Selectmen consider police overtime budget, cruiser purchases

In a move the police chief called “pretty dire,” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf last week recommended cutting $18K from the police department’s $1.6M budget. She suggested the money could be saved by reducing police overtime.

But Police Chief Jane Moran cautioned against the move. “It would mean putting the citizens of Southborough at risk,” she said. Without sufficient overtime, Moran said certain shifts would have only two officers on duty — one manning the station and one out on the road.

Pnaneuf said the money did not have to come from overtime, but she still supported reducing next year’s overall police budget by $18K. That’s a 0.2% decrease compared to this year.

The other police department budget item scrutinized was the request for two new cruisers totaling $60K. Moran told selectmen the cruisers would replace one that currently has 106K miles and one that has 68K miles. She noted that the one with 68K miles would have more like 80-90K miles by the time it was actually traded in.

“These are the tools we work with,” Moran said. “These go 24/7 in all kinds of weather.”

Historically, the department has replaced two cruisers each year. In 2009 voters approved two new SUV’s to replace aging cruisers. One was approved at the annual town meeting in April, and the second was approved at the special town meeting in September.

Phaneuf originally said she did not support the purchase of any cruisers this year, but ultimately agreed with Selectmen Bill Boland and Sal Giorlandino that replacing one of the cruisers would be prudent.

The DPW budget was also hard-hit. In addition to an overall cut totaling 3.7% of their operating budget, Phaneuf recommended eliminating $220K in capital equipment requests. “We’ll see what we can postpone,” DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan said.

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What took so long
14 years ago

I posted this a few short hours ago and it was taken down. I’ll try it again and hope that it generates some angry discussion. I was angry when I spotted it and every taxpayer should be angry too.

Under “This week in Government” the Selectmans agenda call for a request for discussion for a POLICE LIEUTENANT of all things. I knew all along there would be payback for all the internal support Jane garnered from the PD, but I never thought I’d see the day when someone would be so brazen as to make such a foolish request during one of the worst recessions in history. Just the fact that its in print on the Seletmans agenda is an absolute JOKE. Southborough needs a police lieutenant like we need another outbreak of the plague

Al Hamilton
14 years ago

The Crown Vic is the best ’70s American automotive technology available. Last year when the then acting chief wanted to buy SUVs she bad mouthed the Crown Vic’s like crazy. Now we want to buy them?

These beasts are gas guzzlers in the extreme they get about 11 mpg rolling around town. This data comes from the police dept. The police department uses about 25,000 gallons of gasoline per year making it the single biggest user of transportation fuel in town govt. To make things worse this translates into about 500,000 lbs of greenhouse gasses. The poor mileage is a function of the type of driving and long periods of idling.

There are more efficient police vehicles available but they are never considered because the cost of fuel does not even come out of the police budget so to the Police Dept it is free so why change? Chrysler makes police crusiers with V8’s that idle on 4 cylinders and are lighter and more fuel efficient when in operation.

The Crown Vic’s and the Giant Police SUV’s are just another example of wasteful practices in our town government.

Marty
14 years ago

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

Townie
14 years ago

Interesting fact about the current Ford police Interceptor. Ford offically said that there will be a totally brand new Interceptor for 2011. They claim it SHOULD be more fuel efficient, better safety, and overall performance. Should we buy now or wait and do research? I see a lot of Dodge Chargers out there, I’ve seen a lot of State Police Chargers. Have we looked into them?

dean dairy
14 years ago

Are there links to PDFs of the town dept budgets posted anywhere?

Maybe that’d be a start.

Al Hamilton
14 years ago
Reply to  dean dairy

Dean

The Advisory Committee posts all the budgets that have been submitted on our web page.

http://southboroughadvisory.nexo.com/

There is also a large spreadsheet that shows the current status of the deliberations by the advisory committee.

Emily
14 years ago
Reply to  dean dairy

http://southboroughadvisory.nexo.com/resources

They are excel files and many have multiple “tabs” at the bottom when you open them. So you need to be a careful reader, but I’ve found this to be very informative.

