This Meeting was recorded for Accuracy
Present: Ron Betts, Clark Baird, Sue Bartow, Beth Thompson, Mayor Tom Pickup, Council President Aaron Bouch
Absent - Brinton Scribe, Street Commissioner, Solicitor- Jeff Miller
Gen Public – Jennifer Doty, Dan Short, Kathie Bernabo, Jessica Betts, Matt Lamantia, Amy Lickenfelt, Kristin Teeter, Penny Rolley, Mayor Gindelsperger from New Florence, Gwen and John Kovac, Pat Burb, Officer Salley
Public discussion on police contract
Jennifer Doty, Police been here 5 months – 1 ticket was issued no money coming in and money going out. She brought up the subject of – a drug house the local police is not the person to notify – should be state police. She thinks it is a waste of money. If they pull people over for small stuff then everyone will get upset.
Matt Lamantia spoke up next he wanted to know how police dept was paid. Aaron stated comes out of town funds and not from fines. Discussion was then made between Ms. Doty and Mr. Lamantia until discussion was stopped by Aaron.
Kathie Bernabo – asked question to Officer Salley and wanted to know if she had ever stopped the Officer to tell him about people in Legion.
Jessica Betts- She has watched cars running stop signs, and she is for the Police Department for the safety of not only her kids but others in the neighborhood.
Amy Lickenfelt – stated she lives at lower end of town and used to watch the traffic of drugs being done at the lower park and since the police are now here that has stopped for the past 5 months. As far as the stop sign running he was on duty Sunday morning and people were complaining because he was here. People need to make their minds up and quit complaining you either want them or not and don’t complain because they are here.
Dan Short, says we do need a cop. This past summer Kayla Lupacchini was broad sided and someone from council took stuff from the vehicle. Clark questioned Boone if he was referring to him. Clark stated he never touched the truck and told Dan to get his stuff straight.
Dan stated we do need police here.
Kathie Bernabo said when the police were on duty Sunday no one was speeding around her block 5 and 6 times and were stopping at the stop signs.
Matt Lamantia stated it should be a positive thing to have an officer in town. Just because someone doesn’t see him pulling over someone it just means he is doing his job.
An officer in town means they will be here way before the State Police, Fireman, Ambulance Service who usually take from 45 to 60 minutes to get here verses within minutes. He is trained just as much as any of those people to handle medical situations if need be.
New Florence Mayor spoke up to let everyone know that you are only paying for the time he is on duty. Officer Salley puts in more hours that you all don’t even know about and are not being charged. New Florence is paying for this. When the officer is on duty here we also have an officer on duty in New Florence for safety reasons. We want to be good neighbors. What type of officer could you get for 2 or 3 days a week, and us the same but if we put our resources together we can maybe get a decent officer so that is the purpose of working with you. Crime doesn’t know borders, so if it is controlled in your town then it also is controlled in our town. We work with Seward also, Officer Salley backs them up and they back us up.
Several council members would like to address several issues with the contract.
Sue spoke up, and said she and Clark did not have a say in the contract, Amy immediately spoke up and said that was not true, it was not until the contract was ready to sign that both of you were out. Sue spoke up again and said some things were left out of the contract. She was told if any issues she had to go through our Mayor who would in turn go through New Florence Mayor. Sue asked for 911 reports and was told she could not get them.
She now has a copy of the reports and will continue to get them every month. We had asked for weekends and 16 hours a weeks. We also had asked for a police committee consisting of 2 council members and 2 public persons and was never followed through with that.
Sue questioned what would happen if and officer would get a raise from New Florence when they are still under our contract. Mayor said a stipulation is in the contract so we don’t give raises until we do our yearly budget.
Another question,- We cut their hours back during winter months and one of our worst days we had was when Bill Hughes had to come in an plow the streets and the officer was on duty. Mayor Pickup stated they were here for a particular reason, and that was to block off streets while the plow was clearing the roads. He had declared an emergency and it was for safety.
New Florence Mayor spoke up to explain, you cannot tell a part-time officer that all of a sudden you are cutting back their hours because of weather conditions. They have to budget their time and work schedule also with their fulltime jobs. Cutting hours back in the winter months only drives them away. They make arrangements with their full time job. Officers use their own judgement on the road conditions. They do paperwork instead. It’s a safety issue and she doesn’t want them on the roads either.
