Upper Perk Police will be giving up a 4 percent raise and other benefits for 2013 in order to allow for unchanged police coverage and no budget increases for the municipalities they serve.
Last Monday night’s Upper Perk Police Commission meeting involved a lengthy executive session which was continued to Saturday morning as the commission, Chief of Police Michael Devlin, Ofc. Joe Adam and Det. Matthew Boaman, serving also as members of the Fraternal Order of Police, worked through several changes to the police and chief contracts.
The current contracts for police coverage, valid through 2013, would have necessitated an overall increase in the budget of over $50,000.
“We worked together to maintain an affordable and sustainable department,” commission chair Ryan Sloyer said.
Officers, along with Devlin, agreed to an alteration of the current contract that would leave them with no raises or shift pay differential (no additional pay for working nights or weekends) and a decrease in holiday pay.
The current contract also calls for a zero percent pension contribution. Officers and Devlin agreed to contribute 3 percent for 2013.
Sloyer thanked the officers and Chief Devlin, adding that they have made similar concessions over the past three years to avoid an increase in the police budget.
“They made concessions to make our budget work so we were able to get through tough financial times without the taxpayers having a burden,” Sloyer added.
Sloyer also noted that Joann Wentling, administrative assistant for the police department, agreed to reduce work hours from 40 to 32.
“We appreciate her working with us as well,” Sloyer said.
With these concessions, Sloyer announced that the commission expects to release a budget for review in October that will contain no increase at all for 2013.
In other business, Rachael Demeter, who had been retained by the police commission as an animal control officer, explained difficulties she had encountered trying to obtain individual medical insurance. Demeter explained that the cost of the insurance exceeded the wage for the position.
Demeter noted that she is not currently able to work as animal control officer for the commission until the insurance issue is resolved.
Sloyer stated the commission will explore several options to rectify the situation. Demeter agreed to also explore some alternatives.
“I would absolutely love to resume my work as your animal control officer,” Demeter said.