Latest sign of economic difficulty

Published 4:45 pm Friday, July 29, 2011

If we needed any reminder that our country’s economic recession is far from over—or of just how much it has affected people’s everyday lives—we got one this past week in the form of cuts in the Chilton County Circuit Clerk’s office.

Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb ordered Circuit Court Clerk Glenn McGriff to reduce his office’s operating hours. The move necessitated eliminating two positions, leaving six staff members (staffing statewide is estimated to drop below 50 percent of the recommended level due to layoffs, which could affect more than 250 of the current 750 employees across the state).

Starting Aug. 1, the new hours will be: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday from 8 a.m. until noon; and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, the office will continue to be closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.

“I apologize for the inconvenience that may be caused to the public and the people of Chilton County,” McGriff told The Clanton Advertiser. “Everyone is suffering through this economy. It’s hard for families to meet their budgets, much less for county, state and federal people.”

McGriff said he plans to make the cuts affect local residents as little as possible, including installing a drop box for after hours business.

Like so many others, another government agency has had to tighten its belt.