No decision on whether to add a lieutenant to the police force

The Metrowest Daily News reports Selectmen last night decided to defer the decision on whether to add a lieutenant to the ranks of the Southborough Police Department because some details around the job description still need to be worked out with the Personnel Board.

They also discussed the “misconception” that the position would increase the department’s budget:

Pine Cone Lane resident Edward Allen, who attended last night’s session, voiced concern that the town’s budget woes should be considered before spending extra money.

“We haven’t turned into a crime factory that requires additional staff,” he said. “In previous years we haven’t had a lieutenant for administrative duty and, given our town’s money problems, now is not a proper time to do it.”

[Police Chief Jane Moran] said the increased cost is a misconception.

“The difference in salary is not that much more,” she said. “This has all been vetted by the Personnel Board.”

[Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf] said the fiscal 2011 police budget presented by Moran and approved by selectmen factors in the costs associated with adding a lieutenant position.

You can read all the details in the Metrowest Daily News. Selectmen will consider the issue again at their meeting next week.

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Al Hamilton
12 years ago

At the Advisory meeting on Monday Night the Chief suggested that the difference in pay between a Sargent and a Lieutenant would be about $5000 and that backfilling the Sargent position would add another $3000 or a total increase over the present state of about $8000.

Its coming
12 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Al,’
ONE citizen showed for the BOS meeting and spoke out in opposition. The underlying oposition was $$$. How can the BOS ask the department heads for a budget that requires cuts and Moran is looking for an increase – at least in payroll.
When the room is empty it will slide thru and two members of the Police department will get a $$$ kiss. To bad someone didn’t just wait it out for better times. Gee, it was just a few days ago I saw the post on the growing unemployment in Southborough. Who is going to pay for this ?

Al Hamilton
12 years ago
Reply to  Its coming

I don’t have a dog in this fight just wanted to relay what we were told on Monday.

I think a legitimate question is “It looks like this plan is going to cost us $8000 more than the existing situation, how will our expenditure of this money make our community safer? Please be specific.”

Dave C
12 years ago

Susan,
I was unable to attend the Slectmen’s meeting last week and I will be away for several weeks. so I cannot ask these questions in person. Would it be possible to ask the Chief to explain to you:
1) Why she feels we need a Lt now
2) What will be the duties of the Lt.
3) Who is performing those duties now
4) What will the person who is currently performing the LT tasks, do with the free time
5) What would be the impact of delaying filling these positions for a year
6) Would she be willing to give up some things in her budget to fund these positions

I have no knowledge of these issues and have virtually no knowledge of the workings of a police department. I would like to receive this information directly from the Chief herself so I can make an informed decision. My initial reaction is to oppose this action in the midst of the economic crisis but I would like to hear from her.

I strongly disagree with a posting by someone implying that only police officers are capable of making decisions on how to run a police department. We pay the taxes and we, through our elected Selectmen, set the levels of service we expect to receive for our taxes. Its up to the Selectmen to hire a manager/Chief to meet those goals within the budget they set. It would be silly for townspeople to tell a police officer how to conduct a traffic investigation function, but that is the Chief’s responsibility. It makes perfect sense to question the staffing levels and budget requirements to accomplish that mission. Frankly, I am surprised at the lack of details the Chief has used to support her positions. I attribute this lack of budget analytical performance to her short tenure in office and I believe she deserves some slack to allow her to grow into the job.
Thank you.

Thanks Susan
12 years ago

I saw the article in the MWDN about certain selectman threatening legal action for some critical comments (and then some) posted on the blog and your refusal to identify them by name.
By keeping the identities anonymous, from what I’ve seen anyways, there has been some lively discussion; mostly over the Police department issues, that really needed to be addressed. I chose to remain anonymous because I do have friends who feel just the opposite of my reasoning and then friends who strongly agree with me. Its not that I don’t have the courage to sign my name, its more towards keeping all of my friends friendly. Polititical shananagans can and often pit one person against another no matter what the prior relationship when one takes a stand on an issue that may not be “down the middle of the road” and I don’t need to prune my friendly relationships for the sake of speaking my mind.
My mother told me once a long time ago that sometimes the truth hurts, so if the selectmen are offended at some of the remarks, maybe they should give their actions, or lack thereof, some serious thought. She also told me that if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.
The discussions that are raised; even the heated exchanges, often lead to needed change. Congrats for holding your ground.
As an afterthought I am surprised that Aldo Cipriano would lead anybody to believe that an individuals first ammendment right is that restricted as to prevent a citizen from taking a written “poke” at a public official if they don’t like way things are being done with taxpayer money.

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