The Aquinnah selectmen voted this week to close the town hall on weekends following an incident last Saturday when town assessor Angela Cywinski was seen climbing in through an office window.

A police report filed Monday said town administrator Jeffrey Madison had been notified of the suspicious activity and contacted Aquinnah police Sgt. Paul Manning. The sergeant spoke with Ms. Cywinski on Sunday and confirmed the incident, the report said.

According to the report, Ms. Cywinski said she had entered the selectmen’s office through an unlocked window in order to retrieve a key to the treasurer’s office so that she could reset an internet router.

“I advised Angela that in the future if she needs access to a locked office in the town hall she should notify either the police or the board of selectmen for assistance,” Mr. Manning wrote in the report.

At a selectmen’s meeting on Wednesday called to address the matter, Mr. Madison said he had been off-Island at the time, but when he inspected the town hall on Sunday, nothing appeared out of place. But he and the selectmen roundly criticized Ms. Cywinski’s handling of the situation.

“There were many other courses of action,” selectman Juli Vanderhoop said, noting that she and others could have opened the door.

Selectmen will not press criminal charges against Ms. Cywinski, who did not attend the meeting but was present at town hall with her attorney Erik Hammarlund.

Elise LeBovit, a member of the board of assessors, spoke on Ms. Cywinski’s behalf to explain the incident. She said another key to the treasurer’s office that is usually kept in a safe was not there on the day of the incident. Town clerk Carolyn Feltz said the key had been given to Mr. Madison after his appointment as town administrator this month, and that former town administrator Adam Wilson’s key had been given to the selectmen’s new administrative assistant, Sophia Welch.

But selectmen said there was no excuse for breaking into the office.

Ms. LeBovit claimed Ms. Cywinski had tried to contact the police. She added that Mr. Wilson had himself once climbed in through the office window.

“The fact that Adam has done it doesn’t make it right,” selectman Jim Newman said, adding that he was unaware of that incident. “You don’t break in to a building, regardless of the need.”

Mr. Manning, who attended the meeting, said the two incidents were “apples and oranges,” since Mr. Wilson was entering his own office.

Much of the discussion focused on why Ms. Cywinski needed to be at work on a Saturday. Selectmen said she should be able to complete her duties during normal business hours, but Ms. LeBovit said an ongoing revaluation of property values, along with the need to deal with town residents, has taken extra time.

Selectmen said it was a matter of time management.

“You can’t tell me that job takes that many hours to do, for weeks and weeks on end,” selectman Gary Haley said.

Ms. LeBovit said assessors have been trying for months to meet with the selectmen to discuss a variety of issues. “It will be helpful for you to understand what the job actually entails,” she said. Mr. Newman said the selectmen are always available.

Mr. Madison said during his years as a town assessor ending around 1992, he did all the work himself. “The number of parcels in this town has not increased by more than 10 per cent since I left,” he said. “That’s all I need to say.”

The selectmen proposed closing town hall altogether on weekends and changing the locks, but not everyone was happy with that approach.

“This town hall belongs to all the people in town,” said Ms. LeBovit, adding that the selectmen’s response felt like punishment for Ms. Cywinski trying to do her job. She stressed the importance of having a plan for access to the router, rather than taking action to restrict everyone’s access to town hall.

Mr. Newman saw things differently. “This is really a business, this is not a commune,” he said. “And we are going to run this as a business.”

In the end, the selectmen voted to close town hall every week between 6 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Monday, and to change the locks. Mr. Newman said changing the locks happens whenever a new town administrator is hired. Mr. Madison said the building would still be open by request to individual employees on weekends.