So much for transparency.

Greensboro restricted the public’s access to city hall on Wednesday, March 27 but was there a public hearing, a public announcement, even a press release to the public, to the people who pay the bills, to let them know that their access to city hall was being restricted.


The only announcement available at city hall on Wednesday was an internal email for city employees, nothing for the public and the new procedure doesn’t effect employees they can continue to come and go as they please, it only effects non-employees.

The new procedure is that “visitors” which means non-employees have to sign in at the West Washington Street entrance where they receive a visitor’s badge that will get them through the locked doors leading to the elevators and the rest of the building.

Without that visitor’s pass any nonemployee who enters the building is stuck in the lobby area of the Washington Street entrance which is officially the upper ground floor.

But doesn’t it seem like requiring people who aren’t city employees to sign in and receive a visitor’s badge something at least worthy of prior notification.  The city will send out a press release about any little thing the city does, but the fact that the public has to sign in and get a visitor’s badge isn’t even deemed worthy of a sign written on a piece of notebook paper and taped to the door.

At a recent Board of Adjustment meeting the security detail was short handed, and the decision was made not to have anyone at the entrance to the building.  So when someone arrived for the Board of Adjustment meeting while the meeting was in progress there was no way for them to get in the building.

It seemed odd that nobody was particularly concerned that the city had locked the public out of a public meeting, but then again the building was secure.

Signing-in to get a visitor’s card is simply one step in a process where soon a person will have to go through a metal detector, have their bags X-rayed and before a taxpaying citizen is allowed in the building some city employee will have to confirm that they are trustworthy, loyal, helpful and have an appointment.

It’s a sign of the times and it’s only going to get worse.