City Hall Adds Privacy Glass in Council Chambers, Blocking Front Row of Public Gallery

The City Manager's Office renovated Council Chambers in response to COVID. As part of the renovation, privacy glass has been installed in front of the public gallery, blocking views from the first row. (Top Left)

The City of Hamilton continues to spend undisclosed amounts on physical changes to City Hall in response to “safety” and “privacy” concerns.

A few weeks ago, at a cost of over $125,000, the City added hoarding to the rear of City Hall to block homeless people from gathering in a protected area where the building’s warm air exhaust is located.

In the process, the City violated both the Building Code and fire safety requirements. The City did not apply for the required permits.

A consultant has been hired to begin planning a retrofit of the City Hall HVAC systems. The City is not disclosing the cost.

At some point during COVID, the Council Chamber was renovated to enable physical distancing.

Among the changes, is the addition of privacy frosting that blocks the view from the front row of the public gallery. The City did not apply for heritage permits, as required.

The Council Chamber design is a heritage feature that emphasizes the concepts of open democracy by enabling the public unobscured views during public Council meetings. The City did not disclose how much was spent on the renovation.

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