LIMA — A new program will use volunteers to staff the front reception area of the city Municipal Center, Mayor David Berger announced Wednesday.
Retired Joint Systems Manufacturing Center manager Denny Glenn came to Berger with the idea of creating an ambassador program, similar to how area hospitals use volunteers at front entrances to direct the public.
Glenn said he did some unofficial surveying at the building at 50 Town Square and was surprised to see how many people from the public are coming into the building for myriad needs.
“We want people with a professional approach to meet people with a smile on their face and asking, ‘How can I help you?’” Glenn said. “It will enhance the lives of people working in the building, and those folks who come in and are patrons of the building, giving them a positive atmosphere and approach when they enter the building.”
The city has been without a receptionist for several years, and the administration and City Council have discussed the topic of staffing the area as a security and customer service issue. In the middle of those discussions, Glenn approached Berger with an approach and a commitment to creating and maintaining the program, the mayor said.
The program addresses immediate and long-term needs for the city, Berger said.
Berger used the occasion of National Volunteer Week to introduce the program and opportunity. Those interested can obtain an application through the city’s Human Resources Department in the next 30 days. After Lima has a pool of volunteers, Berger said, the Lima Police Department and other officials will conduct a training.
Third Ward Councilman Jesse Lowe II broached the topic of security in the building more than two years ago. Since then, the administration and council have had multiple conversations about the issue, mostly in executive sessions. Lowe said he believed the program wouldn’t address larger issues of security for the building.
“My opinion on this is that it’s an extremely small step for what truly needs to be done,” Lowe said. “This does not enhance security.”