Paddock Lake passes security ordinance for Village Hall

This drawing supplied by the village shows the new secure areas of Village Hall outlined in yellow. (Click for larger view)

The Paddock Lake Village Board has passed a new policy on secure areas of Village Hall that supporters say will help ensure the security of sensitive documents and records.

But village President Marlene Goodson argued extensively against the new policy at Wednesday’s Village Board meeting because she feels it could limit the public’s easy access to village officials.

She also objected because the new policy will effectively end her past practice of sometimes having her grandson in her Village Hall office.

The new policy establishes secure and non-secure areas of the building. According to a floor plan that accompanies the policy (see above), all areas are designated secure except the front reception area, the meeting hall, the corridor that connects the two and the rest rooms.

Individual offices of staff and officials also will have access restricted by the function. For example, the president’s office is to be accessed only by the president etc.

Trustee Barbara Brenner, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds committee, justified the policy as needed in the light of a recent – and unspecified — security breech.

“This is a place of business,” Brenner said after the meeting.

But Goodson argued at length during the meeting that the new policy would keep those who might have to have a child along on occassion from serving as village officials and that it could limit the public’s accees to village staff and officials.

“There should be no reason I can’t have a family member in my office,” Goodson said.

Proponents of the new policy said the public’s access to officials like the president,  administrator or  building inspector would not be limited because the policy allows those officials to invite individuals into their offices at their discretion.

The need to keep sensitive official records secure justified the changes, the proponents said.

Trustee Howard Schlichting also voted against the new policy

This is not the first time the board has discussed Village Hall security. Shortly after her election as village president in April 2009, Goodson had her office re-keyed with a lock for which only she had a key. She said it was to secure documents stored in her office. That move prompted extensive discussion when the board later moved to rekey all Village Hall door locks.


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