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Resident urges Gaines Town Board to keep glass partition for town clerk

Posted 9 March 2018 at 7:11 am

Editor:

(This letter has been sent to Gaines Town Supervisor Grube, Councilperson Kirby, Councilperson Neilans, and Councilperson Allport.)

I am writing in regards to the removal of the safety window in front of the Town Clerk’s desk, which was discussed at our February Town Board meeting. I would like to present some considerations:

The installation of a safety partition in front of the clerk’s window was in direct response to NYS Department of Labor’s inspection of the Town Hall for workplace safety. The evaluation cited the clerk’s window as a potential workplace hazard due to the exchange of money with the public. To remedy the hazard, the Town Board contracted to have the bulletproof glass partition installed, at a cost to taxpayers of $8,000 to $10,000. Since NYS Department of Labor conducts periodic inspections, removal of the partition will necessitate a replacement safety feature, at additional cost to the taxpayer. The cost to remove the window was said to be $1,500. The cost to replace the window with another safety feature isn’t yet known.

There were several other suggestions offered by Department of Labor including: widening the counter between the clerk’s desk and the public (that alone won’t stop a bullet), posting a security guard (at what cost to the taxpayer?), exchanging money with the public in a different area (would the clerk have to leave her desk area to traverse with each resident to a different room?)

Members, I hope you are considering fiscal responsibility to the Town as well as preventing violence to staff. Removal of this partition has the potential to open the Town to a very costly lawsuit, should, God forbid, an armed robbery occur. Since this Town Board is only three or so months into learning about the Town and its specific needs, and learning about the State and its requirements for Towns, doesn’t it make fiscal sense to take the time to look at all the repercussions for the Town that removing this window could bring about?

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Marilynn Miller

Gaines