Aaron spoke up and said people want to know when the police is are on duty. People have a tendency to run at the mouth. He, Aaron personally doesn't know when they are on duty. New Florence Mayor stated she also does not know when they are on duty. It is up to the officer when to patrol as long as they do their hours.
Further discussion was made by the Mayor on questions from Sue when Clark spoke up and stated these are questions we never got answers to before, so why are we spending tax-payers dollars for them to not be here. Clark is not against the police he just wanted answers.
Officer Salley stated with the law change if he was to be traveling into another jurisdiction and he sees someone breaking the law he is legally allowed to stop and site the individual.
Aaron asked if anyone has any further questions before council decides whether to renew the police contract or not.
Mr. Kovac said he had a conversation prior to an individual coming to the meeting. That person in turn did not do what they were supposed to do. Yes, the Legion is not making as much money as before the police came to town, however if the people know the officer is parked across the parking lot of the Fire Dept then go another way home. Mr. Kovac allows the police to sit in his driveway because of the way people come across the bridge. Mr. Kovac also invited the officer's into the establishment for a soda or something to eat.
Our council needs to work together because we have lost Grants, been sued, and cannot seem to work together. Mr. Kovac when he says we need police, then we do.
Gwen said she would like to see more movement around our area. They can sit in our driveway all they want. There are kids that come down the back street across the bridge flying like crazy. Someone is going to get hurt.
Beth wants to make a change in the contract - page three Administrative Services: Section A Change to: (Provide Bolivar Council with a monthly police activity report setting forth an account of services rendered hereunder and, have a New Florence Representative at the monthly meetings to answer any questions that may arise.)
Article 8: This agreement shall be for a term of (6) six months commencing on April 1, 2018 and continuing until October 1, 2018.
Motion was made by Beth to approve the renewal contract for the Police, Motion was 2nd by Ron. Everyone on council approved. Motion passed.
New Florence Mayor said their old solicitor would represent them if there was ever an issue since our solicitor is also their solicitor.
Next on the agenda: The insurance on the police car. It was discovered that the insurance coverage was reduced several years ago while the police car was in storage. As soon as it was discovered the insurance was put back on as full coverage.
Next on agenda. Drain at John Kovac's. Ron cannot seem to find the drain that runs along the dyke and go under the dyke. It seems the drain is clogged somewhere across Kovac's property and Gilbreth's property. It is possible the line is caved in. There is a hole that is about 2 feet across where the water has blown a hole in the ground. It was suggested to table to next meeting so other people can help to locate.
Next on agenda: Tax collector account with the bank. Jessica said she has an issue with the account being with the Borough account because it is tied directly with the Fed ID number of the Borough. The bank has informed both her and the Borough Treasurer that one of the accounts has to go onto the business end of the banking system to be separated. This will involve a $15.00 per month fee. The monthly fee cannot come out of the tax collector account. Pat stated before the Borough accounts were switched to the free small business banking account, that any fees incurred on a monthly basis would come out of the general account. Council would have to approve this before this can take place. We also need to know what to do with any NSF checks that may happen. This type of situation did not take place before because the tax collector account was in a different bank than the boroughs.
Sue wanted to know if we could negotiate to have the fees waived. Their only other option is for the tax collector to get their own fed id number from IRS. Sue wants to table until next meeting and ask Jeffery on this.
Sue also wants to know other questions from Jess concerning the tax collector. She wants answers. When the taxes are paid the receipts are completed incorrectly. Jess stated in all reality she was never showed anything. She has asked Wanda several times and she has not showed her anything. Wanda still has records she has not turned over yet.
Sue again questioned Jess whether she has taken the basic tax collector exam yet because she said this has to be done prior to taking office. She has been working on this stuff all day. Again Jess stated she has not been able to get into the web site to take the test.
Sue again said about the tax collector reports need to be done by the 10th of every month whether you collect any money or not.
It was decided to call an executive meeting. Time 7:15 PM.
Meeting resumed at 7:30 PM. Aaron stated at that time to hold off until next meeting when it will be decided whether to have you continue as tax collector or to turn over the records to the county for them to collect. You need to get with Sue who has a bunch of information to give to you that you need to be doing.
At this time is there any other business. John spoke up that he and the Mayor have spoken and have corrected any issues they had. John said the Legion is still here for the community and help any way they can.
Sue requested for Pat to put in the agenda for April to make an Ordinance every year to correct the per capita tax and realty transfer tax discrepancy that was made last month.
Aaron motioned to adjourn meeting at 7:35 PM. Motion 2nd by Ron. All in favor. Motion carried.