Board of Commissioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING NOVEMBER 28, 2016
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS||TOWNSHIP STAFF|
|H. Edward Black, President||Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager|
|Peddrick M. Young, Vice President||Erin Trone, Assistant Township Manager|
|Richard F. Schin||David Holl, Director of Public Safety|
|Jack R. Simpson, Jr.-by phone||Richard Grove, Director of Finance|
|Carolyn E. Holtzman-by phone||Dan Flint, Community Development|
|Leon Crone, Captain, Police Department|
|Steven P. Miner, Solicitor|
|Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary|
President Black called the November 28, 2016 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:19 pm. He followed with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review. He announced that there was an executive session prior to the regular meeting to discuss personnel issues.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 10, 2016 Budget Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 14, 2016 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
CUMBERLAND DRUG TASK FORCE:
President Black asked the Board for their input on a request from the Cumberland County Assistant D.A. for a full-time officer from Lower Allen to serve on their Drug Task Force. He stated that the Township would be rewarded with up to 70% of the proceeds from any forfeitures involving the Township’s officer. Director Holl explained how the 70% would be split among the officers on the case between the municipalities. These monies have the potential to more than pay for the officer’s salary and benefits.
Director Holl and Captain Crone discussed the officer the County is interested in using as he is already assisting them with cases. They spoke about his leadership, which is needed on the Task Force, but how it’s needed full-time versus part-time. They spoke about the drug issue in the Township including eight recent lives saved from overdoses. The officer would still work on cases in Lower Allen and assist the Police Department with other cases as they arise. They both believe this would be a good thing.
Commissioner Holtzman feels drugs are a problem and believes something needs to be done. Commissioner Simpson believes that the County should pay for the full-time officer rather than the Township. He has no problem with our officer assisting the task force but expresses concern that the forfeiture proceeds may not be as much as there could be debt associated with the assets. President Black stated that he is in favor of it and feels it will be beneficial to all parties including residents.
President Black stated that the Board has three choices. One is to not add a 22nd officer and keep the other officer working for Lower Allen. A second is to allow the officer to work for the County and not hire the 22nd officer. The third option is to allow the officer to go the County and hire the 22nd officer. He reminded the Board that the 22nd officer would be used to help with traffic issues in the Township. Vice President Young believes the officer is needed as the Township continues to grow, so will traffic. Commissioner Simpson asked about overtime in the Police Department and whether hiring a 22nd officer would reduce this expense. Director Holl would need to do an analysis of the overtime to answer that, as some of the overtime spent is because of court appearances and some is reimbursed.
Commissioner Schin asked if the add-ons to the budget could be foregone for the 22nd officer to be added. He stated that he isn’t sure where the monies are coming from for the additional officer. He believes like other members of the Board that drugs are a problem. President Black feels it is important to be part of this task force and evaluate the program in a year. Vice President Young is in favor of the 22nd officer and the officer helping the Task Force. Mr. Vernau believes that most of the add-on items to the budget aren’t needs. He discussed each of the six add-on items for the budget. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner HOLTZMAN made a motion to approve the Lower Allen Township officer being assigned to the Cumberland County Drug Task Force for a year and hiring a 22nd Police Officer for 2017. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-1, with Commissioner Simpson opposing.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: ANY ITEM ON THE AGENDA
There was no response.
Approval of Check Register
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve the Check Register of November 25, 2016 in the amount of $194,059.19. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Personnel – Probationary Period
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve moving Police Officer Laura Castle to regular full-time status, as she has successfully completed her 12-month probationary period. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve moving Police Officer Torrie Shiley to regular full-time status, as he has successfully completed his 12-month probationary period. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Comprehensive Plan Consultant
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve a contract with Michael Baker International, Inc., in the amount of $105,422.00 for consulting services in preparation of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the Department Reports for the month of October for Community Development, Township Engineer, Public Works, Fleet Maintenance, Public Safety, and Assistant Manager. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP
There was no response.
Job Duties Realignment
Mrs. Trone discussed the request to realign the job duties of two employees. She spoke about the role of the Human Resources Coordinator and her additional work load with the changes in regulations, healthcare and the event planning for the Township. Mrs. Trone stated that they would like to shift the event planning responsibilities to another employee who works with the park rentals. The new responsibilities for the Administrative Assistant/Event Planner would include being the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Board. Since there are additional responsibilities the salary of the position would increase. Discussion ensued.
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve the revised job description for the Administrative Assistant/Event Planner and Human Resources Coordinator positions realigning the duties of the employees effective January 1, 2017. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
CapCOG Building Code Official Program
Mr. Vernau provided the background of a new CapCOG program whereby municipalities could use building inspectors and plan reviewers employed by the COG when and if needed. He stated that they are looking for the municipalities’ participation prior to hiring employees for this program. There is a $250 setup fee to be part of the program. Commissioner Schin expressed concern about a program taking work from the private sector and putting in government. Mr. Vernau stated that these are government functions and an ordinance is necessary if the Board agrees to participate. Mr. Flint stated that the engineering firm that provides assistance to Lower Allen bills at around $67 an hour. Mr. Vernau believes the rate for the COG officer would be around $35. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to direct staff to move forward with a draft of the ordinance for participation in the CapCOG Building Code Official Program. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Vernau discussed the radios provided to the Commissioners. The Township has been advised by Cumberland County of additional restrictions placed on those radios including who can monitor certain public safety channels. He stated that the radios of the former Commissioners had been being used by Public Works and have been reprogramed for the Commissioners. He asked, if because of the recent restrictions, they could recall the radios of the other three Commissioners and provide monitors versus radios. The Board agreed with his request.
2017 Proposed Budget
Mr. Vernau asked if there were any items the Board would like to discuss regarding the budget. He stated that with all the add-ons and the 22nd officer there would be a budget deficit of approximately $156,000. He stated that there is enough money in the General Fund fund balance to absorb this deficit. Mr. Grove spoke about the 2013 long term plan, which has been building up the General Fund to allow a budget deficit to be covered this year. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to advertise and place the 2017 Proposed Budget, including the 22nd officer and all previous approved add-ons, on the table for public inspection. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
President Black thanked the Board and Staff for all their work and time on the budget this year.
Solicitor Miner spoke about the passing of Robert Moore who has served on the Sewer Authority. He stated that the Board will need to replace him on the Authority next year.
Director Holl thanked the Board for working so diligently through the budget process this year. He spoke about Alex Milletics, who graduated from the Police Academy with the top academic achievement award. He spoke about the meetings he has had with several police chiefs and the Sheriff’s Office and their participating in the new simulator system that was approved in the budget. He hopes once the system is set up to bring the media in to show them the system.
President Black spoke highly of Robert Moore and his involvement early in the Authority and financing and how beneficial his work has been for the Township and residents.
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:11pm.