Courtroom modifications at City Hall have been slow in coming. Fears over costs and a long review process at the state level have contributed. One thing being advanced now is the notion of the state providing first floor security.
They already do, and if the security screening point would move to the Sterling Street entrance instead of the current interior location, that would continue.
A separate entrance for in-custody defendants is needed, even if it eliminates the current perp walk from Sterling Street in the building past other City Hall visitors.
Security in the building on other floors has become a concern from time to time with strange characters, and disgruntled persons headed to the Third Floor unimpeded.
Most of the time, there are no huge security issues and that is why it has been hard to move forward. Initially some members resented the creation of a second judge position and didn't want to spend money on the aging building.
While reps from the Fifth JD never approached Council or me in 2015, I think the planning of the remodeling was painfully slow. That didn't disappoint Council, who saw it as a means to delay a decision on and expensive project. There was also an honest debate on just how to route foot traffic on the first floor.
On the matter of the court, 2017 looms as the year Judge Palermo must seek election to a full term after her 2012 appointment to a part time term that turned full time.
While her work on the bench has been praised, critics still brand her a "liberal" judge and it will be interesting if a lawyer living in the City makes a run at the seat, which now carries (along with the other judge) the highest salary in City Hall.
atertown Daily Times | Locking it down: Officials under deadline to decide how to proceed on security