WEATHERSFIELD TWP. Trustees to meet on police contract

Trustees are facing a revenue decline in the police fund.
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Township trustees will have a special meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss a police union counterproposal on economic concessions.
Trustee Chairman James Stoddard said trustees plan to review the counterproposal. Trustees had sent the Ohio Patrolman's Benevolent Association, representing the township's nine patrol officers, a proposal on economic concessions.
Although the patrol officers' union is under a three-year contract that doesn't expire until June 30, 2006, Trustee Fred Bobovnyk said trustees have been talking with police union representatives about wage and benefit reductions.
Any adjustment to the contract would be called a memorandum of understanding, Bobovnyk said. He noted that trustees have been cutting back on department expenses.
Why cuts are needed
Bobovnyk explained that cuts are needed because of a revenue decline in the police fund. He said two main factors are the 2-percent reduction in personal property tax put into effect by the state that will reduce township income by 2 percent annually.
The other is that RMI Titanium, Inc. has reduced its personal tangible property tax payments under new accounting methods, also causing the township to lose money.
"We think if patrolmen give things back on a temporary basis, it will, hopefully, help people to make a decision [on a levy] when they see there are some giving back," Bobovnyk said.
Trustees are considering placing a police levy on the ballot next May or November, Stoddard has said.
He noted that trustee proposals for concessions would extend the police department's budget viability at least until the end of 2005.
The trustees' monthly caucus will follow the meeting in the township administration building.

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