Selectmen consider staffing changes at the police department

by susan on March 10, 2010

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Some members of the Southborough Police Department may soon be moving up the ranks. At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Police Chief Jane Moran asked for the board’s approval to fill a lieutenant position on the force.

Moran said her desire is to fill the position by promoting one of the department’s three sergeants.

Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf stressed that the proposal does not mean adding new personnel to the budget. “Personnel numbers are the same as they were a year ago,” she said. Phaneuf said the intent is to backfill the vacancy left when the former Sgt. Moran was promoted to chief last November.

Moran said that while her plan is to promote from within, any department member who meets the minimum requirements is invited to apply for the position.

“There’s been some talk out there that this is being tailored to one individual. My understanding is that’s not the case,” Selectman Sal Giorlandino said.

“That’s not the case,” Moran replied.

Moran said the lieutenant’s duties would be flexible, but the primary responsibility would be to oversee operations of the department. Moran said she is currently the only department member in a management role. Having a lieutenant on the force would add another management position.

“From a management perspective it makes sense to have a second management position,” Giorlandino said, noting that most of our neighboring communities have lieutenants on staff.

“I can’t be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Moran said.

Promoting a sergeant to the position of lieutenant would open up a vacancy at the sergeant level that Moran said she intends to fill by promoting another staff member. Candidates for both the lieutenant and sergeant positions would be evaluated by an assessment center as part of the hiring process.

Giorlandino said the Board is in favor of the staffing changes, but wanted more input from the Personnel Board before making a final decision. Selectmen said they will take up the issue again at their meeting on March 16.

In related news, Chief Moran will be officially sworn in as chief in a ceremony at the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 23.

1 Sick of It March 12, 2010 at 9:49 AM

This is absolutely ridiculous and a continuation of Jane Moran’s wasteful ways. In this economy what do we need an administratice Lieutenant for? She is continually wasting money (2 explorers? One for her? We never had that before) and the selectment need to get their heads out of their butts (Bonnie Phaneuf) and stop supporting this ludicris spending of the taxpayers money. Jane says jump and the selectmen say how high. Step up to the plate and put your foot down! Try supporting the people of this town that vote you in to office. Although you are not talking about hiring, you are adding money to the budget. In addition, to say that this job isn’t being tailored to one individual is also ridiculous. Jane plays favorites just like Bonnie and she is doing what she needs to so she can pad her close staff with her favorite. Come on people, put an end to this already!

2 Dear Sick of IT March 13, 2010 at 5:45 AM

I saw the post go up without comment and I said to myself, “Well, it looks as if no one cares”. Iwill join you in your comment and feeling about the added position in the Police department.
All three Selectmen said it when they “annointed” Jane. Southborough is different.
You are NOT Boston, not Framingham, not Worcester. You are not “crime central” and for at least 30 years, the current rank structure has worked more than efficienly.
Rick Mattioli has been the Chiefs right hand as far as an Administrative assistant – who knows he may be better suited for the Chief job than the Chief. To say that a Lieutenant is a “Management” position is a slap in the face. A Lieutenant will be covered by contract and the usual pay grade difference between a Sergeant and a Lieutenant is 15% to 21%. And here comes the two face Selectmen with the inuendo that the position will not increase the police budget by adding manpower. Not a word about how to pay for the “pat on the shoulder”. Out of the other corner of Sal and Bonnie’s mouth is a request to have Moran cut her budget.
Glad someone spoke up and it wasn’t me this time around to fire the first volley.
Rest assured the three stooges will give their blessing and it will be forgotten in a week. Southborough has been over run. The old common sense Townies are either dead, dying or they moved away.
Lets move on to how is the assessment for the Lieutenant’s position is going to be paid for. How much it costs, to what degree will this person be hog tied like he was when Jane was “annointed”. Come on whatever Townies are left….grow a set and be heard !

3 John Kendall March 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Grow a set and put up your real name

4 Disgusted March 13, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I just caught a whiff of Marty.

I am beginning to hate this town and especially all this “townie” talk. I would like to see the “townies” manage to finance this town on their own. And if you don’t like the job the BOS are doing – run for office yourself – instead of sitting on your rumps criticizing everything that goes on that you don’t understand and don’t bother to take the time to find out about. Those three people spend endless hours reading and studying facts, figures, reports, etc. week after week. Do you think they just show up on a Tuesday night and vote on a whim? Do you actually think you know better than they how efficiently or non-efficiently the police department is run and has been run?

