County of Marin - News Releases - Department Customer Services

For Immediate Release
June 01, 2020

County Departments Preparing to Open Doors

Here’s a review of virus-related changes to services at County of Marin facilities

San Rafael, CA – Consistent with new orders from Marin County Public Health related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County of Marin will reintroduce in-person customer service options over the next two weeks. Several departments reopened offices June 1, and more plan to open June 2 and beyond.

The County will continue to promote its online services and encourage appointments for in-person service options to help the Marin County Civic Center and other facilities maintain social distancing requirements and to best assure residents’ safety. This is a great time to check out the online Payment Center, where many services can be conducted electronically. 

Most County staff have been teleworking or responding to the pandemic emergency, while others have been working on site all along to ensure the County continues its essential services since the March 16 public health order to shelter in place was issued.

Consistent with Public Health guidelines, most County locations will open for public visits and appointments on June 2. Residents with in-person appointments are required to wear face coverings to receive service in compliance with the updated orders. County staff will wear masks as well.  

Some offices with more intensive front counter operations or more complex logistics will reopen on or after Monday, June 8. These departments include Health and Human Services (HHS), heavily impacted by the County’s pandemic emergency response; the Community Development Agency, with its permitting counter; Child Support Services; Agriculture/Weights and Measures and the Farm Advisor. The Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk has scheduled a June 15 reopening date for its division offices at the Civic Center.

Visitors to County offices will notice some changes in signage and equipment. County staff is installing countertop plexiglass shields (“sneeze guards”) at service counter areas to protect residents who need in-person appointments, and signs and stickers will notify visitors about precautionary public health measures.

Here is a summary of significant service updates from other County departments in anticipation of revised sheltering orders from Marin County Public Health:

Board of Supervisors — (415) 473-7331: The Supervisors continue to meet regularly to conduct essential business during the COVID-19 outbreak. The meetings are online, and the public is invited to participate. Nonessential business is postponed, and all postponed agenda items will be rescheduled for dates to be determined later. Details about how the public can participate in Board meetings can be found on the meeting archive webpage.

Agriculture/Weights & Measures — (415) 473-6700: The Novato-based department is closed to walk-in service but is responding to phone calls and emails. The anticipated reopening date is June 8.

Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk — (415) 473-7215 (Assessor); (415) 473-6093 (Recorder); (415) 473-6772 (County Clerk); (415) 473-6094 (Vital Records / Copy Services): All three public counters are closed with an anticipated reopening date of June 15 by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the division by phone or email. Staff is available to assist via telephone or e-mail from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Email addresses:

Copies of official records and recorded maps can be ordered at www.marincounty.org/recorder. The Recorder’s Office is accepting Business/Personal Property Statements in the drop box located near the Recorder’s Office (Civic Center, Suite 232.) These were due by June 1.  

Child Support Services — (866) 901-3212: The office at 88 Rowland Way, Suite 200, in Novato will be reopened to the public on June 8. Visitors may conduct business there weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with social distancing restrictions in place, but staff is encouraging phone appointments whenever possible. Email lcsa@marincounty.org or call 866-901-3212 to set up an appointment. With some exceptions, Marin County Superior Court hearings will be held via videoconferencing or by telephone appearance. Do not go to the Courthouse at the Civic Center unless specifically told to do so. If you do not have access to the equipment needed to attend a Superior Court videoconference hearing regarding a child support case, email lcsa@marincounty.org for assistance. Child Support Services may be able to set up the videoconference equipment at its location. If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and cannot pay a child support obligation, email or call the office immediately to discuss options.

Community Development — (415) 473-6269 (Planning); (415) 473-6907 (Environmental Health); (415) 473-6550 (Building & Safety): The Development Services Center and Environmental Health Services Permitting Center are closed at the Civic Center until June 8, but staff can provide services by phone or email for Building & SafetyEnvironmental Health, and Planning.

  • Building Permits: Please call or email staff about submittal requirements, to arrange for submitting and picking up permits, and for inspections. We are also accepting maintenance permits for self-service automated permits that may be issued online. All projects are required to comply with Construction Project Safety Protocols intended to protect the safety of workers, residents, and inspectors. Violation of the Construction Safety Protocols that are observed by our inspectors will result in a suspension of the inspection, rescheduling of the inspection, and payment of reinspection fees.
  • Environmental Health Permits: Please call or email staff for all permitting and licensing needs, to arrange for contactless submittals and transactions, and to schedule construction inspections in compliance with the Construction Safety Protocols.
  • Planning Permits: Please visit the Virtual Planning Counter for general planning information, submitting applications, or contacting planning staff directly. Scheduled public hearings will be hosted virtually.

