Resource Management Agency Changes Hours for Public Interaction

August 10, 2010

Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency (RMA) received approval from the Board of Supervisors today to reduce the hours its Government Plaza offices in Visalia are open to the public. RMA officials say the move will enable its building and planning staff – reduced from 62 to 31 in the last two years – to be more effective by providing at least 2.5 hours of uninterrupted work time each day.

Currently, the public can visit RMA staff at Government Plaza in Visalia from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

Effective Aug. 13, the public will be able to visit RMA staff from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Thursday. The change in hours will provide RMA staff 2.5 hours of work - 1.5 hours before and 1 hour after the new business hours - without interruption Monday - Thursday. RMA offices will be completely closed on Fridays from Aug. 13 through Oct. 15 in observance of the mandatory furloughs. After Oct. 15, RMA offices will remain closed to the public on Fridays, with the exception of appointments made.

“Having uninterrupted time will be a tremendous benefit to both residents who would like to get their permits processed in a timely manner and for our staff,” said Roger Hunt, RMA Assistant Director of Administration/Community Development.

Hunt said residents who need to visit with RMA staff outside the new business hours can schedule appointments.

Hunt said the change in hours open to the public will enable RMA planning and building staff to be more effective in other tasks by allowing more time to:

- Review building plans.

- Process building permits.

- Make follow up telephone calls to applicants concerning their permits.

- Investigate inquiries and research needs so that more thorough and complete information is provided to customers.

- Scheduled meetings with applicants.

- Provide greater support in administering code compliance, dairy compliance, employee housing, abandoned vehicle abatement and other programs.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Worthley said the new RMA hours could be subject to change depending upon how well the new times work.

“RMA has continued to look at ways to be more efficient in how it serves the public,” Chairman Worthley said. “If this process does not increase efficiency, the Board will look at switching the hours back or consider other options to improve service levels.”

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to change RMA’s hours. District Three Supervisor Phil Cox cast the dissenting vote.