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Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Shorter hours at clerk’s office get mention in state law publication

Circuit Court Clerk Sharron Mitchell’s decision to close her office to the public at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays earned Fredericksburg a mention last month in Virginia Lawyers Weekly. The headline: "CLOSED for business."

Read the story here.

This isn’t the first time the city clerk’s office has reduced its hours.

Last summer, while city public facilities staff were testing the office for health hazards (none were found), and looking for a temporary new home for the clerk, the office closed to the public every day at 12:30. That lasted about two weeks. Before that, the clerk had been regularly closing early on Wednesdays to get caught up on records processing.

The VLW story quotes the Staunton clerk, who stops short of opining on Mitchell’s decision but admits her hours are "unusual." I just spoke today with former Spotsylvania Clerk Paul Metzger, with whom city officials are conferring about technology for a new courts complex. He also thought that the decision to close completely to the public during parts of the workday was unusual.

In the past, I’ve had a hard time getting on-the-record reaction to the schedule changes at the clerk’s office. Some of the title examiners and lawyers I have called about this in the past have told me flat-out that they don’t want to express their opinions publicly for fear of backlash from the clerk. (The one exception can be found in the sidebar at the end of this story.) But I am interested in hearing about how this is affecting the legal and real estate communities. If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’m at 374-5413 or ebattle@freelancestar.com.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/citybeat/2008/08/04/shorter-hours-at-clerks-office-get-mention-in-state-law-publication/