County Administrator — (415) 473-6358: Many CAO staff members are part of the response team in the Emergency Operations Center, which was activated in early March because of COVID-19. Others are working to facilitate continued essential services for residents and County employees. Budget hearings are scheduled for mid-June.

County Counsel — (415) 473-6117: The County’s team of attorneys mostly handles internal matters and does not provide legal advice to the public. Business continues to be conducted remotely. Many attorneys are assisting with internal workforce matters. The office reception area is staffed weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Cultural Services — (415) 473-6400: The 2020 Marin County Fair has been canceled and events at Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, Showcase Theater, Exhibition Hall, the fairgrounds, and Lagoon Park have been cancelled through the end of July. The Marin Center Box Office is closed, and the Bartolini Gallery and Redwood Foyer Gallery are closed to visitors. Docent tours of the Civic Center are canceled.

District Attorney — (415) 473-6450; (415) 473-5080 (victim witness services): The District Attorney’s Office remains open to serve the public but strongly encourages phone inquiries instead of personal visits. The front lobby is staffed with a bilingual receptionist from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The majority of our attorneys are working remotely and appearing in court via Zoom. All staff working in the office wear masks. Attorneys, Legal Support, Consumer and Investigations divisions are in the office working in teams which rotate weekly. This reduces the ability to provide 100% service daily, however it ensures office safety as well as the ability to have back-up teams ready to serve should any of our staff be exposed to COVID19. During work hours, when our staff is not in the office, employees are either working remotely or serving as disaster workers in the community. No more than two visitors will be allowed in the front lobby at any time, and all visitors must wear a mask, which will be provided if necessary. Marin County social distancing guidelines are posted on the front door and will be followed. 

Elections — (415) 473-6456, (415) 473-6444, or (415) 473-6437: The lobby of the Elections Department is open. One visitor is allowed at a time and must wear a face covering. No personal items may be set on the counter. Voter registration forms are available outside the door. Register to vote online.

Finance — (415) 473-6154 (main); (415) 473-6133 (Tax Collector and Central Collections); (415) 473-6142 (Public Administrator): The Tax Collector’s Office remains open, but cash payments are not being accepted and all receipts will be mailed. Finance is discouraging personal visits to the Civic Center to pay taxes due to public health concerns. Residents are encouraged to pay online, by phone or by mail (Marin County Tax Collector, P.O. Box 4220, San Rafael CA 94913). Marin County taxpayers with property taxes that first became delinquent after March 3, 2020, and before May 6, 2021, for reasons related to COVID-19, will be able to submit a COVID-19 Request for Penalty Cancellation to the Marin County Tax Collector starting June 11, 2020. Requests under this program will be evaluated according to the parameters set forth in the Governor’s Executive Order N-61-20.

Effective June 1, Finance has expanded the opening of its offices as follows:

  • Central Collections office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, we continue to discourage personal visits to the Civic Center, and strongly encourage members of the public to use online or mail-in methods to pay Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and business license fees (Marin County Central Collections, P.O. Box 4220, San Rafael CA 94913).
  • Public Administrator office is open by appointment only. Please contact (415) 473-6151 for general questions. For case referrals, please complete and electronically submit a referral form.

Fire — (415) 473-6717: Routine public safety operations are being performed. Fire prevention services are only available via phone and electronic submission because no field inspections services are available. Fire stations are closed to the public with the exception of emergencies. Previously planned community meetings at fire stations are cancelled.

Health and Human Services — On June 8, many HHS offices will reopen to the public, but staff will continue to provide services remotely when possible for safety reasons. Marin HHS has the County’s largest departmental staff with more than 700 employees, and many of them remain on the front lines of the public health emergency. Others are continuing to provide critical social, health and behavioral health services, following state, federal, and international guidelines.

 Residents in need of HHS services should consider conducting conversations over the phone or email when possible. Public Health created a phone hotline, (415) 473-7191, for residents to call with questions or concerns about COVID-19. The call center is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays. A three-way phone line is used to assist non-English speakers. HHS offers 415-457-INFO for resources for older adults, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers. Visit www.marinhhs.org for more information. Important HHS phone numbers:

Non-medical questions about COVID-19 including County-specific information:

For information on resources and services specifically for older adults (persons 60+), persons with disabilities and family caregivers, call (415) 457-INFO (415-457-4636) or email 457-INFO@marincounty.org.

Many electronic and telephonic services are available for the public, and residents should consider conducting conversations over the phone or contacting HHS by email when possible. HHS created a phone hotline, (415) 473-7191 (CRS 711), and an online contact form, for residents to contact staff with questions or concerns about the virus and about the county and community response. The call center is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays, and interpreter services are available.

