Motion to unlock city hall doors fails

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) - A town in Lawrence County plans to lock particular city hall doors to prevent harassment of city employees.

Last week, Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins implemented a new policy that would block access to the business section of city hall.

No action was taken to erase the policy at the Tuesday, Oct. 10 city council meeting.

“Council has said to fix the doors where you can get out, and these stay locked,” Mayor Coggins explained.

Coggins said the reason behind locking the doors is a First Amendment auditor harassing city employees.

“He says he’s in news media, but he’s not in news media. He says he’s doing it on his First Amendment rights,” Coggins said.

The city installed a magnetic lock on the door, which can be controlled by the clerk at the desk.

Those needing inside the business portion of city hall will be allowed in.

Coggins’ policy has created mixed emotions across town.

Resident Vickie Mays explained she’s not happy with the mayor’s decision.

“I think it’s complete bull crap,” Mays explained. “I think he has no right to do that. What is he hiding? I’ll attend the city council meeting. I can’t wait to do it.”

Coggins said those not interested in conducting business inside city hall are welcome to use the drive-through located on the side of the building.