Customer service focus of City Hall shuffle

ARLINGTON All in the name of customer service, the city of Arlington has rearranged City Hall.
The permit center has moved from upstairs down to the first floor of City Hall, putting the mayor and her team upstairs at 238 N. Olympic Ave.
Staff at the permit center has announced a housewarming party to show off the new arrangement from 2 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14 so developers shouldnt expect to get much work done at that time.
Its also going to be a birthday party, said Sonya Blacker, who was recently named supervisor of the permit center.
Its the birthday of the citys new building officer Chris Young, senior planner Yvonne Page and me, Blacker said.
Well be getting some cake and other snacks, she added.
The move has been in the works since the city dropped its plan to rent the Hogan Building across Third Street.
The new arrangement reflects our new integrated services, said the citys new Community Development Director, David Kuhl. Planning, engineering, public works and the building department are all conveniently located together to facilitate those developers and builders seeking to get their permits processed.
Formerly manager of the permit center, Bill Blake is excited to see all the planning come together even though his own space has shrunk by 50 percent.
This rearrangement closes a chapter on our long-term plan to improve services, Blake said.
Now its just a matter of tweaking the details.
Still serving the city as assistant community development director as well as natural resource manager, Blake feels that the new arrangement will help the permit technicians better serve their customers.
Weve also got new technology, a permit tracking system that allows all the departments to review applications from their own desks, Blake said.
With Blacker now supervising the permit center, Blake will have time to return to his passion, protecting the environment and finding the best solutions to grow the community with grace.
Amid the shuffle, four employees in the public works department, including Public Works Director Len Olive and his assistant, Cristy Brubaker and two staff, are now located in what was formerly a Summit Timber-owned building next to Arlington Fire Station No. 47, and Vic Ericson is moving from the airport office into the permit center where hell share a room with Blacker.
The finance office and bill paying remains across the hall in its first-floor location.
We want all the answers to be in one place, Blake said. We designed the whole thing so that it will be easy for people to get answers to their questions.

Public meeting on
gateway signage
The city of Arlington is developing a plan to create gateways and signage that will direct visitors to key locations and attractions and the public is invited to hear a report on the study so far from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Hadley Hall, the community room of the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, 18513 59th Ave., on the east side of the Arlington Airport.
Graduate students from the University of Washingtons Center for Livable Communities have been conducting research on transportation routes, natural systems, activities and landmarks as well as regional solutions to signage and they will present the results of their research. Those who attend will have an opportunity to share their ideas and provide feedback on this project.

6:30 7 p.m.
Open House

7 7:20 p.m.
Presentation on Research

7:20 8 p.m.
Feedback from Public

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