Disagreeing is fine and it is the Democratic way, but I am getting sick and tired of nasty remarks, and baseless insults/accusations toward individuals who work for this town. Disagree with the actions or opinions, but it is too much to ask that we show some level of respect and adult demeanor, even on an internet blog?

“. . . get their heads out of their butts (Bonnie Phaneuf)”
“Jane plays favorites just like Bonnie and she is doing what she needs to so she can pad her close staff with her favorite.”
“Rest assured the three stooges will give their blessing . . .”
“to what degree will this person be hog tied like he was when Jane was “annointed”. ”

You people are despicable. I guess you “townies” were standing in line for your monopoly on “common sense” when class and decency were being handed out. Or maybe you were saving places for your friends in the male chauvanist line? You people are an embarrassment!!!!

5 Sick of it March 13, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Actually, I am not an old time townie as you call them. I have been in town for several years now and I have seen first hand how Bonnie Phaneuf protects those she holds close and Jane Moran happens to be one of those people. There is rarely a time when she disagrees with what Jane wants. As far as the comment on Rick Mattioli being a better chief, he would at least understand no money, cut back and hiring freeze which Jane and the BOS seem to be having a hard time with. When you take hours and raises away from the town employees who are actually doing the work (i.e. the cops, firefighters, clerks in the town offices) and then bring in an administrative lieutenant (Jane’s words) it is a slap in the face to each and every person who works hard every day in fear of their hours being cut and/or of their salary being cut. Last year, the BOS stood at town meeting and told the townspeople that the administration was taking a 1% decrease in their increases, the one thing they didn’t say was that the administration was still getting 4% increases instead of 5. I am willing to bet the private sector employees didn’t get that kind of raise and I know the union town employees certainly didn’t and haven’t for years! So this year when they say that there won’t be any raises, will administration see any increase? It is time for new blood to come in and get rid of the Bonnie Phaneuf’s in this town. That is the epitomy of and old time townie. Oh, and Sal is the one who needs to grow a pair and stop following Bonnie like a little puppy.

6 susan March 13, 2010 at 4:07 PM

For the record, Chief Moran said the lieutenant’s responsibilities would be flexible, including time in the station AND out on patrol. Her argument for an additional management position was that per union rules, she is currently the only person who can discipline other officers. A lieutenant would be able to help out with discipline, whereas as I understand it, those in the rank of sergeant and below cannot.

7 Susan...where did you ever hear that ? March 13, 2010 at 5:38 PM

The Sergeant in a police orginization is the “First Line” supervisor. A Sergeant is expected to report and recommend discipline when he or she becomes aware of illegal, unethical, or improper behavior on the part of a subordinate (or even higher ranking officer) The Sergeant recommends discipline to the Chief when needed. Only the Chief or the Board of Selectmen can impose discipline. A Lieutenant is just another supervisory position; usually overseeing a division or a grouping of Sergeants.
A Lieutenant cannot impose any more discipline than a Sergeant.

8 susan March 13, 2010 at 7:59 PM

At the Board of Selectmen meeting. The statement was that union members cannot discipline other union members. You can catch the replay of the meeting on public access cable if you care to. The replay schedule is here: http://www.mysouthborough.com/2009/08/27/board-of-selectmen-broadcast-schedule/

9 A seperate problem March 14, 2010 at 6:37 AM

Susan,
Thanks for the link. You have raised another point that shadows the original request by Chief Moran. It is, and has always been a conflict when ranking officers and patrolman are in the same union. Being in the same union adds strength to numbers as far as bargaining is concerned and all that follows with contract language. BUT, that does not preclude a Sergeant from recommending discipline to the Chief. A Lieutenant would be in the same position. A union member – so whats the difference ? Certainly not the sole fact that there is a Lieutenant involved and a rank that gets more money. This bothers me even more now that Chief Moran appears to be justifying a Lieutenant even she knows that person will have the same “conflicts” when it comes to the discipline issue. Her ceredibility would have bolstered if she was looking for a non-union Deputy Chief. On a side note. Most police departments – big and small, have two unions. A Patrolmans union and a Supervisors union. Problem solved ! Oh… and thats why Jane had to negotiate her own contract with the town – she is not a union member.
Now, even though I thought Chief Baker was not the best Chief Southborough has had, he went out on patrol just like everyone else. Southborough just is not big enough, nor is there that much work for Chief Moran to keep her pinned to a desk for an eight hour shift. I wondered if the search committee or the Selectmen had ever considered asking the applicants how they felt about being a “working Chief” ?

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