Thursday, June 11, 2015

Live reporting: Town Council - Budget Hearing #2 - June 11, 2015

Present:  Feldman, Padula, Mercer, Kelly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Bissanti, Williams, Dellorco
Absent:  none

Police - 
Vallee - we're looking for assurances that the Town is well protected
average of comparable communities have 52 officers, Franklin currently has 45
did have 55 patrolmen in 1995

Williams - we were budget for 54 but never did get through the Academy enough to break the 50 level

Semerjian - had layoffs in the 90's and again in the late 2000 for budgetary constraints
we talk all the time but we want to maintain the people when we bring them on, I thought the Administrator did a good job with the explanation on what we do and how we do it.

we have two guys in the academy now, we'd like to get more but it would be more one or two at a time, don't want to do it on a short time plan

Nutting - 42,000 in 2008 down to 28,000 incidents, the book is down so while the officer count is less we are also answering less. The technology improvements have helped immensely

Semerjian - we have a good community, that is a credit to the community and the people are doing their job

We are the larger town in Norfolk County, and we have only 3-4 people for the entire town

Semerjian - the numbers don't lie, the bookings don't lie, the community goes to sleep. I live here. I have all the confidence in the world. We are not dealing with some of the things that they are dealing with

Padula - you have talked with the administrator

Nutting - we were down to 39 officers 5-6 years ago, we got one last year, one this year. We will try and slowly build it up. We are keeping the long run in mind

Chart of the numbers referred to during the discussion that were just provided before the meeting
Chart of the numbers referred to during the discussion that were just provided before the meeting

The PDF of the document provided from which this chart was made:

Semerjian - we are not asking for any more, if some one retires, we need to replace them. Is the fear real or imagined? I provided the stats, you can see what we are doing. Common sense comes into play to.

Padula - the whole town goes to sleep at night, you have 3 patrolmen at night; the opiate issue, how many do we have on that? (2)

Semerjian - we have 7 detectives along with the 2 who are dedicated to the drug issue. These guys are very good. So there are 9 guys total who can address this. We have one guy working with the DEA on the task force.

Padula - so with the opiate issue, you don't need more people

Semerjian - you heard the District Attorney that said we are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. There needs to be another avenue for this. How is one problem more important than another? We need to do what we are going to do. There is a lot involved with putting the cases together. We got a guy out via a taxi on Friday and he was back in on Saturday on his bike. He walked out of re-hab.

Bissanti - I think what you are sensing is the raw nerve around town due to the recent deaths that have touched. There are career drug dealers and everyone knows they are around. All the rhetoric is for the victims. It is a difficult to get those. Don't you need to be maintaining a certain covert level?

Semerjian - I am concerned with what information we do reveal. It is an issue we deal with all the time.

Dellorco - The dealer are not coming into the community. They don't come here. The last one who passed away was in re-hab in a halfway house.

Semerjian - we have 45, 2 at the academy, so 43 on the street and the others will be ready to go by January.

Pfeffer - we are offering another officer, and when did you hear the Town Council do that? and you're saying no.

Kelly - I understand your statistics but I only got them at 5:00 o'clock and havem't fully digested the info. There are communities out there where they are getting offers to go to re-hab versus the arrest. It is getting worse instead of better. If we get another one, how can we not arrest the drug dealer but stop the next death. If they are doing it with 50 and we are doing it with 43, we have the best of the best.

Having 3-4 people on after midnight, it scary. I'd like to see a plan before we sit down to review the budget.

Padula - if you would be comfortable maybe we should have a discussion with the Town Administrator about the numbers. We need to reach out to him and figure out how to get you the numbers.

Bissanti - I don't want to open an other can of worms, wouldn't it be good to hire Franklin first.

Semerjian - if you have a pecking order, you have to be fair to the listing. There are plenty of qualified people out there.

Nutting - we offered 7 people to interview, and they all declined. I know its off subject but it is a fact. You are required to have a degree. This was our first opportunity and they declined.

Dellorco - when the police came out of a Civil Service, you said it would be easier.

Vallee - I am going to read you a few communities.... we are playing Russian roulette

Fire Dept - 

Vallee - the King St facility is creating call volume

McCarragher- we went there and explained the role of emergency services. We are obligated by regulation and turn that call out, if the patient wants to go, under certain circumstances we will call a private ambulance to transport them. We expect them to provide routine transports, we only provide emergency

The new facility is a retirement community and not an assisted living community. I don't believe the same volume would come from there.

Vallee - we make money from the ambulance calls?

McCarragher - no we cover our costs, we built our system was to cover two calls at a time, and it is alarming to see those. Last year we had 129 mutual aid, we just logged out 130th call today. We have a plan to go the budget and add the 3rd ambulance in 3-4 years.

Staffing - purely by average 3-4 times a day we are out of resources
Fitness and wellness - 60% of the people who retired did so due to to injury

I am the little engine that could championing
I would need 8 people - $640,000 (including benefits) to put on the extra people to put on the 3rd vehicle

7 minute difference between one of our ambulances and a mutual aid ambulance

Kelly - are the assisted living and aging population driving the issue?
McCarragher - I haven't drilled into the numbers to that deal, we have already surpassed our call volume and I usually do that at the end of the year.

The Zoning Board did decline the permit for the facility

Some of the five were shifted to other positions, due to declining enrollment at the elementary level

The new high school
we started the high school up 100 students from Jun to sep, we are up 130 year to date. An influence of people coming to the community.

Vallee - we are not usually in the top 50
Sabolinski - the per pupil average is excess of the state average, their class size is even smaller that we have, like 15-20 students in an English where we would have about 80

Where students get in, and where students attend
most of the Ivy;s are so expensive that we don't always get to go
due to the financial aid and family choices

(note the presentation that was prepared but not used)


We are very low, we are probably 15 people short of where we could be
we don't have the budget to support the staffing we'd like to have

you could put every department in the same boat
they other towns have a higher tax basis, we live off our property taxes, and a low tax base

their tax bill is higher than the others, if the tax payers want to pay more we'll take it

the bottom line is you're doing a good job

Kelly - you guys got through a tough snow season, you work with not a lot of staff and do a great job
you should be commended for keeping it all straight

Bissanti - based upon our tax rate and the level of service we have compared to others, I can believe it
I fear we are hurting the services, everybody will be screaming but no one will want to raise the tax rate.

close of public hearing

– 7:10 PM Budget: FY 2016 Budget Hearing – 2nd Reading
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0


motion to adjourn, seconded, passed 9-0

No comments:

Post a Comment