Contact: Deborah Turcotte
MaineHousing Public Information Manager
Today, two representatives of the Maine Heritage Policy Center brought Maine Sen. Debra Plowman to MaineHousing without an appointment to discuss what they perceive as changes to MaineHousing’s security policies.
Sam Adolphsen, a MHPC director, and Terrilyn Simpson, a MHPC writer, arrived at lunch time requesting immediate information on MaineHousing’s security policies. Adolphsen also took pictures of the MaineHousing lobby and the exterior of the building.
MaineHousing is reaching out to Sen. Plowman to discuss its security policies and issues.
Like many businesses and governmental agencies, MaineHousing has a long-standing security policy to protect its employees and visitors. Non-employees enter the building through the front door, sign in at the reception desk, obtain a visitor badge, and are escorted from the lobby by the appropriate employee and remain with that employee while in the building.
Since November, MaineHousing’s Board of Commissioners meetings have received public attention and increased attendance. The board meetings are conducted in a fourth floor conference room, and are accessible through an elevator. Attendees are escorted to the board room after signing in at the front desk at a reasonable time before the start of the meeting. A sign that notifies visitors that they need to sign in at the front desk is posted on MaineHousing’s front door.
At recent meetings, members of the Maine Heritage Policy Center and a couple of other individuals have sought access to the board room before the established time and without an escort. MaineHousing staff has received angry comments and endured expletives.
On January 10, Sam Adolphsen attempted to enter the elevator without checking in with the front desk staff.
In addition to these security-related incidents, MaineHousing recently received a gun threat from an individual.
At the last board meeting, MaineHousing streamlined its check-in system by setting up a path to the sign-in book to ensure that everyone was able to get to the book and receive a visitor’s badge.
“The safety and security of MaineHousing employees and our visitors are a priority,” said MaineHousing Director Dale McCormick. “We welcome people attending our board meetings, but we ask that they be respectful of our policies. We want everyone to feel safe.”
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. Please visit our Web site at www.mainehousing.org.
MaineHousing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, or familial status in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, and activities. MaineHousing will provide appropriate communication auxiliary aids and services upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing will also provide this document in alternative formats upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing has designated the following person responsible for coordinating compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements and addressing grievances: Louise Patenaude, MaineHousing, 353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633, Telephone Number 18004524668 (voice in state only),(207) 6264600 (voice), 18004524603 (TTY in state only), or (207) 6232985 (TTY).