While he was campaigning to be mayor, Steve Bach promised to bring more transparency to city government if he was elected.
So far, so good.
On Tuesday, the day Bach was sworn in, the city eliminated a policy requiring the public to sign in at a security desk in the lobby of the City Administration Building downtown.
“During the transition, we’ve had discussions about being more open to the public, and based on the last year or so of experience with our security screening process, we probably had more negatives than we had positives related to people feeling welcome into the CAB,” Assistant City Manager Nancy Johnson said today.
The sign-in policy was instituted either late 2008 or early 2009 by former City Manager Penelope Culbreth-Graft.
City spokesman John Leavitt said there had been concerns about “angry people” going to the CAB to confront employees of the much-maligned Stormwater Enterprise customer call center.
“The thought was that if you just provided a little bit of a net there, that people would maybe be discouraged from any kind of a violent confrontation or something,” he said.
Although the safety of city employees and visitors at the CAB is always a concern, Leavitt said history has shown very few negative instances.
“Before Ms. Culbreth-Graft instituted that policy, we had a free and open entry policy for years,” he said. “There we a few occasions when had little problems, but we corrected them or addressed them on an individual basis as opposed to a general policy.”
Leavitt noted that the seven-story building at 30. S. Nevada Ave. still has security.
“We do still have guards that are available to us and will continue to patrol the buildings,” he said.
Under the policy, city employees were also required to show their badges.
At 6:37 a.m. Tuesday, city employees received the following email:
“Effective immediately we will no longer require employees to show their ID’s upon entering (or wearing them while in the facility) and visitors will no longer need to sign-in when visiting the CAB.”