Lake City Council rejects shorter workday

January 11, 2019

LAKE CITY, S.C – Two resolutions that would change city business hours and meeting times for the Lake City Council failed for lack of seconds at a council meeting Tuesday night.

The first resolution would have authorized the city to amend the standard weekday business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The motion was sponsored by Councilwoman Sondra Fleming-Crosby.

“My reason for this is because, as was stated earlier, the city employees did not get raises,” Fleming-Crosby said. “And in order for this to be an incentive for them, shorten the work day. They are not losing anything. Their pay remains the same. They’ll still get the one hour for lunch and they will leave 30 minutes earlier.”

Crosby said she recommended the council change the business hours as an incentive to the employees.

Some council members said they did not see a reason to change the business hours for the city. And some were concerned about the working hours for some employees changing from 40 per week to 37.5.

Councilwoman Wilhelmena Scott said she was concerned that the residents did not seem enthusiastic about a change in the business hours.

“My concern is that if it’s not broke, we don’t need to be trying to fix it at this particular point,” said Mayor Lovith Anderson Jr. “If the citizens came to us and said that they needed the alternative hours for the city to be open, to me that’s a different aspect of it. We work for them and I haven’t had anybody, any citizens, come to me and mention it.”

The second resolution would have authorized the city to amend the start time of council meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. The motion was sponsored by Fleming-Crosby. She said that when talking to other people in the community, they see no problem with a change in the start time for council meetings.

Councilwoman Nicole Singletary said she works in Florence and sometimes struggles to get to council meetings by 7 p.m. She said changing the start time to 6 p.m. would not work for her.

“I can’t get off no earlier than 5:30, so if we do change the time, I’m going to be walking in here every time at 6:30,” Singletary said. “That’s give or take.”

Scott and several other council members agreed that the start time should remain at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. She said she sees many Lake City residents on a regular basis and has never received a complaint about the time.

“So for that reason, I would like it to stay the same,” Scott said.

Mayor Pro Tem Billy Brown Jr. said the council meetings have begun at 7 p.m. for years.

Several residents spoke during the public comment period of the meeting against a change in the meeting times and business hours.

Lake City resident Mattie Thomas said she and a lot of other people have had to make some changes in order to attend council meetings.

“I think if we’re going to change the meeting, we need some community input,” Thomas said. “Look, they started coming. And now we change the hours? I think this is not a good idea because I have another meeting. And some of your council members say they can’t make it because it starts at 6 o’clock.”

Resident Margaret Jones said a 7 p.m. start time is convenient for some community members who have jobs.

“Some of us get off at 6, 5 o’clock. We work in Florence, some in Conway,” Jones said. “We have to drive here from our job to get to the meeting. When everyone know that it’s 7, we’re rushing from our jobs to get here at 7. So why change the time when we’re already used to that time?”

Since the motions did not receive a second, the council meeting times will continue to start at 7 p.m. and the city’s business hours will continue to be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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