don't sell "products" (unless you count an occasional 100th Anniversary Courthouse Medallion), but what we do provide is "service" to all the constituents in the county. We are proud of the service provided by county employees, but we are always looking for ways to improve.

How to improve the delivery of "service" at the courthouse has been a topic of discussion, and one of our ideas was to keep the County offices open during the noon hour to provide better service for those people who can only come to the courthouse at that time.

While we were all at a statewide commissioners meeting in Columbia, I was asking individual commissioners if they kept their courthouse open. Eastern Commissioner Ken Lauhoff decided to get up and ask the group of over 300 commissioners by show of hands if they stayed open during the noon hour, and 2/3 to 3/4 of them raised their hands.

When we came back from the meeting, we met with each county office holder: County Clerk, Recorder of Deeds, Collector-Treasurer, Prosecuting Attorney, Assessor, Public Administrator and Circuit Clerk and asked their thoughts on this subject. We also indicated to them that we, as a Commission, were planning to stay open during the noon hour ourselves on the days we are in session (Tuesdays and Thursdays). We found the officer holders were all overwhelmingly receptive to this idea and understood the advantages to the public. The office holders also expressed the opinion that it would be much better if all of the offices were open - not just some - and the Commissioners agree.

Still, there were some questions that needed to be answered. As an example, a couple of offices only have two people on staff. Therefore, there may be cases where a person is sick or has an emergency where that office would not allow an office to be open 100% of the time. We indicated that we understood that there could be some out of the ordinary times that an office couldn't be open, but we wanted to target, in general, being open upward of 90% of the time.

As a result of these meetings, effective April 1, 2015, all county offices will be open during the noon hour. If there is an occasional time that the office has to be closed, there will be a note on the door with directions to the closest nearby office for a customer to leave a message or papers.

We believe this new policy will help many of our constituents to be able to come in at noon to conduct business that might normally not be able to come in during the 8:30 to noon or 1 to 4:30 hours because of their work schedule.

As Commissioners, we would like to give a special thanks to all the elected officers in the courthouse for their cooperation, responsiveness, and help in making this change. The Elected Officials are Sherry Parks, County Clerk; Kelly Christopher, Recorder of Deeds; Paula McCoy, Collector- Treasurer; Adam Warren, Prosecuting Attorney; Steve Ripley, Assessor; Brenda Wright, Circuit Clerk; and Sherry Parks, Public Administrator.

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