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West Hollywood Discounts First Survey : Christmas Poll to Go Around Again

November 27, 1986|KENNETH J. FANUCCHI | Times Staff Writer

West Hollywood City Manager Paul D. Brotzman has ordered a new poll of city employees on reinstating Christmas as a legal holiday, ruling that a previous poll was not to the point.

Brotzman said the new poll, to be conducted next week, will ask employees specifically whether they want Christmas to be declared a paid legal holiday with City Hall closed and no employees working.

The only alternative, he said, would be retention of the existing system whereby City Hall would be kept open Dec. 25 with employees having the option of working or using one of their 4.5 floating holidays to receive pay for the day off.

"Those are the only options established by the City Council," Brotzman said.

In a poll conducted last week by the West Hollywood local of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, city workers voted 20 to 11 in favor of having City Hall closed to the public on Christmas but giving employees the option of working that day, if they preferred to take another day off.

"That was not the issue," Brotzman said. "City management does not favor such a choice."

The West Hollywood City Council voted Nov. 17 to poll employees after Mayor Stephen Schulte proposed declaring Christmas a legal holiday. In one of its most controversial actions last year, the council eliminated Christmas as a legal holiday.

Mayor Pro Tem Alan Viterbi, who proposed the Christmas Day ban last year, said Tuesday that he will fight to continue the existing ordinance. "I want to maintain the separation of church and state and not give one religion an advantage over any other by having legal holiday established," he said.

Brotzman said the poll should be conducted in time for City Council consideration at its next meeting on Dec. 8.

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