The public no longer will have to go to City Hall to ask questions, submit requests or make comments.

"City Hall Connect" went online Wednesday and the 24/7 program allows direct communication with City Hall.

A City Hall icon on the city's home page and on the City Council web page opens the program both accessed at http://www.lagunabeachcity.net.

The program is designed to make City Hall more accessible to the public.

"We should show the City Hall doors opening," said Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson.

Online contacts to City Hall will automatically be routed to the appropriate department and staff member, who will make a prompt response and follow-up, if needed.

Response to weekend contacts will be made when staff is available on week days. This does not include emergency calls to the Fire or Police Departments, which are staffed every day.

"All responses will be through your preferred contact," said Community Services Director Ben Siegel, who announced the program at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The system will ask for contact information and be given a case number, which will be used for any further contact by city personnel, Siegel said.

Residents will be able to track and review their current or previous case and add documents or pictures.

City Hall Connect also includes a list of frequently-asked questions and answers, as well as links to various city services and programs.