Human Resources — (415) 473-6104: The Human Resources office at the Civic Center is open. Some County of Marin volunteers and interns are active in remote assignments, as are staff. For current job listings, please visit the HR website and follow the instructions for submitting applications online. The HR recruitment team continues to work with employment candidates to conduct interviews via video conference and/or calls. 

Information Services and Technology — (415) 473-6309: Most IST employees are teleworking to assist with website updates, supporting essential services, and supporting emergency operations services related to the COVID-19 virus.

Library — (415) 473-3222: The Marin County Free Library branches are closed until further notice, but curbside service is beginning in phases. Check the library’s webpage for the latest updates on services. Most programs and events have been cancelled, including visits by the Bookmobile and Learning Bus. “Talk with a Librarian” phone service is offered weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (415) 473-2272.

Parks — (415) 473-6949; (415) 473-6388 (reservations): Effective June 1, restrictions are lifted on motorized access to parks and beaches in Marin. View the Parks location list for the status of individual locations. All visitors should maintain 6 feet of social distance. Anyone age 12 and older must bring a face covering that covers the nose and mouth, and put it on when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of separation. A cloth mask, scarf, or bandana is OK.

Playgrounds, benches, picnic areas, swimming pools, and restrooms remain closed, even in parks that are open. Parking may be limited at regional parks to prevent overcrowding. Cities and towns may continue to enforce parking restrictions. Other limits may apply, even at open locations. Please respect posted signs and guidance from rangers.

Plan ahead. Verify the status of a location before traveling. In some locations, especially west Marin, local services such as food and gas may be unavailable. Pack in what you need, and pack everything out.

Naturalist, ranger-led, and volunteer events are canceled until further notice.

Probation — (415) 473-6599:  Adult and juvenile offices are open to the public; appointments for service are encouraged. Normal public safety operations, including field visits, are being performed while taking extra safety precautions. Staff continues to support the court system with pre-trial release monitoring, reports, and appearances for all court activities that are being maintained during the sheltering period. Staff is scheduling orientations, parole hearings, and interviews on a limited but consistent basis. Juvenile Hall suspended all regular programming, family visitations, and religious services. In lieu of visitations, youths have additional telephone privileges and Zoom video contact with their parent(s) or guardians.

Public Defender — (415) 473-6321: The Office of the Public Defender is open as of June 1. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. Marin County Superior Court sessions are being held by videoconference; please call your attorney for further instructions or check www.marincourt.org. Those ordered to appear in court must appear, especially if given a citation to appear or a letter to appear from the Marin County District Attorney. Do not visit the Public Defender’s Office or the court if you are sick; you will be denied entry. Call our office if you are unable to attend court and follow the instructions on the phone message. Clients are advised to monitor the Public Defender’s Facebook page for the latest information.

Public Works — (415) 473-6528: Because of reduced staffing in some divisions, it may take DPW staff a bit longer to respond to certain situations. The public counter in Civic Center Suite 304 is slated to re-open on June 2. DPW Land Development can still process permits for essential services such as utilities via email or phone at (415) 473-3755 or via email. Appointments are highly encouraged if you wish to speak with staff in person starting June 2. DPW staff is conducting advertisement and bidding on Public Works projects once approval for advertisement is received from the Board of Supervisors. The Roads Division is fully staffed in all locations and complying with social distancing requirements. The Marin County Flood District continues to operate and maintain flood control facilities during the sheltering order and posts updates on its watersheds webpage.

Retirement — (415) 473-6147:The Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association office is reopened as of June 1. All members with services that require an in-office visit are encouraged to make an appointment prior to arriving. Upon arrival, visitors must abide by all public health protocols, including wearing a mask, utilizing the on-site sanitation station, and maintaining social distancing as indicated by posted signs. Document submission, one-on-one counseling, retirement estimates and new retirement processing will continue to be managed electronically for the health and safety of our members and MCERA employees. Resources are available online at www.mcera.org.

Sheriff — (415) 473-7284: Normal public safety operations are still in place. See the Sheriff’s webpage for more details.

UC Cooperative Extension / Farm Advisor — (415) 473-4204: UCCE is delivering educational programs through teleconference platforms and responding to phone and email inquiries, including the home gardener Helpdesk. Appointments are available in-person consultations through June 30. Please call to schedule an appointment or email the UCCE staff member. Also, check web resources for agriculture specific COVID-19 information, Marin Master Gardeners resources, and online learning opportunities and programs.

Also, offices of Marin County Superior Court — which is operated out of the Civic Center’s Hall of Justice by the State of California court system and is not part of the County of Marin government —are open as of June 1. Courtroom proceedings will be virtual through the use of remote technologies until further notice. It provides updates on its website, www.marincourt.org. Call (415) 444-7020 for more information.

Contact:

Brent Ainsworth
Public Information Specialist
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3084
Email: Brent Ainsworth
County Administrator website