Editor:At the regular meeting of the Parkesburg Borough Council on Jan. 20, The council accepted a motion to approve the police association labor contract, accepted a motion to re-engage in discussions for contracts with Atglen, Highland, and Avondale boroughs to provide police coverage at the new hourly rate, and accepted a motion to prolong the furloughs of the police force.
While all of this may be a great thing and will hopefully work out for everyone involved, we, the people of Parkesburg must still ask the question, "What is the police chief proposing to get his salaries of the police force in line with his budget?"
At the present time, the police association labor contract calls for a 5 percent raise in police force salaries. The police salary budget for officers has been raised by 10 percent over the 2007 budget line item (a dollar amount asked for by the Police Chief and approved by borough council). The dollar amount of the 2007 budget line item was $540,000, so the 2008 budget line item is set at $598,000.
By the way, the actual salaries of the Police officers in 2007 was 654k. Yes, an overrun of $114,000 for the year. If the police salaries in 2007 are already $56,000 over what is in the budget for 2008 and the Parkesburg borough council has voted to prolong the furloughs, we the people of Parkesburg must still ask the question, "What is the police chief proposing in order to get his Officiers salaries in line with his budget?"
I read in the Daily Local News paper from Jan. 20, 2008 that the East Fallowfield Supervisors cut the police department's budget by 70k in order to balance their budget. The Police Chief, Peter Mango, is quoted, "there's only one place to make that cut - people."
Well, Parkesburg council has had this type of cut in their budget for more than four years in order to have a balanced budget each year, but you might ask what has happened.
Well, it seems that they have found monies from other areas in order to allow 20 percent overruns in the police force salaries.
Let the people of Parkesburg hold the departments that are overrunning their budgets accountable so that improvements can begin to our town or adjust the budgets to reflect the true costs of these departments.