Sackville councillors set to tighten security at Town Hall

sackville_town-hallResidents who visit Sackville Town Hall to pay water bills or conduct other business may soon be talking to the front desk clerk through holes in a $7,800 glass partition.

At their meeting Monday night, councillors heard that the aluminum and tempered glass barrier is needed for greater security.

“We’re not looking at bullet-proof glass or anything like that,” said Treasurer Michael Beal.

“We are looking at securing the front counter so that it is preventable from somebody being able to jump over the front counter, somebody being able to reach over the front counter if the person has left the front desk.”

Beal also told council he’s proposing to spend an additional $2,500 to install six-millimetre-thick laminated glass to prevent sound from leaking out of CAO Phil Handrahan’s office into a hallway.

He explained that the present glass wall does not block sound effectively enough and people can hear what’s being said during private meetings in the CAO’s office.

If councillors approve the proposed security measures at their next meeting on Nov. 14, the $10,300 contract would be awarded to the lowest bidder, Division 8 Architectural Glass and Aluminum of Elmsdale, N.S.

Staff intimidation

Councillor Black asked if any specific incident at the front desk had led to the recommendation to increase security there.

“There’s no one specific incident or issue that has happened,” Beal replied, “but we do handle money at the front desk on a regular basis, there are times when there have been aggravated people that do come in.”

Beal said the enhanced security measures have been under consideration for the last couple of years.

“A lot of times we have staff working there at lunch time alone as well, and when they’re working there alone, they may be the only person in the building.”

Beal acknowledged, however, that the glass partition would be “less user-friendly.”

“When we moved in the building, we attempted an open concept with it and what we’re looking at now is making things more safe and secure,” he said.

CAO Handrahan added there have been occasions when front-desk staff have been intimidated by people in front of the counter.

“There have been at least a couple of situations where I called the RCMP to come up on account of the activity that was going on up here,” he said.

“Society is changing unfortunately so it was felt for the safety of employees and things the treasurer has mentioned, that it was something that needed to be done,” he concluded.

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9 Responses to Sackville councillors set to tighten security at Town Hall

  1. Louis says:

    This is ridiculous. A town of 4000 people and the town hall needs this, when they even have the police station downstairs for backup if needed? The local BANKS do not do this… what do they think they are?

    Seriously, these people are paranoid. Or maybe they’re quite well aware of how badly they’re treating the population!

    I wonder what secrets CAO Handrahan needs to hide from passers-by? What’s so secret about town business, anyway?

  2. Percy Best says:

    Maybe if they didn’t antagonize citizens like they do then they could still go with the open and ‘small town friendly’ concept.

  3. Shawn says:

    Sounds a little Donald Trumpish to me.
    Another avenue of not being engaging with the public.
    You have the RCMP just down stairs how much more security do you need.

  4. Kelly says:

    Wow. I wonder if I should now be installing such measures in my local business that I have staff waiting on hundreds of customers daily? As I don’t have the luxury to get the RCMP there in any timely manner as Phil Handrahan does. Oh wait a minute, that might not be welcomed by the public that we deal with on a daily basis and may be viewed as being a bit too drastic. After all it isn’t every day a corner store or gas station is robbed. But you hear daily of reports of the local municipality offices having break ins and armed robberies! This is going way too far in my opinion.

    • Louis says:

      That’s probably because your business actually helps people, rather than annoying them – or worse… 🙂

      Trust me, if you behaved like Town Hall, you’d have been out of business a long time ago already.

      The last time I went into SNB (before it moved), there were no barriers there either. Nor, seemingly, the need for any. The SNB in Moncton doesn’t have any either.

      What’s special about Sackville that it’s so dangerous???

  5. Gary Sjley says:

    Put in a drive thru like Macdonalds they would take in a lot more money than the town does and you would have a small window. What has this town turned to.

  6. Gary says:

    Put in a drive thru like Macdonalds they would take in a lot more money than the town does and you would have a small window. What has this town turned to.

  7. patricia cormier says:

    They wouldn’t want to put in a drive thru or they already would have at Wendy and Kevin’s – no pun intended – maybe if they would listen to the towns people they would not have to be so scared – my gawd more wasted money – disgrace – should be ashamed

  8. Patrick Buick says:

    Is mentioning that they are using the lowest bidder supposed to appease the taxpayers somehow? The lowest bidder is often NOT the best deal. They are the lowest bidder because they forgot to account for something or planned to cut corners or for some other reason. I don’t know that company, but additionally, they are hiring an out-of-province contractor to do the work, is *that* where the taxpayers want their money going?

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