LAKE FOREST : City May Stay Open All Fridays

With the county abandoning its policy of shutting down every other Friday, the city may enact a similar change.

On Tuesday, Mayor Richard T. Dixon asked city staff to keep City Hall open every Friday. The city has been shutting down every other Friday since August, 1993.

Under the current plan, city employees work nine hours a day from Monday through Thursday, keeping City Hall open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. On alternate Fridays, they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The council hoped the plan would provide residents greater access to City Hall, save money on power bills and boost employee morale with a three-day weekend every other week.

But the policy has drawn some criticism from residents who have been frustrated by locked doors at City Hall on alternate Fridays.

"I think our program has good points, but it also has bad points," Dixon said. "I like the idea of us being open to 6 but don't like us closed every other Friday."

Dixon called on staff to produce a report on the possible change in hours.

Councilwoman Helen Wilson supported the call for a report but wanted to see a plan that allowed schedule flexibility for employees.

The city was following the lead of the county, which hoped to see about $1 million in annual savings from shutting its doors twice a month.

However, the policy failed to yield any financial benefits and the county supervisors shut the program down in November.

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