Marty
14 years ago
Reply to  dean dairy

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

dean dairy
14 years ago
Reply to  Marty

Thank you Al, Emily and Marty.

Marty
14 years ago

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

Townie
14 years ago

Heres an article I found. Writen a few years ago, but still an eye opener.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2008-10-08-big-police-cars_N.htm

Marty
14 years ago
Reply to  Townie

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

carrie alpert
14 years ago

Exactly! i am afraid when you bring up the topic the response will indeed be a lot of “seems a bit unconventional” and “seems different”

yes, and so is the smart phone.

You all missed the point
14 years ago

Marty….
you are the closest to the bullseye. When you plant grapes don’t expect pumkins. You own Chief Moran for a good long time.
Now some simple math. Cruiser $36,000 give or take a few hundred bucks. A Lieutenant on the Police Department – a lifetime lease or should I say “grease”.
If you told Moran to take a cab (paid by town) everytime she was needed back in Southboro, you’d save $35,000 hands down.
I have no sympathy for the selectmen or anyone else who back doored Moran into the Chiefs office. What the heck did you all expdect ? Southboro needs a Lieutenant…….

Marty
14 years ago

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

Sick and Tired
14 years ago

You people have no idea what you are talking about. The department was supposed to have gotten a lieutenant years ago, but for political reasons, never did. They have been making do with responsibilities delegated incorrectly and inefficiently for almost a decade. Probably because then Seargent Moran was accustomed to doing everyone else’s job as well as her own. Now she can see that the job is done correctly and is fixing an error in the system This is needed and has nothing to do with paying off favors. Accusations like that can get people into lots of trouble and have no place on this blog. People making those sort of spurious claims should post by their real names and be held accountable for slander and/or defamation. I am sick of the anonymous and cowardly attacks on people through this blog! Our town is better than this.

John Boiardi
13 years ago
Reply to  Sick and Tired

I didn’t get your name!

Sick and Tired
13 years ago
Reply to  John Boiardi

A little slow on the uptake aren’t we John? See posts below. What is the phrase, a day late (or in your case a month) and a dollar short?

See follow-up post below for an update. And please note how Mr. Hamilton, always at the ready with a glib answer, conveniently disappeared.

I’ll summarize, there is no hypocrisy (as you imply by your trite comment) in my posting anonymously since I am not slandering anyone. Now, if I posted “Marty’s” real name and unsubstantiated accusations about him, as he has about Chief Moran, I would be a hypocrit. It is subtle, I know, but accurate none the less.

Wishing you an enjoyable weekend!

S&T

Dear Sick and Tired
14 years ago

Hypocrit ! Why don’t you sign your real name Sergeant !

Buzz
14 years ago

Marty:

I am sure glad that you are not runing for selectmen because I have never heard of anyone in town so misinformed who shoots his mouth of like you do.
You are probably one of the inside of the Spa people who also most of time don’t know what they are talking about;
As an example you say the Police Department should be cut did you know according to Law enforcement figures the Police Department is understaffed

As far as promoting a pereson from withing such as Chief Moran the town went outside for a Chief about 20 years and you are still paying for it did you know that? ever since you showed up on this blog you have casued nothing but problems why do you tell us your real name so I could sit down with you and set you straight Buzz

Al Hamilton
14 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

So, lets see “Buzz” and “Sick and Tired” are complaining that Marty is not posting under his full name. This is a joke right?

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Sick and Tired
14 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

No, it is not a joke Mr. Hamilton. I maintain my anonymity because not doing so on a public message board is dangerous and naive. I do not question Marty’s right to be anonymous. I question the cowardice of remaining anonymous when engaging in a slander campaign against another individual. If he wants to make such serious accusations in a public forum, he should do so in a forum where he can be held legally accountable.

