Budget constraints have led the City of Yakima Clerks office to reduce the hours its customer service counter is open.  The counter is now only open to the public Monday through Thursday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  The customer service counter is closed to the public on Fridays.

Prior to late January, the Clerks counter in the lobby of Yakima City Hall was open weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  However, in order to absorb a reduction in staffing that will take effect later this month, the new hours for the customer service counter have been adopted.

“Our staff will drop from four people to three people on March 1st,” said Deputy City Clerk Sonya Claar Tee.  “Even though we’ll have a smaller staff, our responsibilities will essentially remain the same.  We needed to find a way to manage the same workload with fewer people, and reducing the hours that our customer service counter is open to the public was an obvious choice,” said Claar Tee

Debbie Kloster, who has served as City Clerk for the past six years, will retire later this month.  After Kloster retires, Claar Tee will become the City Clerk.  However, the City’s adopted 2012 budget does not provide funding to keep the Clerks office fully staffed for the remainder of the year.

Some of the services that were previously provided through the Clerks office, such as providing general information about City services and providing citizens with directions, are now being handled by the Utility Services office located across the lobby from the Clerks office.  Public records requests can be placed in a drop box located near the Clerks customer service counter, and damage claims and lawsuits are still being accepted by the Clerks office during normal business hours.