I worked at City of Santa Monica California full-time (More than 5 years)
As a city employee you have access to really fantastic benefits. My pay was fairly high and I loved being on a 9/10 schedule. (This means that you work 10 hour days for 9 days then receive every other Friday off.)
The agency I worked for was highly politicized. And while that was interesting on occasion, it also proved incredibly frustrating when it meant that some of our decisions or guidance seen as slanted.
I was also uneasy about the little attention paid to ensure staff safety. City Hall is by it's nature open to the public which mean that every once in a while a seriously deranged person would walk in and cause a disturbance.
Advice to Management
Offer regular training of what to do in a crisis and offer it employee wide. Create better ties with the police department to improve their response time. Although their headquarters was just across the street, it could take a long time to see an officer if you pressed the panic button to call for help.
I applied online. I interviewed at City of Santa Monica California (Santa Monica, CA).
Do not even bother wasting your time, they already know who they are hiring before you even apply or take the first test. First you do a written test, then a computer test, then an interview to get on a list, then final round. But they also use employment agency's, despite having their own HR department violating the "merit rules" because the employment agency applicants, do all the steps in one day, and then are offered the job the same day. While the rest of us waste months and take time off work to complete all the steps. City of Santa Monica is a haven for the people who have family members or friends who work there, they are offered insane salaries for jobs that a robot could do. The only way to get in, is to know someone and their whole "official recruitment" is just for show, to "comply" with state law.