I am not slandering anyone or making false claims and accusations so there is no hypocrisy in MY maintaining my anonimity, but I can see where the simple, knee-jerk reaction WOULD be to call myself and others hypocrites. As for calling me Sergeant (and I apologize for the original typo), another typical reaction, I am not, nor have I ever been, on the police force. Try again! I am one tax-paying resident who is sick of this kind of “debate,” if you can call it that, and has every right to express my disgust. I am not sullying anyone’s reputation or threatening their livelihood by doing so.

Al Hamilton
14 years ago
Reply to  Sick and Tired

Assuming you are referring to Marty’s comments on the performance of the Police Chief and other public employees my understanding is that the bar for slander is very very high.

Comments, however nasty, on the performance of public officials and employees and how they perform their jobs is “political speech” and enjoys very strong protections.

Accusing someone of Slander is sullying their reputation in my book.

On a different question. How would having a lieutenant, which would cost us more money, improve the safety of our community?

Sick and Tired
14 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Now there’s hypocrisy for you. Marty can go around saying anything he likes about Chief Moran and, in your opinion, is protected by claims of “political speech,” but my suggesting he be held responsible for his claims, you consider engaging in slander. Along with being hypocritical, your argument is also nonsensical since “Marty” is an anonymous persona and thus has no “reputation” aside from the virtual one he has acquired here in cyberspace. Priceless! You just made my day with that one.

As for your last question, an efficiently run police department is more likely to keep its residents safe than an inefficiently run one, that’s just common sense. That being said, I have not heard the reasons being offered for hiring a lieutenant, nor am I sure I would be in favor of the idea. All I know is that one was approved years ago and the change was never implemented. But why venture off topic? That is not the subject we are discussing. I wish it was. Instead, we are taking pot shots at Chief Moran because we don’t like her, instead of really considering the merits of her reasons for proposing that the town create a lieutenant position.

And that is PRECISELY why I am “Sick and Tired!”

With thinking like that you should be running for office

Sick and Tired
14 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

P.S The final comment regarding running for office was not supposed to make it into my post. I was contemplating it to follow the first sentence in the text, but decided against it, primarily to keep from insulting those who do run for office. Gratuitous politician joke. Please disregard.

Marty
14 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

Buzz
14 years ago

Marty old boy

Chief Baker is not who I was talking about it was Chief Goyette see

what I mean about you being misinformed wake up Buzz

The worst recession in history
14 years ago

How can anyone who pays taxes in Southborough justify a new position of a Lieutenant for the Police department ? Unemployment is double digits. Wages frozen or down for many. Home valuations plummeted and taxes up. The average taxpayer just isn’t going to shut up when some people try to justify something that is nothing more than extravagant. The Police department to my knowledge has done very well with the current rank structure for the past 31 years. So in short, adding a police Lieutenant to the department at the turning point in the worst recession in history, smells of “payback”

Where I come from, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck……
Its probably a duck !

John Kendall
14 years ago

Marty, I commend you. Finally, someone who is more of a rabble rouser than anyone on earth.

Marty
14 years ago
Reply to  John Kendall

Ed note: This comment has been removed at the commenter’s request.

John B
14 years ago
Reply to  Marty

Marty,

Your ten points were right on. Very well said.

John Kendall
14 years ago
Reply to  Marty

No free suppers from Fay. The Selectmen considered it gratuitous and ended the practice awhile ago. I never considered it a gratuity, it was more like grabbing the scraps before they went into the garbage. I do, however agree with MANY of your points.

James
14 years ago

Susan-

This thread is just personal and silly now. It really serves no purpose and no new ideas have been presented in a while. Can you close this thread and hopefully let the angry folks vent somewhere else and let the rest of us move on to something we can discuss with civility?

Thanks.

Joe M.
14 years ago

@Marty: “I know I’m full of myself, and now I will retire from any more postings.” Do you promise? (Please!)

Kenny
13 years ago

Getting vehicles that are not police packages will cost more money in upkeep and have signifigantly less safety options than a regular vehicle. People who do not work as police officers do not have the knowledge to make decisions that pertain to how police departments are run.Just like people who aren’t electricians should not tell one how to wire a house. By the way the car in Malden is a meter maid car.

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